How to Serve to Silver Service Standards

Firstly what is silver service? Silver service is a name given to how you serve your food. This also includes the way you set your table and how you set your cutlery. Silver service is an English term and in many countries silver service is called English service. It is etiquette to serve to the person on the host’s right hand side first. Then is it usual to continue serving in a clockwise direction around the table.

Silver service is not really all that difficult but it can make the difference between an enjoyable meal and a total nightmare of a dinner party.

The basic rule is to serve from the left side of the person and clear from the right hand side of them. The easiest way is to hold the plate you are serving from in your left hand, and serve the food with your right hand. If you are left-handed it may be easier to reverse this process. When you are serving the food try not lean over the customer/diner too much. There is nothing worse than having someone thrust their shoulder close to your face when you are seated. Next,the serving of the food. You can serve with either a fork or spoon, or some people prefer serving with two forks as it can be a little easier to grasp the food this way. The actual serving is probably the most difficult part of silver service to perfect as it takes a lot of practice to pick up the food in one easy go with one hand. It is probably best to have a bit of practice before you actually try to serve to a person to refine your technique. Start with larger pieces of food as these are obviously easier to pick up, and then once you have mastered this try your hand at smaller foods, such as vegetables.

When setting your table make sure your dinnerware, cutlery and glasses are spotless. What is the point of fine dining on dirty tableware. Also check your table ware for chips and cracks. When laying your cutlery make sure you place it so the first course cutlery is on the outer edge and the courses that come later in the meal are placed closer to the dinnerware. When setting your table glasses are usually placed in a certain way. These are usually placed to the right of the dinnerware and placed in a right diagonal according to how many wines will be served. If water glasses are required, these are placed at the front. Lastly don’t forget the finishing touches. Clean pressed cloth napkins are more suitable than the paper types. These can be folded prettily and placed either on a plate or in a glass. If you are having table decorations do not make them too large as you may obscure your guests from having a conversation with each other.