11 Ideas to Create a Stunning Breakfast Table Setting

Saffron Marigold - Updated: July 3, 2022

A stunning breakfast table setting starts with some beautiful table linens, but there are other ways to elevate your tablescape using complementary dishware, flatware, and decor. Let’s take a look at the different types of breakfast settings you can try, and 11 ideas to help your dream breakfast table setting come to life. Whether it’s for a breakfast party, a boozy brunch, or a romantic breakfast for two, these tablescape ideas take your vision to the next level.

What are the main types of breakfast table settings?

There are several types of breakfast fare, including, but not limited to, continental, American, and English breakfasts. In general, continental breakfasts are lighter, while American and English breakfasts comprise of various hot and cold dishes.

Hence, American and English breakfasts require more elaborate table settings. In particular, you’ll need more dishware and utensils for liquid dishes like soups, oatmeal, porridge, as well as thick meat cuts, salads, and side dishes.

1. A continental breakfast table setting

This breakfast type consists of various pastries, sliced fruit, and other easy-serve food that can be kept at room temperature. Coffee, juice, water, or tea are served, alongside jams, fruit preserves, and butter.

What you’ll need:

  • A dinner plate
  • A mug or glass
  • A fork/spoon and butter knife

2. A semi-full breakfast table setting

Heartier than a continental breakfast, you can take it up a notch with more filling dishes like scrambled eggs, sausages, and potatoes. Serve salads, soups, or yogurts in a small bowl that’s placed to the top left of the dinner plate.

What you’ll need:

  • A dinner plate
  • A small bowl
  • A mug or glass
  • A fork, butter knife, and spoon

3. A full breakfast table setting

If you’re a staunch believer that breakfast is the ‘most important meal of the day,’ then a full menu is definitely warranted. For full English and American breakfasts, you can bring out your best dishware and flatware. You might also offer guests both glass and mug for water plus a beverage. Everyone’s a fan of freshly squeezed orange juice!

What you’ll need:

  • A dinner plate
  • A salad plate
  • A small bowl
  • A mug or glass
  • A fork, butter knife, and spoon

How to set a table for breakfast that will impress your guests

Breakfast is exciting! Sweet or savory, light or heavy, fruity or chocolatey—there’s a dish and side for every taste bud. And, there’s a breakfast table setting for every style and party.

1. Use a serving tray

A serving tray is especially great if you plan on serving guests with a set menu with spill-prone items like soup, coffee, and syrup.

Saffron Marigold

Enchanted – Ivory ~ Rectangular Tablecloth

Enchanted’s Ivory iteration is particularly cheerful, with its network of wildflowers in a French Provincial style.


Willoughby Large Tray

A tray like this can help keep your breakfast table more organized when you’re serving lots of side dishes or condiments. It’s also big enough to hold one of our placemats.

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Enchanted – Blue ~ Table Placemats (Set of 6)

Use this coordinating placemat on top of your serving tray to tie the look together and protect your serving tray’s surfaces from hot plates.

2. Create a serve-yourself pancake or waffle buffet

Nothing pleases guests more than an all-you-can-eat toppings buffet! Place your fruits, granolas, and syrups within easy reach of everyone at the table with some functional dishware.

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Orange Blossom ~ Persian Mediterranean Floral Print Tablecloth

This tropical print is a perfect choice for a lively breakfast party. The orange blossoms and green leaves definitely spark joy!


Kitchen Food Serving Plate

Offer up chopped fruit, scrambled eggs, garnishes, meats, nuts, and chocolate chips with these stylish and uber practical tiered serving plates.

Stonewall Kitchen

Syrup Collection

Top off those beautiful pancakes, crepes, or waffles with a selection of artisan syrups that’ll satisfy every guest’s preference.

3. Serve drinks in batches

Another way to ensure you’re enjoying your breakfast party instead of constantly tending to your guests is by making drinks in large batches. Consider serving least two beverages such as tea, lemonade, or another fruit juice.

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Woodland Ferns ~ Round Tablecloth

Fresh and airy, Woodland Ferns is the best companion to start your day with. The greens and blues energize, and this peaceful print is perfect for brunch outdoors.

Webstaurant Store

Acopa 4 Gallon Raindrop Dispenser

Fill up this quirky drink dispenser with iced beverages for those who enjoy something sweet and tangy for breakfast instead of (or in addition to) coffee. One tip on how to set a table for breakfast with minimal effort is making batch drinks and food.

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Moonlit Taj ~ White Floral Dinner Table Napkins

Don’t forget to pair the Woodland Ferns table cloth with a coordinating table napkin like the blue, white, and green Moonlit Taj pattern.

4. Mix a signature beverage

Planning on hosting a sophisticated garden brunch? Don’t be afraid to infuse your menu with your creative genius! Take your shot at a signature drink, whether it’s your twist on the classic gin and tonic or a never-been-heard-of mocktail.

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Moonlit Taj ~ Elegant Floral White Green Table Runner

This print can be decorated to be dramatic as can be, but it is an elegant, exotic pattern at its core. Hold it in place with a few potted plants on top.


Deco Crystal Highball Glasses

These retro chic crystal glasses hold 13 ounces each, and they’re suitable for classic brunch beverages like Mojitos and Bloody Marys.

Joanna Buchanan

Agate bee coasters

You’ll need something to set your drink glasses on, and these agate coasters are just as elegant as the Moonlit Taj table runner and those crystal glasses.

5. Bake a signature dessert

Nothing more impressive than showcasing your specialty at the breakfast table, complete with the appropriate flatware and serveware.

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Mosaique Bleue ~ Moroccan Tile Print Blue Tablecloth

Mosaique Bleue is a celebratory print that can be used any time of year, thanks to its versatile design. Plus, the multicolor pattern camouflages stains bound to happen at breakfast.

Year & Day

Four-Person Flatware Settings

Don’t forget to set out dessert forks and spoons. In general, the dessert spoon and dessert fork are set above the plate, arranged horizontally and facing opposite directions with the spoon on top.


Pavoes Creamer

Pair your baked dessert with a hot beverage like coffee or tea, and don’t forget to offer creamer to sweeten strong brews. Your breakfast table setting should also include condiment trays, extra utensils, and extra napkins.

6. Offer up freshly baked bread in authentic baskets

Whether you make an enviable brioche or a plain, traditional loaf, serve them up in single-size portions with a genuine bread basket.

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Morning Dew ~ French Country Provence Yellow Round Tablecloth

This French Provincial print was made for classic breakfast meals of bread, sliced fruit, and hot coffee or tea.


Marionville Bread Basket

A hand-woven basket perfect for holding assorted breakfast pastries. Line it with Morning Dew napkins for that French country charm.

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Morning Dew ~ French Country Provence Yellow Blue Dinner Napkins

Though your pastries-only breakfast menu may be minimal, you can be elaborate with your table linen.

7. Elevate the continental buffet style

Lay out fruit platters, baked goods, and finger foods over a sophisticated table runner to make your continental buffet tablescape stunning.

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Victorian Lilac ~ Bohemian Lavender Purple Table Runner

If you’re worried about spillage on your precious table runner (Don’t worry, it’s washable!), serve dry goodies like biscuits and wafers.

West Elm

Kaloh Melamine Outdoor Serveware

When considering how to set a table for breakfast with the least prep available, serving raw or pre-made items can help. Or, serve easy-prep shareable foods like sliced raw veggies or nuts in a practical dishware like this chip and dip design.

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Vanilla Glace ~ Table Placemats (Set of 6)

Make your breakfast table setting even more elegant with this white-on-gold placemat from our Vanilla Glace collection.

8. Serve food in the same colors

How to set a table for a breakfast party that’s all about the looks and the food? Coordinate your table linens with your menu!

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Tropical Garden ~ Colorful Country Cottage Floral Table Cloth

Tropical Garden’s warm colors will match an array of breakfast fruits—mangoes, oranges, bananas, strawberries, and more. The best part is, you simply have to cut and plate fruit!

Neiman Marcus

Pancale Orange Bowl

In this bowl, we can picture an acai smoothie topped with tropical fruits. If you prefer greens, prepare a salad topped with tomatoes, beets, bell peppers, and/or strawberries.

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Tropical Garden ~ Red Floral Country Dinner Napkins

No matter what you’re serving, don’t forget your complementary cloth napkins to amp up your breakfast tablescape.

9. Try a Japanese-inspired theme

For those who like a more low-key breakfast and a more relaxed vibe, try a Japanese Zen theme.

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Pacific Blue ~ Rustic Navy Blue Ocean Oriental Asian Table Runner

Pacific Blue is a calming print with concentric waves and a simple, bicolor scheme. It can be made more elegant or rustic depending on your dishware and centerpiece choices.

Artisan Crafted Home

Terrafirma Ceramics | Seaside Cobalt | 6-pc

To go the more rustic route, use handmade dishware like this set made in the USA. The navy blue and white prints will look lovely with your Pacific Blue linen.


Off-White Ikebana Cage Vase

Incorporate another slice of Japanese culture with this ikebana (art of flower arrangement) vase. It’s a unique piece that works with or without foliage.

10. Move up high tea to the morning

If you enjoy sweets and deluxe tea in the morning, then so be it! No need to wait until late afternoon for your pamper-me treats.

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Vanilla Glace ~ White Gold Romantic Elegant Round Tablecloth

This white-on-gold round tablecloth is step one in ‘How to set a table for breakfast with a high tea theme.’ It’s understated, and it’s the ideal backdrop for all your colorful, delectable sweets.


2-Tiered Server with Gold Edge

Arrange your macarons, macaroons, mini sandwiches, eclairs, and other favorites on this classy two-tiered stand. If you’re hosting a bigger group, try a three-tiered stand or place two of these along your table so everyone has access to the sweets.

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Vanilla Glace ~ White Gold Romantic Elegant Dinner Napkins

To finish setting up your breakfast table for a morning tea party, place matching cloth napkins on top of your dinner plates.

11. Keep it classic

Florals never go out of style, and florals in bright tones for breakfast table scapes? A classic.

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Indian Summer ~ Orange Round India Print Paisley Tablecloths

Indian Summer is an all-time favorite, thanks to its ability to put a smile on anyone’s face. Warm and bright, it’s suitable for any type of breakfast you want to serve.

Balsam Hill

Blooming Beauty

Dress up Indian Summer with a bouquet of flowers like this arrangement of roses, ranunculus, hydranges, and mums. Another idea is to set a bowl of fruit in the middle of your tablescape.

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Indian Summer ~ Table Placemats (Set of 6)

Catch stray pieces of fruit, drips of oatmeal, and splashes of coffee with our matching Indian Summer placemats.

Other tips for setting a beautiful breakfast tablescape

When considering how to set a table for breakfast, always remember that the fork goes on the left of the plate, and the knife and spoon go on the right side of the plate—in that order.

When serving tea or coffee drinks in a cup, use a matching saucer for a touch of elegance. Place the cup and saucer to the top right of the dinner plate. Additionally, coordinate your table runner or cloth with a matching placemat and/or napkin to pull the whole look together.