• Susie Wilson


Table Manners

Behaviour to follow

* The fork goes in the left hand and the knife in the right, unless the food may be eaten with just a fork, in which case it should be held in the right hand.

* A good party relies on conversation. The hostess will begin conversation with the guest seated on her right. The other women should follow suit. Halfway through dinner the hostess will direct her conversation to the guest on her left and the guests should do the same.

* On social skills, etiquette and style, talking with food in your mouth must be avoided, even when you have a conversational gem up your sleeve.

* If you are served a meal that is already on the plate wait until everyone has been served before picking up your cutlery. When in a group, offer side dishes around and hold them to assist neighbours.

* Bread rolls are eaten from a side plate to the left. Break off a piece for each mouthful.

Behaviour to avoid

* Holding a knife or fork “like a pen is unacceptable. As are stabbing techniques.

* Never sit next to your spouse at dinner, except when dining alone at home where no alternative is possible.

* Never, ever cut the nose off a triangular wedge.

* Never gesture with cutlery. Don’t scrape or clatter it loudly against your plate or bowl. It is bad manners to clank utensils against your teeth.

* Asparagus should always be eaten with the fingers and never with cutlery, unless it is in sauce.

* After being peeled bananas should be cut with a fork into bite-sized pieces.

* Peas should be squashed on to the back of the fork.

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