I hear you! You received an invitation to the corporate New Year’s Eve dinner party at a swanky hotel. You know the upper-level execs will be there and you’ll have an opportunity to impress. But you are a one-knife-one-fork-one-glass kinda person. You told yourself you would take an etiquette refresher but who has time?! Now your manners will be on display. Gulp!
Let me help:
When you sit, observe. The napkin goes in your lap; at least you know that much, you say. Most banquet servers understand the many rules of formal dining can be intimidating and help to alleviate diner stress by placing your napkin directly in front of you. Bless their hearts!
Use the utensils furthest from your plate for the first course, and for each proceeding course pick up silverware going in closer to your plate.
The dish being served will let you now which utensil to use. But what utensils belong to you?
Here’s a Tip:
The word FORK is four letters – the word LEFT also has four letters.
The words KNIFE and SPOON have five letters – the word RIGHT also has five letters.
Your forks are always on your LEFT; your knives and spoons are on the RIGHT. The only exception is the oyster fork – it will rest in the bowl of the soup spoon…on the right!
Dessert flatware is placed on the table horizontally at the top of your plate.
There’s so much more to the art of fine dining like proper use of the napkin, holding utensils correctly or cutting the meat dish so as not to look like a Neanderthal. I have found the most effective way to share dining skills is while you are dining. Why? Because I can also answer questions and address issues as they arise throughout the meal, like passing items, the new table manners, bread etiquette, and when and how to leave the table. Bet you didn’t know there is an “etiquette” to bread! Yep sure is! I’ll show you!
Hopefully you can see my quick video that includes another tip – which bread plate and glasses belong to you.