Cutlery / Silverware

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

The restaurants in Europe had great tableware. One thing that struck me were the knives were made to sit blade down on the table. At some restaurants the butter knife had a notch in it, so that it could sit against the plate.

Forks and spoons were laid on the table, facing down. Why? Historically, it was ordered by the King of France, to avoid having his sleeves get caught in the tines of the fork. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

The restaurants in Europe had great tableware. One thing that struck me were the knives were made to sit blade down on the table. At some restaurants the butter knife had a notch in it, so that it could sit against the plate.

Forks and spoons were laid on the table, facing down. Why? Historically, it was ordered by the King of France, to avoid having his sleeves get caught in the tines of the fork. 

I have no clue of the historic reasons, but I always set MY table with knife rests so the butter and jelly do not get on my tablecloth by guests who do not use the butter spreaders. The butter spreaders DO remain on the bread plates when they are present and used.

Generic's picture
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Actually, I think I might have misrepresented the butter knife. The notche was like an angle so that the knife sat at the edge of the plate, but with the knife edge not touching the plate, but instead the edge faced the plate. 

Basically, the notch was in such a way that the knife edge pointed toward the table, but touched nothing, so as not to even make the plate dirty. I had never seen one, this way.

In fact I was so impressed with their cutlery that I'm actually hitting myself that I simply didn't buy a new set when I was there.

Department stores have a section of the store set up as "the art of table setting" and I have to admit that it was quite impressive and very much an art to a level that I hadn't seen before.

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

surley you could order them over the internet? mind postage on the weight would be incrediable!

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What I read was they are placed upside down so guests could see the make and be impressed - I sign of status. 

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