As dinner parties are fine social events, it is essential to practice proper table manners. You can never be criticized for being too polite. All too often the fundamentals of table etiquette are being thrown to the wayside and forgotten. Here is a list of the most important but basic table manners to remember.
1. Your Napkin. When leaving a table, never leave your napkin next to your plate. Simply place your napkin in your seat and excuse yourself.
2. Leaving the table. If you must leave the table, always say excuse me and make a polite exit.
3. Cell Phone. Even in the world of instagramming your food, there is no reason to have your phone at the table. It shows disinterest and lack of respect to the ones you are dining with. If you must make a phone call, do it before or after the meal.
4. Blowing your nose. If you need to blow your nose, politely remove yourself from the table and go to the restroom.
5. Sitting. Do not slouch or put your elbows on the table while eating. Sit straight and show that you are engaged in the social setting. However, it is acceptable to have your elbows on the table during conversation between courses.
6. Tardiness. It is never okay to be “fashionably” late. If you are invited to an 8 o’clock dinner party, arrive promptly. This allows time for a few cocktails and an intimate dinner.
7. Teeth. Do not pick your teeth at the table. If you have something caught between them, go to the restroom.
8. Reaching. Instead of reaching across the table, ask someone to pass it to you.
9. Possessions. Contrary to what you may think, do not put your purse on the back of your chair. It should be placed at your feet beneath the table or on your lap but definitely not on the table!
10. Chewing and Drinking. Always chew your food with your mouth closed and take appropriately sized bites. Be sure to take a sip of your drink after you have finished chewing, though the exception is if you are choking.
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