The illustration (above) gives an approximate disposition for a table set for 20 places at the moment the guests arrive.
A carafe is placed between each place: on one side a carafe of water, on the other, a carafe of table wine. Before each place are four glasses: a water glass, a Bordeaux glass, a Madeira glass and a Champagne glass. They can be placed a straight line or in a square, whichever pleases you more. Put the tallest first.
Small double salts are distributed so that each guest has one within reach.
At n°1, in the centre and at either end of the table, baskets of flowers.
At one of the n°2, placed in turn, the fish, tête de veau en tortue, etc., which will be replaced by a roast, and later, at dessert by a compote, or a raised fruit plate; at the other n°2 a pâté or a ham or display of shells which is not touched during the first service and which is replaced, at dessert, also by a compote, or a raised fruit plate.
At nº3, the entrées, - fish, red meat, poultry, game, replaced by the entremets, - 2 egg or vegetable entremets and to be 2 sweet entremets, - and at dessert by the compotes or raised fruit plates.
At n°4, fruit compotes.
At nº5, compotes or plates with petits fours or confectionery.
At n°6, sugar bowls, one for granulated sugar, the other for sugar cubes.
At n°7, crystal compotes for jams, fruit conserves or fruits in eau-de-vie; and later the cheeses beneath their crystal covers.
At nº8, dessert plates, walnuts, almonds, dried figs, raisins, chestnuts, etc.
At n°9, lamps.
At nºs 10, candlesticks.
At n°11, eight hors-d'œuvres.
If one owns dish warmers they are to be placed beneath the dishes which should be eaten hot. They should also be placed under other plates for the sake of symmetry; but these should not be lit.
Émile Dumont 'La Bonne Cuisine française', Paris, 1873
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