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Table Manners and Settings | Etiquette


 

 

We have all seen Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" and most of us remember the scene where she was in a fancy restaurant and didn’t know the first thing about using the utensils, or any table manners for that matter. Table etiquette has always been associated with  snobbish people who just "know-it-all". However, people now are going out more often, hospitality has become a large part of our daily lives, no one cooks for anyone anymore.

However it is always interesting to know Table rules and try to apply them, it kind of gives a sense of power infront of those who are etiquette-challenged.

I know and believe in the "mom is always right " saying, but nevertheless there are some points she missed out on when raising us into the world, I will list some interesting table manner rules I found out:

1- It is better to use a fork than a spoon, leave the spoon for soup, yogurt, or ice cream. And even better to use two utensils at the same time i.e. a fork and a knife.

2- Fold a lettuce , like the French, and don’t cut it.

3- Don’t push your plate away at the end of a meal.

4- Don’t lean back on your chair, there is a big chance you flip.

5- Never wave your utensils in the air no matter how interesting your story is.

6- Leave you napkin on your chair when you excuse yourself to the bathroom.

7-Try everything served, refrain from making faces or indicating something you dislike.

8- Always pass the salt and the pepper together.

9-Don’t be loud (yeah right in our community).

10- Eat bread piece by piece, don’t gulf it down.

11- Put your fork down between bites, if you don’t it means you are eating too fast. The handles of the fork or knife are not supposed to touch the table once used. Place the knife at the top of the plate with the sharp edge facing toward you.

12-In case you need to blow your nose, please go out of the room.

13- Contrary to common belief, you should NOT wait for everyone to start eating, eat hot food when served, of course after hosts indicate you shall start.

14-Easy rule when you see over a dozen utensils start outward and work your way to the serving plate.

15-  To indicate you finished your meal, this took my brother a hospitality course at university to realize, place your fork and knife side-by-side (parallel) on the plate, either horizontally or diagonally. The tines of the fork can be up or down, but generally when eating European style, the tines are down.

Serving basics:

1- Remove and place all dishes from the right, but foods passed must be offered from the left to allow guest to use his right hand in serving himself.

2- Fill water glasses from the right.

3- Just before serving dessert, clear table of everything except centerpiece.


Photos taken from:

Tony Breiss

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