- The fork is held in your left hand and the knife is held in your right when used at the same time.
- You should hold your knife with the handle in your palm and your fork in the other hand with the tines (prongs) pointing downwards.
- Food should be cut "one piece at a time" directly prior to eating, and then consumed. You may not "carve up" multiple pieces and then proceed to eat them.
- If you’re eating a dessert, your fork (if you have one) should be held in the left hand and the spoon in the right.
- When eating soup, you should hold your spoon in your right hand and tip the bowl away from you, scooping the soup in movements away from yourself. The soup spoon should never be put into the mouth, and soup should be sipped from the side of the spoon, not the end.
- It is not acceptable to use your fingers to push food onto your fork, nor to handle most food items. Some foods such as fruit, bread, sandwiches or burgers may be eaten using fingers, and fingers are mandatory for eating some items, such as asparagus spears, which are traditionally served with sauce on the side for dipping.
- If there are a number of knives or forks, start from the outside set working your way in as each course is served.
- Drinks should always be to the right of the plate with the bread plate to the left.
When eating bread rolls, break off a piece before buttering. Use your knife only to butter the bread, not to cut it.
- Do not start eating before the host does or instructs guests to do so. At meals with a very large number of people, it is acceptable to start eating once others have been served.
When finished, place the knife and fork together at six o’clock with your fork on the left (tines facing down) and knife on the right, with the knife blade facing in. This signals that one has finished.
- The napkin should never be crumpled. Nor should it be folded neatly as that would suggest that your host might plan to use it again without washing it—just leave it neatly but loosely on the table.
- Never blow your nose on your napkin. Place it on your lap and use it to dab your mouth if you make a mess.
- It is considered rude to answer the telephone at the table. If you need to take an urgent call, excuse yourself and go outside.
- Always ask for permission from the host and excuse yourself if you need to leave the table.
- You should place your napkin on your seat until you return. It is considered common courtesy for all gentlemen at the table to stand when a lady arrives or leaves the table.
- If you must leave the table or are resting, your fork should be at eight o’clock tines (prongs) pointing downwards and your knife at four o’clock (with the blade inwards). Once an item of cutlery has been used, it should not touch the table again.
- Food should be brought to your mouth on the back of the fork.
- Dishes should be served from the left, and taken away from the right. Unless the food is placed on your plate at the table, then it should arrive from the left.
- Drinks should be served from the right.
- Never lean across somebody else’s plate. If you need something to be passed, ask the person closest to it. If you have to pass something, only pass it if you are closest to it and pass it directly to them if you can.
- Salt and pepper shakers should be passed together.
- Do not take food from a neighbour’s plate and don’t ask to do so.
- You must not put your elbows on the table.
- If pouring a drink for yourself, offer to pour a drink for your neighbours before serving yourself.
- If extra food is on the table, ask others if they would like it before taking it yourself.
- When chewing food, close your mouth and only talk after you have swallowed it.
- Swallow all food before eating more or drinking.
- Do not slurp your food or eat loudly.
- Never pick food out of your teeth with your fingernails.
- Try to eat all the food you are served.
- Wine glasses should be held by the stem in the case of white wines, and by cupping the bowl in the case of red wines
- If port is served after the meal, then the decanter should be passed to the person on your left and never passed to the right.
- Never transfer food to your mouth with your knife, and never put your knife in your mouth or lick the blade.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Manners- table manners