Dining with good manners is the best way to make a lasting impression. It is always nice to have some good etiquette when attending engagement parties, weddings and dinner parties this season. Here are some of our top tips for ensuring that you are making a good impression at your dining table.
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#1 Don’t be late!
There is no such thing as fashionably late when invited to a dinner party, reception, wedding, etc. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early so you are not the one that everyone is waiting on.
#2 Flatware is positioned in the logical order of it’s use.
In other words– move towards the plate. Diners should use the outside fork for the salad, the middle fork for the fish course and the inner fork for the dinner entree itself. Knives and spoons sit to the right of the plate, work from the outside in.
#3 Dine as quietly as possible.
There is nothing more unflattering while dining with guests than chewing with your mouth open. Chew with your mouth closed and don’t slurp when you’re eating soup. Also, cut your entree one piece at a time. Finish chewing and swallowing before speaking and never talk with food in your mouth.
#4 Take smaller portions.
When dining buffet-style, avoid filling your plate full and taking large amounts of everything. It is more elegant to take smaller portions and making another trip to the buffet if you’re still hungry. Want to try some of the food that your friend has? Take a small portion on your bread-and-butter plate and pass it along; please don’t eat off each others’ plates.
#5 Put your cell phone away.
This may be the hardest one in this day in age, but unless someone is ill or you are a doctor on call, there is no need to have a cell hone at the dinner table. if you need to make a call, excuse yourself to another room.
#6 Be polite.
If the food doesn’t fit within your diet or liking, keep it to yourself. If you have dietary restrictions that you haven’t communicated, keep your explanation short and take responsibility for not informing your host prior to the event.
#7 Ask your tablemates to pass anything you need.
This is etiquette 101, but everyone needs a reminder once in a while. We are all guilty of being a bit lax on this tip. Don’t reach past your neighbor at the table or stand up and reach across the table to get the salt and pepper or wine. Ask the closest diner for it to be passed to you.
#8 Place your napkin on your chair.
When excusing yourself from the table place your napkin on your chair as an indicator of your return. When everyone has finished dining, simply place it to the left of your dinner plate.