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How to behave at the table

There are many questions about etiquette that arise when you are invited to dinner at a fine restaurant or when you are invited to an elegant party. So that you don’t get stuck in these sophisticated environments and know how to behave, in this article we have solved the 10 main doubts regarding the subject.

1 – Can I sit wherever I want?

When you are a guest at someone’s house, wait for the person to give the signal for the guests to sit at the table. However, you don’t have to run to get the place you want so badly.

Walk calmly to the table and choose a place that is not at the ends, as these are reserved for the hosts. Try not to sit between couples, or families so as not to separate them, it may seem impolite.

2 – Where should I put the tissue napkin?

The cloth napkin should be placed on your lap as soon as you sit down at the table. To avoid lipstick stains on glasses and fabric napkins, carry tissues in your bag to remove excess lipstick before sitting at the table.

One more tip: never put the napkin around your neck like a bib. Bibs are only allowed for babies.

3 – How should I position myself at the table?

Position yourself in the chair with your back straight, without leaning over the table. Do not rest your arms and elbows on the edge of the table, only your wrist can rest lightly on the table.

4 – When should I start eating?

Start eating when the host starts or invites, or when your table companions start too.

5 – What is each cutlery for?

There is a specific cutlery for each type of dish and food, that is, even for the starter, there may be more than one type of cutlery possible for that meal. So that you don’t have to memorize each one and so that you don’t get confused, start the first meal with the nearest cutlery in your hand and further away from the plate.

To get a basic idea of ​​the usefulness of each utensil that will be placed on the table, check out the following illustration.

6 – How should I handle the cutlery?

The knife should be used in the right hand and the fork in the left. As for foods that only need one cutlery, use it in your right hand. When cutting food, avoid chopping several pieces of meat or salad at once. Cut them as you eat. Another important tip: when taking food to your mouth, don’t lean your body towards the table. But yes, bring the cutlery to your mouth.

7 – What about the glasses and cups?

In general, the most used glasses are wine and water glasses. However, on special occasions you may notice the presence of the champagne glass at the table, it is tall and thin. Hold them by the stem, especially those for cold or cold drinks. Before drinking from the glass, make sure your lips are free of food debris and excess lipstick.

8 – What should I do after finishing the meal?

To finish the meal, keep your plate where it is and never push it away saying you are satisfied or full. Leave the fork and knife together, positioned side by side, diagonally on the plate – as in the picture to the side. The napkin should return to the side where it was, left side of the plate, without being folded.

9 – Can I use a toothpick?

The toothpick should not be used under any circumstances. If, at the end of your meal, you notice that there may be something in your teeth or a piece of food that is bothering you, excuse yourself and remove it in the bathroom.

10 – What to do if I drop or spill something?

Keep calm and apologize for what happened, especially if you’ve hit someone. If the disaster is small, clean it with the napkin. If the damage is very large, go to the bathroom or ask the waiter or hostess to provide you with a larger cloth for cleaning. If you drop cutlery, leave it on the floor and order another discreetly to draw less attention.

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