Table Manners(Western etiquette)

1) As soon as the hostess picks up her napkin, pick yours up and lay it on your lap. Sometimes a roll of bread is wrapped in it; if so, toke it out and put it on your side plate.

2) The Soup Course

Dinner usually begins with soup. The largest spoon at your place is the soupspoon. It will be beside your plate at the right-hand side.

3) The Fish Course

If there is a fish course, it will probably follow the soup. There may be a special fork for the fish, or it may be similar to the meat fork. Often it is smaller.

4) The Meat Course

The main Course is usually served by the host himself, especially if it is a fowl or a roast which need to be carved. He will often ask each guest what piece he prefers, and it is quite proper to state your preference as to lean or fat, dark or light.

Table Manners(Western etiquette)

Table Manners(Western etiquette)


5) Using Knife and Fork

If you have English and American friends you will notice a few differences in their customs of eating. For the main or meat course, the English keep the fork in the left hand, point curved downward, and bring the food to the mouth either by sticking the points onto it or in the case of soft vegetables, by placing it firmly on the fork in this position with the knife. Americans carve the meat in the same position, then lay down the knife and taking the fork in the right hand with the point turned up, push it under a small piece of food without the help of the knife and bring it to the moth right-side-up.

6) Helping Yourself and Refusing

If a servant passes food around, he will pass the dish in at your left hand so that you can conveniently serve yourself with your right hand. Never serve yourself while the dish is on your right; it is then the turn of your neighbor on the right. It is polite to take some of everything that is passed to you. But if there is something you may not like, you may quietly say: "No thank you."Zanzibar

7) Second Helpings

The hostess may or may not ask if you would like a second helping, according to the formality of the meal. If she does and you accept it, you should pass your plate to her or to the servant with the knife and fork still lying on it.

8) The Salad Course

A salad is eaten with a fork only held in the right hand with points turned up. There is usually a special one for the salad, a little smaller than the meat fork.

9) Bread and Butter

Bread is taken in the fingers and laid on the side plate or the edge of the large plate, it is never take with a fork. Butter is taken from the butter dish with the butter knife and placed on the side plate, not on one's bread.

10) Other Things on the Table

When there are things on the middle of the table, such as bread, butter, jelly, pickles, nits, candies, you should not take any until the hostess has suggested that they be passed.

11) Leaving the Table

It is impolite for a guest to leave the table during a meal, or before the hostess gives the signal at the end. When the hostess indicates that the dinner is over, she will start to rise from her seat and all the guests will rise from theirs at the same time.

12) Various rules and Suggestions

Sit up straight on your chair; Do not put much food in your mouth at a time; Drink only when there is no food in your mouth; Try not to get into your mouth anything that will have to be taken out; Do not make any nose when you eat; Do not clean your teeth at the table or anywhere in public, either with your finger or a tooth pick, not even with you tongue.

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