I was fortunate enough to come across a set of fancy dinnerware from one of my favorite dollhouse suppliers, MothersMiniTreasures, a few days before I went on my little trip. In the realm of 1/12 scale, dishes (and “china” especially) are often priced the same way a life-sized plate, or teacup, or butterknife would be. It’s difficult to find nice ones, at least for me.
A long story short, I was able to order them before I left, and I came home with a little package chuck full of plastic “china”. This set is truly meant for formal parties; there are two spoons, two forks, a knife, a teacup and saucer, a bread plate, a soup bowl, and a dinner plate. And that’s per place setting.
So the question presents itself: how do you set a table with this many dishes? Does the salad fork go on the outside because you use it first, or is it the dessert fork because it’s smaller? Does the bread plate go on the right or the left? There’s a lot of knowledge involved, most of which I don’t have.
In the end, I just used the picture on the packaging as a reference, but then I decided to do a little back research too. One of the first things I came across was this image, which made me laugh.
At least at my house, “informal dining” consists of throwing mismatching dishes on the table and hoping that the fork lands on the left while the knife ends up on the right. Need I mention that we don’t drink our water from stemware?
Of course, I didn’t tell the imaginary leprechaun-sized people living in the doll all this, because they needed to get in the swing of things, just in case they’re ever invited to a formal ball or something. (They are pretty new to the neighborhood, and haven’t made any friends yet). So they puttered around all morning while I hacked an old diaper box into a lightbox for photography. When they finally got their act together, they pulled out their old camera and snapped this shot.
One of them promptly commented that the wallpaper looks lovely in all the photos they take of it. This is prop wallpaper, because I couldn’t fit the whole kitchen into the lightbox. It’s a sample, for them. Just between us, if they think they’re getting new wallpaper less than three months after the first pattern’s installed, they’re seriously mistaken.
All right, I’m done with my little spiel. Now it’s your turn. Are formal place settings as in “this spoon goes here” dead? Should they be? Tell me what you’re thinking. We can have a conversation.