Did you know that for any given meal there could be up to seven glasses associated with it? Yeah. Seven glasses… and each glass for a certain type of drink.
Now I personally learnt to set the table long before I understood the value of eating at one. And even now I can’t say I value it all that much. But aside from the single glass, single plate, single fork, knife, and spoon, I never really considered the possibility of such a large place setting. I mean, I already thought the spoon was over the top because really… how many times do we need both a fork, and a spoon!?
So to learn about seven glasses was well, it was mind-blowing. But then it all made sense because 7 glasses = 7 courses right? But no! You can drink 7 drinks without eating 7 meals… Now that! That was a whole paradigm shift on it’s own.
Because I realised that the British are not stupid. Kings and Queens of old had 7-course meals with 7-course place settings to match. The multi-course table setting you are sure to find at any English restaurant is not a product of the imagination of some old fart with a top-hat sitting in his mansion by the sea. Neither is it a pointless endeavour designed to punish little kids.
It is actually a dynamic and scalable system designed to adjust to the needs of both the server and the consumer such that the table can be set for any number of courses of any kind of meal. It never needs to be set twice, plates and cutlery can be added and cleared on demand, and all without ever seriously disturbing the consumers meal or making the server jump through hoops.
Who knew that we came before such a wonderful feat of engineering as we sat to eat everyday! I certainly didn’t, and I’m sure neither did you! This is what I learnt on my third day in class… and my friends, I see the table in a whole new light.