Tips

  • Guests should always wait until the host unfolds his/her napkin before doing the same.  If there is no host, place the napkin on your lap as soon as you are seated. Luncheon size napkins (15 inches square) should be fully opened.  Dinner size napkins (20 - 27 inches square) should only be unfolded half way and placed across your lap with the edges facing outward. (Wipe your fingers inside the napkin)
     
  • Candles add so much to the ambience  of an event.  On a dining table they should be scentless, dripless, lit before the guests enter the dining room, and only used after dark. They do not belong on a daytime table, even unlit.
     
  • Business meal? Turn off your cell phone.  This sends a message that your dining partner is your top priority, and nothing is more important than this meeting. If you are expecting an urgent call, put the phone on vibrate.  If the call comes through, excuse yourself from the table. Keep your absence brief.
     
  • Finished eating? Visualize the face of a clock. Lay your fork and knife side-by-side, diagonally across your plate, tips facing the10 and handles facing the 4. The knife lies to the right of the fork, blade facing inwards. Just taking a break? Fork and knife tips meet at 12 o'clock, handles are at 8 and 4 (an inverted V). The blade of the knife (always on the right) is facing inwards.