Politeness: Your Golden Rules at Table!

By 4 April 2019 No Comments

Who has never been put back in his place because his elbows are on the table or the towel is not used the right way. In this article you will find an easy little guide to the golden rules at the table for any occasion.

1. Can we wish a “good appetite” to our guests?

Do not want a good appetite at the table. However, if you wish, answer with a smile or a “thank you”. Failure to answer would be rude on your part.

2. Cut the bread with a knife or break it with your hands?

Break the bread with your hands. Do not cut it with a knife. It’s like that. Similarly, do not put the bread on the table, you need a trivet, a bread basket, or a folded towel. Why ? The answer to this question is less a rule of hygiene than of symbol.

3. How many cheeses can you take?

Do not take other cheeses! You are only entitled to cheeses on your plate. And besides, the cheese platter does not rotate a second time around the table. This is the only dish that the householders have not cooked themselves (unless they are cheese producers) so appreciating it excessively sends the message: cheese is the only thing that can be eaten tonight. Politeness at the table is sometimes cruel!

4. Which cutlery to use first?

Use the outer covers first, and once they are cleared, take the following ones. Watch the Titanic movie again for a live demonstration. This film has the merit of having taught a billion inhabitants on this planet this rule of etiquette. This rule is also the one that comes up most frequently in films when it comes to good manners. But curiously, it is very very very rare that your friends receive you with three rows of cutlery on both sides of the plate.

5. Where to put your elbows?

Do not put your elbows on the table (except women from the coffee). However, do not keep your hands on your lap (unless you are in England). Put your handles / forearms on the edge of the table. No, it does not hurt. In general under the sheet, there is a thickness “padded” to round the angle.

6. Where to place your napkin at the table?

At the beginning of the meal, the towel is on the left side of the plate. As you sit down, unfold it and put it on your lap. At the end of the dinner, crunch it “nicely” and put it on the right side of the plate.

7. What is water glass and wine glass?

The water glass is located on the left (it is the largest glass on foot) and the wine glass on the right. Yes, it could be said that it drives alcohol consumption. Fortunately left-handed people are there to catch up and drink water. The goal is to respect the alignment of the glasses: from left to right, they are placed from the largest to the smallest. To respect this alignment, it happens nowadays that we place the water glass on the right (if it has no foot) because then it is smaller than other glasses.

8. Cut or fold the salad?

The salad does not cut with a knife. It must be bent with the knife and the fork. Why ? Because in the past, cutlery was made of silver. Vinegar does not mix well with silver, so we got used to folding salad. Today, the use is still good that our cutlery are mostly stainless steel. There is no longer a risk of damaging them. But this custom has remained in the mores. In any case, the householders will have taken care to tear it into small pieces before serving it.

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