We all look forward to invites to formal dinner parties, but we tend to fret over our lack of fine dining etiquettes. Read this article and pump up some confidence.

Fine Dining Etiquette

There are academic tests to determine one’s scholastic abilities; there are job interviews to verify a candidate’s compatibility with a job profile and amongst many other investigative tools, there is fine dining etiquette to corroborate a person’s table manners or level of class. Do you wonder which hand clasps the fork and which one the knife? Do you have no hunch on what to do with that fancy white napkin? Do you make ghastly chewing noises likely to provoke nasty glares from the elites perched on the dinner table? As comfortable as you may be with your mundane eating habits, to reap certain benefits, you must conform to certain norms. Formal dining etiquette has been deeply ingrained in society’s principles of respectable behavior. Bending these norms in the hopes of converting the world into a dining room of savage eating beasts would be as challenging as persuading corporate into entering office unclothed. So, you’ve got no choice but to swallow your pride as you swallow your well sliced and diced pieces of chicken. Let this article bequeath you with the finest of instructions to help you survive, if not shine during the most intimidating of all dinners!

Etiquette For Fine Dining 

  • See that exquisite throne? Pull it out of the table and gently plop yourself onto its cushioned seat. Don’t be hasty and make no noise. Sit up straight and slouching is a strict no-no. Keep your elbows in.
  • Neatly spread your napkin on your lap the moment you are comfortably seated. Note that the large dinner napkins are half folded while the small ones are opened to its full-size. Once the meal has come to an end, leave your napkin semi-folded at the left side of the place. Never wipe your mouth with a napkin, use it only to dab.
  • Exhibit your etiquette by patiently waiting until everybody around the table to serve before digging into your plate. Remember to use the silverware farthest from your plate first.
  • Do not be threatened by the series of forks on the left side of your plate, and the series of spoons and knives on your right. Use them efficiently to cut one or two tiny bits of meat at a time. Always hold your knife and fork at the same time and always point the tines of your fork down toward the plate. Never use your fork like a scoop!
  • Ensure that the soup bowl remains on the table while you sip. While consuming the soup, push your spoon away from you starting point at the centre of the bowl to the farthest edge. Do not insert the whole spoon into your mouth and sip from the edge. Never ever slurp!
  • When you are finished, place your knife and fork together in the centre of the plate.
  • Be elegant if at all you have to remove inedible food from your mouth. In cases of olive pits, first drop it onto your open palm and then onto your plate! If you unintentionally discovered a little bone in a bite of chicken or mutton, delicately drop it on your plate with the help of a fork. However, it is acceptable to remove a tiny fish bone with your fingers.
  • Use your napkin to protect yourself from spills. It is perfectly alright to request the server to clean up and replace the soiled napkin or dirty utensil with a cleaner one.
  • Generally, the pudding fork and spoon will be found directly above your plate, rather than in the cutlery at the side. If a dessert course is served, you will probably have a dessert fork and knife. You should use these on larger pieces of fruit.
  • Place you napkin on your seat if you have to temporarily get off your seat. This insinuates your return.
  • Many a time, you will notice more than two glasses on the table arranged in a diagonal or square pattern. The top left glass with a fairly large bowl is for red wine and the smaller one is for white wine.  On the bottom right, you will find your water glass. Do not gulp your wine and never hold the glass for the server to pour your wine.
  • Bread should never be cut. When you wish to eat it, tear a bite sized piece off with your fingers.
  • Steer clear of topics that include politics, religion, or sex at the table, especially when you don’t know the guest very well. Although, it may be difficult to incite effortless conversations with strangers, it is necessary that everybody can join in on the conversation.
  • Do not yell to the ends of the table. Stick to speaking in low tones. However, do not treat the dinner venue as a church hall or a library room. Be a good listener and allow the person sitting next to you to share his or her opinions.
  • If you don’t like something, do not hesitate to leave it. Don’t smoke at the table unless invited to by the host.

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