Growing up, my family was quite the fork and knife on the table type family. My earliest memory of using a fork and knife to cut a potato was something I will never forget. The potato went flying across the table and landed in someone else’s plate…actually on my super strict granddad’s plate. How’s that for table etiquette? Grand, I say!
So with that thought in mind, I thought I would dedicate today’s article on table etiquette and table laying. There are loads of people who are not comfortable with this formal style of eating, so this is my attempt to simplify it so you don’t get nervous around fancy cutlery.
Most countries have their own set of etiquettes based on their culture, but there are some universal norms that people stick to when they dine in the company of others.
Let’s break this down and make it easier for you
Which hand should I hold my knife and fork in? Don’t worry you aren’t the only one facing this. It can be difficult to figure which hand you should be holding the knife and which hand a fork? The knife is held in the right hand and the fork in the left hand to make it easier to hold the food on the plate
Where should my knife rest in between bites? Yes, it can be a little odd when you are in the middle of a conversation and don’t know what to do with the fork and knife in your hands. But you haven’t finished your meal. Please do not pace the cutlery on the linen EVER. No one likes to see soiled linen. What you should do is in between bites the knife and fork are crossed in the centre of the plate, fork tines (prongs) pointed down.
I’m done with my meal, now what? Short of calling out to the server or to the host that your meal is done, how else do you draw attention to your plate so that it can be cleared? Once you finish your meal, the knife and fork are placed side by side on the right side of the plate at the 4 o’clock position, with the fork on the inside, but the tines are down and the knife on the outside, blade in.
No elbows on the table. Why? This one is considered bad manners but no one knows exactly why. So let’s just leave it at, because Mum said so.
Napkin etiquette? Place your napkin on your lap while you eat. At the meal’s end, fold your napkin and place it to the left of your place setting.
Once you have that pat-down, you should also learn to nail your table setting. The Skyy runners, napkins and mats are perfect and compliment any dinner setting. The Amer runner with the Freya Yellow Table Mats can make a stunning combo. There are lots of different ways to put it all together.
Some things to remember while laying the table:
Forks go to the left of the plate, and knives and spoons go to the right.
The water glass belongs to the right of the plate, just above the main dining knife. If you are serving wine, then the wine glasses should be set to the right of the water glasses in the order in which they will be used.
The napkin is folded and placed to the left of the fork or in the centre. The Skyy Yunna napkins are perfect for an informal occasion while the Keann set of napkins in ivory and gold are just what you need to spruce up your table when you are celebrating. So check out the website under table linen and take your pick.
Ok, so now you know how you can do up your table for your next party. All you need are the right accessories to take it up a notch.