A quick and easy guide to table manners

Every video or written blog post I see for table manners is fabulous, except there is so much to cover. Sometimes there are videos that are a bit distancing to view, because it is an older person sitting up extremely straight and it can be difficult to relate to them. This is why I’m creating this quick and easy guide of things to remember. If you miss something, go back and watch this again. 

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Practice these things at home first, so when you go out into the public, it’s seamless and natural. When you attend a business meeting you’re able to focus on the conversation and on a date, you’re confident and can focus on your company. 

This is specifically for a date, business dinner, with family, a large party, if you are dining out, at your home or someone else’s home. These all apply everywhere and anywhere.

Remember etiquette is guidelines, not rules. This isn’t protocol. It’s highly suggested, but is flexible. Now I’m going to show you in the most formal way, which is the British way of dining. All these things should be common sense but they’re not commonly used. 

  1. Bring a gift. Never bring wine. 
  2. Set tablescape.
  3. Offer drink.
  4. Seat yourself from the left. Ladies sit left of gentlemen. Sit on ¾ quarters of your chair. 
  5. How to hold utensils with tines down 
  6. How to drink. Don’t have your pinkies up. 
  7. Bless the food. Learn how to say grace in multiple methods. If you’re Catholic, bless it in Latin: Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi, per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. Jewish: Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha–olam ha-motz-i lechem min ha’ar-etz. Christian. Rub a dub dub thanks for the grub. The point is to thank whoever is hosting for the wonderful food. In Denmark, you say, “tak for mad”. In Japanese, itadakimasu. 
  8. Start after host. 
  9. How to toast. 
  10. Napkins lowkey
  11.  Don’t season your food until you taste it first. 
  12. When in doubt, use utensils or do ast the host does.
  13. Arms close in. No wrists. Elbows on table.
  14. No noise on plate. Keep action low.
  15. Bread pass to left then right. Don’t cover whole piece with butter. Bread knife.
  16. Offer dishes first. 
  17. Never let a woman pour h2o.
  18. Don’t talk with your mouth full.
  19. Small bites for conversation.
  20. Dessert is eaten differently from soup.
  21. Eat slowly: formal: rest position.
  22. Don’t hold cutlery all the way through dining.
  23. Never point utensils. Even when setting table.
  24. Don’t lick your knife or stab things to pick them up.
  25. Sandwiches cut ½
  26. Fold salad. No rips. 
  27. Hair in food.
  28. Finished position
  29. Don’t push your plate away or stack plates when you’re done. 
  30. Help clean at home.

Find more etiquette posts here. Interested in a live lesson? Click the link below and book a course with me. I look forward to sharing all the tools to help you become the most polished version of yourself!

Gia G. Dixon
Gia G. Dixon

I’m Gia G. Dixon, an etiquette consultant certified under Royal Charter of King Charles III. Here is my guide to elegant style, high quality living, and little things that make your daily life glamorous.

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