Setting the Shabbat Table

Set the Shabbat table with nice tableware and tablecloth.  The custom is to have the table set and have bread on the table before Shabbat starts. 
The tablecloth should cover the table during Shabbat meals, but you may remove and switch tablecloths. Even if you have a beautiful and valuable table, you should still cover it for Shabbat (and Jewish festival) meals.
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I just read this halacha, Setting the Shabbat Table, at www.practicalhalacha.com. I think you will find it very interesting.