Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Manners Maketh the (Wo)Man

Just becasue it is the 21st Century, it is no excuse to not mind your manners so I provide a simple list of Dos and Don'ts for your next fancy dinner party. Or for parents wanting a challenge, for implementing every night :-)

10 Things Not to Do at a Dinner Party


  • NEVER start eating before a signal from the host to do so.

  • Forks should not be turned over unless being used for eating peas, sweetcorn kernels, rice or other similar foods. In which case, it should be transferred to the right hand. However, at a casual buffet, or barbecue, it is quite acceptable to eat with just a fork.

  • It is not generally regarded as good dinner table etiquette to use one's bread for dipping into soups or mopping up sauces.

  • Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite. The number one sin of dinner table etiquette!
    Talking with one's mouth full. is not only unpleasant to watch, but could also lead to choking! Definitely not a good idea!

  • Don't stretch across the table crossing other guests to reach food, wine or condiments. Instead ask a guest sitting close to pass the item to you.

  • Good dinner table etiquette sometimes involves a degree of diplomacy when it comes to the host's choice of food and wine! Even if you feel that you can do better, don't ever offer your criticism. If you feel unable to pay any compliments, at least remain silent on the subject.

  • Picking teeth (unless toothpicks are provided) or licking fingers are very unattractive! The only exception to the latter is when eating meat or poultry on the bone (such as chicken legs or ribs). In which case, a finger bowl should be provided.

  • Drinking too much wine can be very embarrassing! Where a different wine is served with each course, it is quite acceptable to not finish each glass.

  • Don't forget to make polite conversation with those guests around you. Dinner parties are not just about the food, they are intended to be a sociable occasion!

10 Things To Do At A Dinner Party


  • Once seated, unfold your napkin and use it for occasionally wiping your lips or fingers. At the end of dinner, leave the napkin tidily on the place setting.


  • It is good dinner table etiquette to serve the lady sitting to the right of the host first, then the other ladies in a clockwise direction, and lastly the gentlemen.


  • Hold the knife and fork with the handles in the palm of the hand, forefinger on top, and thumb underneath.
    Whilst eating, you may if you wish rest the knife and fork on either side of the plate between mouthfuls. When you have finished eating, place them side by side in the center of the plate.

  • If the food presented to you is not to your liking, it is polite to at least make some attempt to eat a small amount of it. Or at the very least, cut it up a little, and move it around the plate!

  • It is quite acceptable to leave some food to one side of your plate if you feel as though you have eaten enough. On the other hand, don't attempt to leave your plate so clean that it looks as though you haven't eaten in days!

  • Desserts may be eaten with both a spoon and fork, or alternatively a fork alone if it is a cake or pastry style sweet.

  • Should a lady wish to be excused for the bathroom, it is polite for the gentlemen to stand up as she leaves the table, sit down again, and then stand once more when she returns.

  • Always make a point of thanking the host and hostess for their hospitality before leaving.

  • It is good dinner table etiquette to send a personal thank you note to the host and hostess shortly afterwards.

11 comments:

Hootin' Anni said...

I don't think anyone does the 'thank you' notes anymore. But it would be nice to go back to the 'old ways'.

Great HoT....mine's up.

MiLeTTe said...

great list. i think everbody needs to be reminding of this etiquettes from time to time especially the younger generation.

mine is posted here. hope you can drop by. thanks.

Tammy said...

I'm constantly telling my kids and nephews about their table manners.

Tina said...

uw i know what you mean, i cant stand people making ' food noises' and talking with their mouth full. it drives me mad lol

My hots is here:
http://www.mummydiariesblog.com/2008/08/heads-or-tails-edition-50.html

cj said...

Some old traditions are sorely missed, aren't they?

cjh

bevies-place said...

I can't remember the last time a man stood up when I stood up...and I know I should send thank you notes, but I never think of it.

I have a A chart of good manners up at my place.

-Bev

Dawn said...

I think as a mom it is very important to teach them some of these manners. It feels like manners just aren't as important as they once were, but they most definitely should be. Have a great week!

Siani said...

Great post. I think manners of all kind have fallen by the wayside over recent years. It's such a shame. Happy HoT!

storyteller said...

What a ‘thoughtful’ response of do’s and don’ts for ‘Dinner Parties’ … wonderfully shared.
Hugs and blessings,

tumblewords said...

Informative list of manners! Too bad they are not often evidenced in everyday life.

peppylady said...

Great post and I could use these as friendly reminder.