good manners


10 Table Manners That We Forgot

Here are 10 Table Manners That We Might need to brush up on. Most of us learned Table Manners at home while we were children but sometimes it is easy to forget! I found these in Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette.

I started to wonder if having good manners was out of fashion,…but then realized the act of showing consideration for others, could never be out of style.

Manners, are timeless. 

I flipped through Amy’s book, excuse me, I meant Mrs. Vanderbilt’s book and found the TOP 10 Manners, I think we forgot! A few of my own side notes are added. Enjoy.

tips on table manners

1. Drinking Beverages: In drinking any beverage at table, a sip is never taken until the mouth is empty and has been wiped with the napkin. This keeps cup and glass rims free from food marks.

2. Napkins: are placed on the lap-entirely open if they are lunch size or in half if they are dinner napkins. Guests wait until the hostess has taken up hers before placing their own. After the meal, they are gathered and laid casually to the right of the place setting. (Cloth napkin folded in half on the lap at dinner. Leave napkin to the right after dinner….Got it!)

3. Soup: If it is too hot, it must be allowed to stand until it is tolerable- it may not be blown, spoonful by spoonful, until it is cool enough. (This is my favorite one.)

4. Tasting Another’s Food: Sometimes a couple dining in a restaurant wish to taste each other’s food. This is informal but permissible, though only if a fresh fork or spoon is used, with the possessor of the dish then handling the taste implement, handle first, to the other person. The other must not reach across the table and eat from a companion’s plate, no matter how many years they have been married. (What? You’ve got to be kidding me. Sorry, but I cannot follow this rule. My husband and I share all food and have been doing so for 23 years, why change now?)

5. Conversation At The Table: Conversation and laughter should always be modified at table. What is deemed proper table conversation today? Almost anything except highly controversial (religion, politics) or squeamish topics (accident, illness, operations, real scandal, unaesthetic things.) (TRUE, but please, share your laughter freely, unless you’ve had a few too many.)

6. Posture: Elbows on the table are permissible between courses but not while one is eating.

7. Silverware: Your own wet spoon should never be place in the sugar bowl, nor your butter knife in the jam or butter dish. (Cross-Contamination. Look folks, Let’s not have jam swirled in the peanut butter jar! Or how about toast crumbs in the butter tub?)

8. Stirring Food: Nothing should ever be stirred up or mashed into a conglomerate heap on the plate. It is an insult to the cuisine to inundate everything on your plate with gravy, or with that American favorite, catsup. (But seriously, can we make an exception for hash browns? Please? Ketchup and Hash browns…so good, pretty please?)

9. Blowing One’s Nose At The Table: If the nose must be blown at table, it is done as quietly as possible, without excuse to draw attention to the fact. (OH dear, I’ve seen people do that at restaurants. PLEASE don’t put your napkin or tissue on the plate after doing so. Somebody has to eat off that plate next.)

10. Saying Grace: A guest at the table is often given the honor of saying grace. Grace is usually said after everyone is seated and before anything-napkins or even water-is touched on the table. Here is the most familiar grace of all, acceptable to all religions:

For what we are about to receive,
Lord, make us truly thankful. Amen

(Thank you)

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