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Breakfast Table Setting

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mooseberry

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All right, here is my question to the long time pro's

When setting the breakfast table, what is the easiest way to go?
Put all the food on a platter and have them help theirselfes or serve them individually?
Right now I start with a dessert plate on the placemat, for muffins, breads, etc., next to it is a fruit cup. Then when I serve the main course, I serve them restaurant style and trade for the desert plate.
Most people , I noticed, don't eat muffins or other goodies before breakfast, but rather after. But they do eat the fruit cup.
If I only have the glass, a coffee cup and silver ware on the table, it looks a little sad. How can I save the desert plates ? It seems like waste of time and dishes.
What type of set-up or order works best for you?
Thanks,
Maggie
 

JeannineIrish

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I put the little dessert (bread plate) at the top of the placemat to the left of the footed juice glass. I put the napkin (cloth of course) in the juice glass. The bread plate stays out throughout the entire breakfast. Baked goods are put in a basket containing a colorful cloth napkin I used to put a dinner plate between the flatware on which to put the plate with fuit. Realized after 8 years that I didn't need to do that because the fruit, even if in a bowl, is served on a plate. Save have to wash an extra dish that really didn't get used.
Our entree's are plated. Ocassionaly I may serve breakfast meat on a separate plate family style especially if there are teenagers at the table or not sure how much side meat will get eaten.
 

gillumhouse

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I recently bought chargers. How I set the table depends on what is being served. Pancakes or baked pineapple toast does not get the bread plate. Usually though, the charger has the dinner plate on it, on the center of the plate is a Fostoria sherbet (or a small pretty glass bowl) for the fruit on a small paper doily. To the right is a glass knife rest with silver knife and beside the knife 2 silver teaspoons (one for fruit and one for coffee/tea) and at the tip of the knife is cup and saucer. To the left of the plate is the silver (plate of course) dinner fork and salad fork (some people prefer to eat fuit with a fork, a cloth napkin with glass napkin ring, and a bread plate with a butter spreader on it (and if serving English muffin bread, there is a steak knife tucked under the bread plate to cut their lof of bread). In front of the charger & plate is a stemmed Fostoria (or other WV glass) water goblet and a stemmed wine goblet for juice.
There is always a pitcher of water, a pitcher of OJ, and a pitcher of a non-citric juice. There is a plate of mini muffins, butter dish, (if bread today) a small dish of apple butter and one of jelly, and in the center of the table a trivet for the entree which is brought out (served family-style to avoid waste) with the bread after they have had time to have their juice and fruit. Coffee and or tea is also already on the table as is the cream, sugar, and phony sugars. Tea drinkers also have a custard cup next to their cup for the used tea bags. The place setting surprises guests because they do not expect to see this kind of setting in Podunk.
Using mini-muffins gives me enough yeild that I can offer guests "a care package of muffins" for their journey or day trip. Warm & fuzzie!
 

Samster

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We do plated serving here, as I think that it's a service that's in line with our rates & style here. Cloth napkins, napkin rings (or special folds), sometimes plate chargers, china, silver, and crystal - the whole shebang. Early coffee is on at 7 am in the dining room if they don't want to use the coffee maker in their suite or use our Tassimo in the Main House guest service area. There's also an electric kettle with large variety of teas in a tea box.
We serve the fruit course first, then ask if guests want juice. We were offering juice first & then found that they weren't drinking it after they saw the fruit course. I always have ice water. Some cokes for the soda drinkers are available. Depending on the size of the guest group & the type of hot entree (size & sides), I'll plate the baked good or put them on a large cake server or crystal plate before I bring in the entree. By putting the baked goods on a serving plate for everyone, I found there was less waste when we had a hearty sweet breakfast entree.
People always say that there'e plenty of food and I've learned to adjust a few things so that we'd have less waste (fewer Belgian Waffle sections, French bread slices, pancakes, for example, than what I started out serving).
We've been open almost 4 months and it seems to be working for us...I think you have to figure out what works for your type of place & personal style.
 

mooseberry

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I recently bought chargers. How I set the table depends on what is being served. Pancakes or baked pineapple toast does not get the bread plate. Usually though, the charger has the dinner plate on it, on the center of the plate is a Fostoria sherbet (or a small pretty glass bowl) for the fruit on a small paper doily. To the right is a glass knife rest with silver knife and beside the knife 2 silver teaspoons (one for fruit and one for coffee/tea) and at the tip of the knife is cup and saucer. To the left of the plate is the silver (plate of course) dinner fork and salad fork (some people prefer to eat fuit with a fork, a cloth napkin with glass napkin ring, and a bread plate with a butter spreader on it (and if serving English muffin bread, there is a steak knife tucked under the bread plate to cut their lof of bread). In front of the charger & plate is a stemmed Fostoria (or other WV glass) water goblet and a stemmed wine goblet for juice.
There is always a pitcher of water, a pitcher of OJ, and a pitcher of a non-citric juice. There is a plate of mini muffins, butter dish, (if bread today) a small dish of apple butter and one of jelly, and in the center of the table a trivet for the entree which is brought out (served family-style to avoid waste) with the bread after they have had time to have their juice and fruit. Coffee and or tea is also already on the table as is the cream, sugar, and phony sugars. Tea drinkers also have a custard cup next to their cup for the used tea bags. The place setting surprises guests because they do not expect to see this kind of setting in Podunk.
Using mini-muffins gives me enough yeild that I can offer guests "a care package of muffins" for their journey or day trip. Warm & fuzzie!.
Now that is detail...very nice.
So far I have set my table like this: top left corner, coffee cup and saucer, fruit cup in long stemed chrystal to the right. Top right corner juice glass, silverware right below. Cloth napkins with golden spiral like holder. Dessrt plate for baked goodies in center of setting, which I trade for main course when served.
I like the idea of knife holder and bread boards. where can I get them? Recomandations?
Here in Tok, too, people do not expect such an "elegant" table setting or anything about my place. They think "rugged Alaska" and are very surprised when they enter the house and rooms. The outside is very deceiving (hope I spelled that right...)
Thanks for everyones reply, I think I am going to make a few changes.....
 

gillumhouse

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I recently bought chargers. How I set the table depends on what is being served. Pancakes or baked pineapple toast does not get the bread plate. Usually though, the charger has the dinner plate on it, on the center of the plate is a Fostoria sherbet (or a small pretty glass bowl) for the fruit on a small paper doily. To the right is a glass knife rest with silver knife and beside the knife 2 silver teaspoons (one for fruit and one for coffee/tea) and at the tip of the knife is cup and saucer. To the left of the plate is the silver (plate of course) dinner fork and salad fork (some people prefer to eat fuit with a fork, a cloth napkin with glass napkin ring, and a bread plate with a butter spreader on it (and if serving English muffin bread, there is a steak knife tucked under the bread plate to cut their lof of bread). In front of the charger & plate is a stemmed Fostoria (or other WV glass) water goblet and a stemmed wine goblet for juice.
There is always a pitcher of water, a pitcher of OJ, and a pitcher of a non-citric juice. There is a plate of mini muffins, butter dish, (if bread today) a small dish of apple butter and one of jelly, and in the center of the table a trivet for the entree which is brought out (served family-style to avoid waste) with the bread after they have had time to have their juice and fruit. Coffee and or tea is also already on the table as is the cream, sugar, and phony sugars. Tea drinkers also have a custard cup next to their cup for the used tea bags. The place setting surprises guests because they do not expect to see this kind of setting in Podunk.
Using mini-muffins gives me enough yeild that I can offer guests "a care package of muffins" for their journey or day trip. Warm & fuzzie!.
Now that is detail...very nice.
So far I have set my table like this: top left corner, coffee cup and saucer, fruit cup in long stemed chrystal to the right. Top right corner juice glass, silverware right below. Cloth napkins with golden spiral like holder. Dessrt plate for baked goodies in center of setting, which I trade for main course when served.
I like the idea of knife holder and bread boards. where can I get them? Recomandations?
Here in Tok, too, people do not expect such an "elegant" table setting or anything about my place. They think "rugged Alaska" and are very surprised when they enter the house and rooms. The outside is very deceiving (hope I spelled that right...)
Thanks for everyones reply, I think I am going to make a few changes.....
.
Go to eBay and search on knife rests or if you have some antique shops nearby make it part of your "fun day" as an antique shop crawl looking for them. eBay is faster and you will find ALL kinds and shapes. I use the dessert plates of my fancy set and dessert/sald plates of my Pfaltzgraff set for the bread plates. You could (if your DH is the type) have him make you little bread boards out of wood or look in the housewares section for the small size plastic looking (cannot think of the material for the life of me right now) ones.
 

Morticia

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OK, my table will sound 'sad' to you! I put a folded cloth napkin on the table and the silverware on top. Stop. The End.
All the plates, glasses, cups, etc come out with the food. If someone doesn't want juice or coffee, then I don't have all those extra dishes to wash!
Guests help themselves to coffee/tea and take those cups to the table with them. I bring out the fruit and ask if they would like juice. Then I bring out the breakfast. We don't have breads and muffins.
 

trishany

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We used to bake muffins, bananna bread, etc, but we found that the guests were not eating this as they seem to be more health conscious now.
We set the table with: placement (used to do tablecloth, but no more -- too much ironing) mug, juice glass and water glass, and, of course, silverware and cloth napkin. Oh, we just started placing bottled water at each setting too. It's so much easier than filling up water jugs and finding a place on table for them (we have 8 guests at a time at table). And, two coffee urns.
I always know if someone wants tea. I ask them, when they book, if they like coffee or tea in morning and, if they have any dietary restrictions.
We keep the plates in the kitchen. As each couple comes down for brkfst, we make ONE plate, which includes alot of fruit and their main course, all on one plate. Easy and they love it.
 

seashanty

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OK, my table will sound 'sad' to you! I put a folded cloth napkin on the table and the silverware on top. Stop. The End.
All the plates, glasses, cups, etc come out with the food. If someone doesn't want juice or coffee, then I don't have all those extra dishes to wash!
Guests help themselves to coffee/tea and take those cups to the table with them. I bring out the fruit and ask if they would like juice. Then I bring out the breakfast. We don't have breads and muffins..
haha - my table 'setting' is the same!
i use red napkins and yellow napkins
knife fork and spoon on the napkin
little butter dish, salt and pepper shakers, maple syrup if i'm doing a syrup thing. that's it for 'setting'. if i have flowers, then flowers on the table.
guests help themselves to coffee and juice and carry it to the table. they toast their toasts if that is what they want while waiting for me to 'serve'
the presentation on my plates is always pretty and plentiful ... the focus is on the food. not fancy but sometimes fanciful
 

YellowSocks

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk.
 

Samster

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
Good idea to post a picture! For some reason I can't do that here :-(
 

Morticia

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
That's on your website, right?
 

YellowSocks

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
Good idea to post a picture! For some reason I can't do that here :-(
.
You have to go to your account and upload it there, then post your post and insert the image from your list.
=)
Kk.
 

Samster

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
Good idea to post a picture! For some reason I can't do that here :-(
.
You have to go to your account and upload it there, then post your post and insert the image from your list.
=)
Kk.
.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh...that's right! Here we go:

 

mooseberry

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
This is a great looking setting....how do you fold the napkins like that?
Molded butter patties? is there a ool for that?
I love to impress/surprise my guests, that would be the perfect set up for me....
Thanks for sharing :)
 

mooseberry

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
Good idea to post a picture! For some reason I can't do that here :-(
.
You have to go to your account and upload it there, then post your post and insert the image from your list.
=)
Kk.
.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh...that's right! Here we go:

.
This is more like I have mine now, and sometimes the table gets a little crowed....I also don't have much serving space in the kitchen or dining room, but I could put the baked goods on the counter with small plates, maybe they get the hint.
Looks great :)
 

MTLLodge

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
Good idea to post a picture! For some reason I can't do that here :-(
.
You have to go to your account and upload it there, then post your post and insert the image from your list.
=)
Kk.
.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh...that's right! Here we go:

.
Your making me hungry!

 

Samster

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
This is a great looking setting....how do you fold the napkins like that?
Molded butter patties? is there a ool for that?
I love to impress/surprise my guests, that would be the perfect set up for me....
Thanks for sharing :)
.
You can mold butter in candy molds...if you have the time, it's impressive :)
 

YellowSocks

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
This is a great looking setting....how do you fold the napkins like that?
Molded butter patties? is there a ool for that?
I love to impress/surprise my guests, that would be the perfect set up for me....
Thanks for sharing :)
.
The molded butter is from either candy molds (all of mine are from yard sales), or from ice cube molds. The one I have I think is for ice cubes... it's more rubber and flexible. The plastic candy molds get brittle if you leave them in the freezer too long, which, since I'm lazy busy the butter tends to stay in the mold in the freezer quite a while. But I'm finding I can do it the morning I make breakfast if I forgot or ran out... start with soft butter, press into the molds (squeeze the air out) and pop in the freezer just long enough for the butter to firm up. Or, if already molded, place on the dishes at the beginning of breakfast prep and by the time the guests sit down it's soft enough to use while still holding it's shape. You could also use a pastry tube and decorator nozzle, but you have to have the butter at just the right temp and I think these look cooler.
I got a book from the library on the napkins. There's probably stuff online as well. That pattern is a variation of one called a "Bishop's Hat." (True bishop's hat has the ends tucked in, I usually let them spread out like a flor de lis.) The other one I use a lot is called "fortune cookie" cause it looks kind of like one and they use it a lot in nice Chinese restaurants.
Don't know if you'll be able to follow this, but here goes... a square napkin really works best for the bishop's hat, but you can fudge it if it's not perfect.
1) Fold napkin point to point to make a triangle, with the fold at the top (away from you).
2) Bring the outside corners down to the point nearest you.
3) Fold those same two corners up to the new point formed in step two.
4) Fold the point nearest you up about halfway to the middle, then fold the same edge again up to the middle, then fold it a third time over the upper half (this triple fold/roll makes the base).
5) Holding it all together carefully flip the whole works over, keeping the top point still at the top.
6) Take the outside corners (left and right) and fold them in, tucking one into the other. I sometimes fold them this far and store them like this.
7) Flip it back over.
8) Take the front points and tuck them into the band at the base (for true Bishop's Hat), or fold them down and let them drape to either side.
9) Pull the back out a little to open it up so it will stand on its own.
Voila!
Fortune Cookie:
1) Fold napkin point to point to make a triangle, with fold nearest to you and point at the top.
2) Fold the outside corners up to the top point.
3) Flip it over by bringing the top toward you (old top is now nearest you).
4) Fold the entire napkin in half by bringing the bottom point up to the top point.
5) Bring outside corners together.
Voila!
Good luck!
=)
Kk.
 

YellowSocks

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Table cloth, placemat, silverplate silverware (2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives if serving homemade bread, or just one if not), fruit cup on little dish on top of plate. Across the top (left to right) are specially folded napkin, individual salt & pepper, molded butter pats on glass dish, stem glass, cut glass, coffee cup. Fruit is on the table when they come down, as well as tray with milk, ice water, and juice, plus a carafe of coffee with cut glass creamer and sugar. The entree is brought out on a serving platter with side meat in a separate serving dish, plus homemade bread on a cutting board (or other bread in a different dish)... I lose some fruit, but there's very little waste for the entree, meat and bread since we can eat the leftovers.

=)
Kk..
That's on your website, right?
.
Not yet, but I took it one day during a "photo shoot" as I was trying to get a good picture for the site.
=)
Kk.
 
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