The Art of Table Etiquette has been something that isn’t necessarily lost. Restaurants, hotels, formal occasions, etc have kept the art of setting a table alive and well. However, in the everyday, etiquette seems to be something of a time forgotten. Children were once responsible for setting the places at the table almost every day- now if you ask most children, they don’t know how. similarly, many of the niceties, that were once a display of courtesy and respect, have been replaced with brash and unrefined behavior in everyday living. Maybe if we start with learning and practicing good table manners, we might start to see a difference in the rest of our manners.
A great resource for etiquette and manners is linked below:
The top ten table manners listed on the website is shown below:
1. Chew with your mouth closed.
2. Avoid slurping, smacking, and blowing your nose.
3. Don’t use your utensils like a shovel or as if you’ve just stabbed the food you’re about to eat.
4. Don’t pick your teeth at the table.
5. Remember to use your napkin at all times.
6. Wait until you’re done chewing to sip or swallow a drink. (The exception is if you’re choking.)
7. Cut only one piece of food at a time.
8. Avoid slouching and don’t place your elbows on the table while eating (though it is okay to prop your elbows on the table while conversing between courses.)
9. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you.
10. Always say ‘excuse me’ whenever you leave the table.
One of the key points in table etiquette is behavior. But it is also important that the table is set appropriate to the occasion.
Below is a link to the three levels of table setting- basic, informal, and formal:
The pictures below are from the website linked above. For more information on each setting, click the link!
Semi-Formal/ Informal Setting:
I hope that this provides some insight into dining etiquette! Remember that it is important for us to always try to be our best selves. Yes, it is exhausting at times, but it is always worth it to error on the side of gentility rather than unintentionally offend. Just as with the other topics in the “Lost Arts” series, let’s bring back table manners into a more common place in society! Who knows what a little politeness might do for the world? Pleasant manners, lively conversation, and a sweet spirit have done many a heart good. Sometimes it is the simple gestures that can change a mood. Let us remember that and keep it with us as we go through out our everyday tasks.