The festive seasons are here again and sure there would be dinner parties to attend. At home, we prefer to enjoy our meals with reckless abandon, just savouring the dish away yet you’d agree that you cannot hide from proper dining etiquettes. So here are a few you may need to be more conscious of. Always remember the basic principle underlying all manners: Think about other people’s feelings first because it’s still not all about you.
Over-focusing on the Food
Food seems to be the focal point of an event, right? It shouldn’t be. Dining is about the perfect situation to build and nurture a relationship face to face. Ordering difficult-to-eat food distracts from the conversation and relationship building. Eating before everyone has been served. Not keeping pace with their fellow dinners, should all be avoided. As a general rule, cell phones should not be on the table when eating with company. If, however, you are expecting an important call, it is okay to have you phone in your pocket on vibrate. If you are expecting an important call, do let your host or companion know beforehand and if it comes during the meal, you will have to get up and leave the table to take the call.
Also, if someone asks you a question when you have just taken a bite, the best thing to do is simply raise your finger as in “just a minute” to let them know you will answer their question as soon as you have finished chewing and swallowed the bite of food.
Placing Your Handbag on the Back of Your Seat
I know it appears more convenient to just hang the strap your purse neatly to the back of the seat. It shouldn’t be on your lap either, the best place favorite hand candy is on the floor, yes, you heard me, by the right-hand side.
Fidgeting After a Mistake
So you made a mistake, okay…? Should the earth jump out of its orbit? Humor is generally the best way to move past a faux pas. Or, blame it on not feeling well, or having an “off” day. It makes us human and likable to have imperfections and the occasional faux pas. Just make a joke and move on.
Forgetting the Place of Honor
Don't get caught sitting in the wrong seats. Thankfully, some dinner parties have name cards on seats. In the absence of these however, don't sit at the head of the table or at the seat to the right of the head. Typically, it is saved for the host and the place of honour.
Cutting Food into Bits
It may appear easier to cut large chunks of food into smaller bits. No, don’t. One or two bite-size pieces at a time is fine. Avoid cutting large pieces too. enormous pieces for yourself, to avoid choking.
Also, remember the napkin should only be used for blotting the sides of your mouth, if you need to blow your nose, excuse yourself to the bathroom. Do not complain or criticize the service or food, your complaints will appear negative, and it is an insult to your host to criticize.