Table manners...

Can you pls list /bullet pt. the table manners and eating etiquettes to me…in nutshell

Answer #1
  • The fork is held in your left hand and the knife is held in your right when used at the same time (except for the left-handed, who may prefer to hold the knife in their left hand and the fork in their right).
    • You should hold your knife with the handle in your palm and your fork in the other hand with the prongs pointing downwards.
    • 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.
    • It is not acceptable to use your fingers at the table to eat or push food onto your fork. You may, however, eat some foods such as fruit, sandwiches, burgers, crisps, chips or pizza with your fingers; and fingers are mandatory for eating some items, such as asparagus or gulls’ eggs.
    • If there are a number of knives or forks, then you should start from the outside set working your way in as each course is served.
    • Drinks should always be to the right of your plate with the bread roll 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.
    • You should not start eating before your host does or instructs you to do so. At larger meals, it is acceptable to start eating once others have been served.
    • When you’re finished, place your knife and fork together at six o’clock with your fork on the left (tines facing up) and knife on the right, with the knife blade facing in. This signals that you are finished.
    • Alternatively, when finished, your knife and fork can be placed diagonally at the ten o’clock and two o’clock position, crossed (tines facing down). This signals that you are finished and the plate may be taken away.
    • Your napkin should never be screwed up. 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.
    • 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.
    • If you must leave the table or are resting, your fork should be at eight o’clock 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.
    • The food should be brought to your mouth on the back of the fork; you should sit straight and not lean towards your plate.
    • Dishes should be served from the right, 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 & pepper 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 first if they would like it before taking it yourself.
    • When chewing food, close your mouth and only talk when you have swallowed it.
    • Swallow all food before eating more or having a drink.
    • 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 or bottle should be passed to the person on your left and never passed to the right.
    • Always remember “regular” manners. Remember to say “please” and “thank you”.
    • Never transfer food to your mouth with your knife.
    • Australian table manners are essentially the same, but with the addition that drinking milk from a bowl is considered very heinous.
Answer #2

Thanks, ravia - and do try to relax and enjoy your meal (Me, I’m overjoyed for every meal I don’t have to cook myself)

Answer #3

good, much appreciated.

Answer #4

A lot depends on the circumstances - a formal dinner has a lot more etiquette than a Sunday dinner with your grandparents, for example.

Some very basic rules:

  1. no elbows on the table, ever
  2. sit up straight, don’t slouch
  3. never smoke at the table unless others are doing that
  4. keep your mouth closed when chewing. Chew and swallow first, then talk.
  5. keep your nakpin in your lap, not tucked under your chin or used as a handkercheif 6 watch your hostess (or an older person near you) and take your cues from their behaviour.
  6. don’t start eating till your hostess does, or till the other older people at the table do

Some other points:

  1. if there are lots of forks, knives, spoons etc., watch what your hostess does, or begin from the outside and work your way in as the dinner courses proceed
  2. soup is tricky - some people say to tilt the bowl toward you (so if you spill it goes on you), others say away from you but not directly at your neigh our. Watch the others! And don’t crumble bread or crackers in the soup.
  3. fingerfood or not? Watch the others!
  4. if you have to spit something out, use your napkin, discreetly.
  5. if wine is served, it is often polite to wait for someone to give the first toast before you start drinking. In many places (Scandinavia for example), it’s polite always to toast someone when when you want to sip your wine.

That should get you through most of the tricky stuff. Oh, and remember to make polite conversation with your neighbours on BOTH sides. The arguments and heated discussions can wait till later.

Enjoy your meal!

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