The Best Serveware Set Essentials For Entertaining

The Best Serveware Set Essentials For Entertaining

May 27, 2024Anita MacKenzie

The world was my oyster, but I used the wrong fork. ~ Oscar Wilde

You just found out you're in charge of hosting a special Father’s Day dinner this year. You’ve never really paid much attention to the proper way to set the table and you’re finding other things to be just as daunting like choosing the right flatware sets for 12 to buy or picking a serveware set to suit your needs. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Here we'll answer any questions you might have about setting a casual table, how many flatware settings you’ll need, and the different serving utensils available.

How many flatware sets should you have?

Most flatware sets include five pieces: a dinner fork, a salad fork, a dinner knife, a table spoon, and a teaspoon.

Generally, for everyday use, you’ll want to have twice as many flatware settings as there are people in your household. So, if there are two of you, you’ll want to start with at least a place setting for 4 (20 pieces.) That way, you’ll still have a set to use when one set is in the dishwasher. Now, if you have a large family or plan on hosting dinner parties, flatware sets for 12 people (60 pieces) should do it.

Table setting guidelines

Let’s start with the golden rule of table setting: Only set the table with utensils you and your guests will use. Don't set down a spoon if you’re not serving soup. Now that you know the golden rule, here’s how to set a casual table:

  1. Start with your dinner plate.
  2. If you’re going to serve salad and or soup, place the salad plate or soup bowl on top of the dinner plate.
  3. Fold a napkin and place it on the left of the dinner plate. When it comes to basic table setting you can either go with this standard napkin placement or add some elegant flair by placing the napkin on top of your dinner plates.
  4. Place your fork on top of the napkin – forks are always on the left.
  5. If serving salad, place the salad fork to the left of your dinner fork. (Another basic rule is to arrange utensils in the order of use, going from the outside in.)
  6. Set the knife to the right of the dinner plate, with the sharp side facing the plate.
  7. Dessert spoons or forks go above the plate, with fork prongs facing right and the spoon bowl facing left.
  8. Now add your water glass to the table, above the plate, and to the right.
  9. The wine glass is next. Place it slightly above and to the right of the water glass.


      What is a serveware set?

      A serveware set can refer to anything from a set of bowls and platters for serving individual dishes to specialty serving utensils for serving salad, cake, and other foods. We include cheese knife sets and marble charcuterie boards in our serveware collection. 

      Serving sets come with various utensils, used to cut, spear, scoop, spread, and transfer foods from serving platters and serving trays to dinner plates.

      Lifestyle and dining practices will usually dictate what sort of serveware to buy. Here’s a look at some of our handcrafted serving sets:

      The hostess set: There are many different types of hostess sets, with anywhere from 4-6 pieces. Some include a butter knife while others include cake serving pieces. Our Jason hostess serving set includes a three-pronged fork, slotted spoon, serving spoon, and sauce ladle.

      Three-pronged fork: Some call this utensil the cold meat fork. Designed to spear and lift food from a platter to a plate, this versatile utensil is ideal for serving anything from lamb chops at dinner to French toast and waffles at Sunday brunch.

      Slotted Spoon: This large spoon has perforations that allow excess liquids from vegetables, fruits, and other foods to drain back into the serving bowl before scooping the food and putting it on the plate.

      Serving Spoon: Look to this solid spoon to serve grains, stuffing, and an assortment of vegetables like peas, corn, and mashed potatoes.

      Sauce ladle: A versatile serving utensil, this spoon has a deep, rounded bowl for spooning sauces, like Hollandaise or Béarnaise sauce over your food. The ladle also serves gravy or soup.

      The meat carving set: Our Sundance 2-piece carving serveware set cuts and serves meat of average thickness, such as chicken, turkey, prime rib, roast beef, or chateaubriand steak.

      Carving knife: The knife is about 11 inches long with a sharp edge and has a rounded blade.  

      Two-pronged fork: About 10 inches long, the fork has two prongs for holding meat while cutting, as well as spearing cut pieces to transfer onto a plate.

      The pasta serving set: Designed for picking up and serving spaghetti, linguine, fettuccini, and angel hair pasta, this Sundance Pasta serveware set includes a pasta fork and a pair of pasta tongs.

      Pasta fork: This unique fork has a deep oval bowl with slots and large wide tines for scooping up pasta noodles without tearing or breaking them. 

      Spaghetti tongs: Ideal for gripping and plating spaghetti and/or meatballs.

      The cake serving set: For those who love to serve delicious cakes and pies to family and guests, our handcrafted Ridge cake serving set in copper includes a knife for cutting and a pie server for placing cake or pie slices onto plates.

      Cake knife: Measuring 11” long, the cake knife has a long blade to cut through delicate cakes and pies with only a few strokes.

      Cake or pastry server: Designed with a triangular blade to hold cake, pie, and other baked goodies, the cake server helps place the dessert on a plate for your guests to enjoy.

      The salad serveware set: This pair of utensils is a must-have for serving salad to family and friends. Hint: Keep your salad in the refrigerator in a mixing bowl and just before dinner toss it lightly with salad dressing and transfer to a clean salad bowl. The Ridge salad serving set includes a large spoon and cut-out fork.  

      Cut-out fork: This rounded fork is part fork and part spoon. Not really for piercing things it acts as a scoop to gently lift salad from serving bowl to plate.  

      Salad spoon: Use together with the fork to gently squeeze the portion of salad that you are lifting from the bowl to hold the portion together while plating it.


      At INOX Artisans we have everything you need for everyday dining or hosting family gatherings and dinner parties. If you’re looking for new copper flatware, we hope you’ll browse our artisan-crafted collection for the best flatware sets for 12 people or more. And when you’re ready to expand your flatware to include a matching serveware set, you’ll find the right serving pieces to suit your needs.  

      Photo credits: Carrie of Pantry To Table 


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