Dinner Table Etiquette - the 10 Don'ts!
- NEVER start eating before a signal from the host to do so.
- Forks should not be turned over unless being used for eating peas, sweetcorn kernels, rice or other similar foods. In which case, it should be transferred to the right hand. However, at acasual buffet, or barbecue it is quite acceptable to eat with just a fork.
- It is not generally regarded as good dinner table etiquette to use one's bread for dipping into soups or mopping up sauces.
- Loud eating noises such as slurping and burping are very impolite. The number one sin of dinner table etiquette!
- Talking with one's mouth full. is not only unpleasant to watch, but could also lead to choking! Definitely not a good idea!
- Don't stretch across the table crossing other guests to reach food, wine or condiments. Instead ask a guest sitting close to pass the item to you.
- Good dinner table etiquette sometimes involves a degree of diplomacy when it comes to the host's choice of food and wine! Even if you feel that you can do better, don't ever offer your criticism. If you feel unable to pay any compliments, at least remain silent on the subject.
- Picking teeth (unless toothpicks are provided) or licking fingers are very unattractive! The only exception to the latter is when eating meat or poultry on the bone (such as chicken legs or ribs). In which case, a finger bowl should be provided.
- Drinking too much wine can be very embarrassing! Where a different wine is served with each course, it is quite acceptable to not finish each glass.
- Don't forget to make polite conversation with those guests around you. Dinner parties are not just about the food, they are intended to be a sociable occasion!