Your AAA Network

Table Talk: How to Set a Diamond Table

Breakfast table at Ocean House in Westerly, Rhode Island

A table setting at AAA Five Diamond Rated Ocean House in Westerly, R.I., is thoughtfully arranged.

(Photo: Cassandra Raposo)

At a AAA Five Diamond Rated resort such as Ocean House in Westerly, R.I., guests can expect luxurious, personalized service.

Take the napkin, for example. Whether you receive a black or white cloth napkin – rolled up like Thai ice cream and gently placed in front of you with a pair of tongs – depends on the color of your clothing. You wouldn’t want to get white lint on your black pants or dress, after all.

Every detail – from the French china and homemade sea salt (yes, you read that right), down to the silverware placement – comes together to make an unforgettable dining experience.

Click here to find a Diamond Rated hotel or restaurant near you.

Want to recreate a similar experience at home? Restaurant leaders and waitstaff recently shared their secrets to setting the perfect table.

  • Place several drinking glasses to the right of guests’ plates: one for plain water, another for sparkling water and a third for Champagne. Ask which they’d prefer, then remove the other two glasses.
  • Use different utensils based on what guests are eating. For example, fish knives may be a bit funny-looking, but they’re perfect for removing bones from cooked fish. Appetizer forks and knives are smaller than entree forks and knives. Steak knives have a sharp tip and serrated edge, made for cutting thick portions of meat. Soup spoons are more circular than dessert spoons, made to hold as much broth as possible.
  • Fold cloth napkins into fun shapes. Luckily, you don’t have to be an origami master to bring art to the table. There are helpful step-by-step instructions with photos online for doing every fold there is – from a simple pyramid to an intricate lotus fold.
  • Set the mood with decorations. At dinner, a candle in the center of the table will set the mood. At breakfast or lunch, a colorful flower in a small vase will brighten up the table.
  • Provide several different types of salt and pepper for your guests to sprinkle on their food.
  • Place utensils a fingernail length away from the edge of the table – close enough for guests to comfortably reach them, yet far enough to keep them from falling off.
  • Open up a dessert box or bring out a three-tier dessert stand at the end of the meal to get one last smile out of your guests.

Curious about the AAA inspection process? Check out our behind-the-scenes look at a restaurant inspection.

What steps do you take to impress your dinner guests? Tell us in the comments below!

Book your stay at a AAA Diamond Rated hotel such as Ocean House with AAA Travel.

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