Silver Service

For the traditional 17th century upper class family, silver service was the standard style of dining throughout many British households. Silver service is the most formal way to serve a meal and there are rigorous rules to follow regarding the entire process. Silver service forms the original basis for all fine dining styles both in restaurants and at home. In a nutshell, the difference between silver and ordinary service is that the former is served at the table from silver dishes with either a fork and spoon or two forks (to act as pincer grips) and is served from the right, whereas the latter is served in the kitchen and brought to the table plated.

The waiters (wearing formal black and whites) place the silver dishes down on the centre of the table, then simultaneously serve from each silver platter and dish, always from the right-hand side, with fork and spook in one hand. The guest to the right of the host is served first and the host is served last. Each platter should be held low and close to the plate of the guest being served and never obstructing their seat or eyeline. Waiters should be swift and polite. The whole service should be carefully choreographed to ensure that it feels seamless and pleasant for all the guests, and there should be enough waiters to attend to each side of the table, so that everyone is served together.

There are a number of different styles of silver service including Informal, Formal, Butler, English, French, American and Russian. If you are going to work in service on a yacht you would be required to have a good understanding of all silver service.

If you are looking for experience in silver service, you should look into working at high end functions through catering firms or if you are already working your way up in a domestic service situation, ask your House Manager if you might be able to try some waiter service first. In order to do silver service, you will need to have already been a professional waiter with a good amount of experience in high end service.