Basic Rules of Table Manners
A few tips and rules for basic table manners...
- Your napkin (avoid calling them serviettes) should be placed on your lap, never tucked it into your shirt. Dab the corners of your mouth if necessary during your meal, do not make grand wiping gestures. When you leave the table place your napkin, unfolded, beside your plate.
- Sit up straight and make sure that your elbows don't encroach on the space of the person beside you. Do not rest your elbows on the table or lean on them when eating.
- If you are served a meal that is already on the plate, wait until everyone has been served before picking up your cutlery.
- When dining in a group, do your bit in offering side dishes around the table, and hold them to assist your neighbour.
- Eat at a relaxed pace and don't wolf down course after course. Pace yourself to match your fellow diners.
- Keep your mouth closed and noise to a minimum. Never smack your chops, or talk with your mouth full. Take care not to take mouthfuls that are too big.
- Talking while there is food in your mouth should be avoided at all costs - even when you have a conversational gem up your sleeve.
- When you have finished, place your knife and fork - with the tines facing upwards - together on your plate.
- If you are confronted with a plateful that is not to your taste, try to soldier on to avoid hurt feelings. Always compliment the cook.