Table Etiquette – How to Behave at the Table
Table Etiquette – for the knowledge of good table manners, or if you’re about to dine in one of the country’s finest restaurants and would like to know some proper table manners. Also included: american table manners, art of the table
The way we eat gives away a great deal about us: this very public exhibition is impossible to hide and says
more about us in one mouthful than what we wear.
Eating is as necessary as breathing. Good manners of eating is an act of kindness. It puts people at ease and enhances the dining experience.
A sloppy eater is distracting and he draws unnecessary attention to himself. It also turns off those eating with him.
Some Table Etiquette Faux pas
- eating with the mouth open
- making noises; slurping, chewing loudly, burping
- talking and gesticulating while eating
- elbows stuck out in a flapping-like-a-chicken position
- holding the fork or knife in stabbing position
- hunching over the food like a dog
Please see more Bad Table Manners.
Taking a Seat in Table Etiquette
If you have invited a friend to dinner, you’re the host and it is a nice gesture to offer seats facing a more interesting view.
If you are a gentleman, do so for the ladies. It will be nice to help her with her chair too, especially if she is wearing a long gown.
If you’re at a dinner party, women and men are seated next to each other, but preferably not to their own husband and wife. This practice is not that common these days, I presume most husbands and wives prefer to seat next to each other.
In some traditional clubs which were formally gentleman’s clubs; my male dinner companions were told nicely to put their dinner jackets on. So please do not
remove your dinner jacket especially if you are dining in the finest hotels and restaurants.
Art of Dinner Conversation
Though most people says anything goes these days – here are some sensitive topics you should be aware of:
- Inappropriate Jokes about race, gender, religion
- Sinister gossip
Boasting, bragging, name dropping or incessant talking will also make anyone unpopular.
Proper Manners at the Table
before dinner to minimize this occurrence.
Planning a Dinner Party
You would need 18 pieces for a usual dinner for 6
I suppose this will be more important if you love cocktail parties and hope to host one soon.
It is elegant to have some uniformity of glassware at the table.
Traditionally, says the royal butler from Paul Burrell, each drink should be served in a different style and different size glass.
Essentials for lunch and dinner – water glass and wine glass
If you are serving red and white wine then you should have a different glass for each.
The white wine glass is smaller and shorter than one for red wine
Champagne should be served in a flute, designed to hold the bubbles for longer
Glasses should not be filled more than two-thirds full. Red wine are only filled one third full.
Setting the Glassware
A general rule, short in front, tall at the back.
You may set the red, white wine, champagne and water as suggested below.
Brandy is served in a balloon glass
Port is served after dinner and is drunk from a small glass (miniature looking wine glass).
Place Table Setting
Just note that knives are always facing to the left and never to the right.