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Etiquette rules at the table: the purpose of cutlery

“Why do I need etiquette rules at the table if I don’t go to restaurants?” Many people think. But in fact, everyone should know the elementary rules. Good tone rules can come in handy both at a party and in public places. In order to feel free and confident in society, it is not enough to know in which hand and how to hold a spoon. Therefore, it is worth exploring all the rules in more detail.


In order not to fall into an absurd situation in an expensive institution, you need to know the basic rules of table etiquette.

As soon as you come to the institution, remove the outer clothing and leave it in the wardrobe, ladies can fix their hair in front of the mirror. More thoroughly correct makeup and hair need to be exclusively in the ladies room.

Be sure to remember how to sit down at the table, because it all starts with this. Do not sit too tightly on the table or settle down so that it will then be difficult to reach the appliances. You need to sit at the table with a straight back. And it is important to remember that the table should be comfortable. Therefore, you should immediately sit comfortablyso as not to be distracted from the meal in search of a comfortable position.

It is worth remembering that In no case should you put your elbows on the table. Even children from an early age are taught this, but in adulthood not everyone remembers this rule. Putting on the table is possible only with hands.

If there is a need to take a salt shaker or, for example, bread, then you can not get up or stretch across the table to get what you want.

It would be more correct to ask someone to convey what you need.

If you were asked to pass the bread, then never pick it up in the hands of the transfer. It will be true if you give a basket with bakery products, and a person takes as much as he needs.

You should not refuel a napkin, which is usually located on a plate, behind the collar, as is shown in many films. This can only be done if a child is sitting at the table. An adult should neatly spread a napkin on his lap. A napkin should be taken only when main courses are served, after the meal you can gently wipe her mouth and hands, and then she should be put on the table.

During the feast, you can take cookies, some types of cakes and fruits with your hands. The rest of the dishes should be eaten exclusively with cutlery. It is also worth remembering that it is strictly forbidden to chew with your mouth open, talk with your mouth full and rush while eating.

How to use?

The proper use of cutlery speaks of your deep knowledge of etiquette. Using the usual appliances at home, in a restaurant or at a party by all the rules of etiquette is not so difficult. Proper serving already tells you exactly how to use the cutlery. Items should be held in that hand, which corresponds to the side of the plate, near which the appliances are lying.

Pay attention to the position of the cutlery when serving in the restaurant. By the way, this can be useful at home, so that you can correctly lay out all the appliances at the arrival of guests.

First you need to take those items that are from the edge, and not near the plate itself. Remember that directly during the meal, the hands should be a canopy. So it will be more convenient to manage the dish, and it will comply with the rules of etiquette. If during dinner your left hand is free while your right one is busy, then you can’t keep it on your lap, lowering it under the table.

If you serve a drink for dinner and pour it into glasses, then you need to ask the waiter to remove the remaining wine glasses so that they do not interfere during the meal. Leave only glasses with wine or champagne.

You need to hold a glass or a glass of wine by the leg with three fingers. Sometimes it is allowed to touch the legs with four or all five fingers. If you take the glass by the base, then there will be prints and, in addition, the drink will heat up, which should not be.

Glasses with other drinks served cold, such as champagne or white wine, also need to be held by the lower part of the leg itself. If you want to put ice, for example, in whiskey, then you need to put ice pieces exclusively with special tongs. A glass of cognac can be held by the base in such a way so that the leg passes through the fingers.

You need to start a meal only when food and drinks are served at your table. It is not worth satisfying hunger with breadsticks or bread, as many do.

The spoon should always be only in the right hand, even if you are left-handed by nature. In order for it to fit correctly in the hand, the thumb of your hand should be on top of the handle of the device itself.

According to the rules, the plug must be held in the left hand. Of course, sometimes there are exceptions when she is held in her right hand. This is allowed when you are served a dish where the use of a knife is not required. For example, it can be the most tender casserole, magnificent and tasty omelet, or vegetables. Then it is quite possible to use this cutlery in your right hand.

Important Nuances

How to eat?

Remember that the first dishes, namely all kinds of soups, you need to eat very carefully. Pick up the broth with a spoon away from you. So the soup does not spill, does not stain the tablecloth and clothes. A spoon with soup should be brought to the mouth as carefully as possible.

When serving soup with large pieces of meat or poultry, you must initially eat the entire broth - the liquid part of the dish. And after that you can eat meat with cutlery such as a fork and knife. It should be etiquette.

In the case when they serve soup with meatballs or, as they are now fashionably called, meat-balls, they can be divided into small pieces using a spoon. The same can be done with dumplings. When eating soup, be sure to tilt the plate slightly towards you, holding it with one hand. In order not to get into an uncomfortable position, leave a little liquid from the dish in the plate, do not finish the dish to the end. This is perfectly acceptable.

If the soup is too hot, do not mix it and do not blow it so that it is more likely to cool. Wait a moment and then start your meal.

If served steak or some other meat dish, then the fork should be in the left hand, and the knife - in the right. A large piece of meat should not be immediately cut into convenient pieces. Each time you need to cut a not very large piece and immediately send it to your mouth. Of course, it will be more convenient to immediately divide the dish into portions and enjoy meat without using a knife, but this is wrong. If a special sauce was served for meat, then they only need to water the meat itself, but in no case a side dish.

In the event that the meat has already been eaten and the side dish remains, then it can be eaten without a knife, while it is allowed to hold the fork in your right hand. If a light vegetable salad was served with a meat dish, which will replace the usual side dish, that is, you need it in the plate in which it was served.

Such meat dishes, where meat is cooked on the bone, can not be eaten to the end. In no case should you bite the bone, grab it with your hands and gnaw the meat. You need to eat as much as you can cut the meat from the bone.

When eating such main dishes as cabbage rolls or meatballs, it is quite possible to use only a fork, which should be held in the right hand.

Salads are eaten exclusively with forks. If the dish has large pieces or large salad leaves, then it is quite possible to cut them with a knife, and continue the meal.

When a bread is served in the form of a portioned bun or just bread slices for dinner, then a piece of the product should be put on a pie plate, after which it can be broken off with slices, but not bitten off. If bread has already been spread with butter or caviar, then it cannot be eaten with knives and forks or cut. Complex sandwiches are allowed to eat with the help of appliances, otherwise the dish may fall into pieces.

Snacks such as cheese, sausages, ham, rolls must be carefully pricked with a special fork. Large pieces of such a snack should be divided into small ones, and this can be done immediately, and then eat the food with a fork. Always take as much as you can eat. Do not fill your plate with various types of snacks right away.

Very often shrimps are served for dinner, and not everyone knows exactly how to eat them properly. If shrimp is served as an appetizer, in which there is already a skewer, then you need to take it, dip it in the sauce and then eat it. If the shrimp are an addition to the main dish, that is, they need to be using special devices for this purpose.

Post-meal Activities

The end of the dinner is also an important point, which requires some knowledge and compliance with the rules. After eating, for example, after you finish the soup, you need to leave the spoon in the plate itself. Do not put it after use on the table surface or on a cloth.

When you deal with a meat dish, you should leave the fork with the knife in a plate, putting them parallel to each other. If your meal has not yet ended, then these cutlery should be crossed. Thanks to this, the waiter, looking at the plate, will understand that it is still impossible to pick up the appliances and the dish.

During dinner, if you need to use a napkin, you can use paper products. In this case, the linen napkin remains on his knees until the person has finished the meal. Women are categorically not allowed to use cloth napkins even at the end of dinner if lips are made up. Use only paper towels.

Even if you really liked the dish, you can’t eat up and pick up the rest of it with a piece of bread - this is a sign of bad taste. If you are visiting, be sure to thank the hostess for a wonderful dinner. You cannot immediately get up and leave the table.

Tips & Tricks

The rules of etiquette and behavior at the table are needed not only when you are in a restaurant. This can be useful at home, if you plan a holiday and the arrival of invited guests. Every self-respecting housewife must know exactly how to properly set the table.

First you need to lay a tablecloth on the table. When choosing a tablecloth for a festive table, be sure to consider its size. The tablecloth should not disturb guests during the feast. Too long or short edges are wrong. The edges of the tablecloth should barely reach the seat of the chair, keep this in mind.

Choose napkins to match the tablecloth. Cloth napkins can be folded in a variety of ways using a special ring. The folded napkin must be placed directly on the plate of each guest.

Plates should also be placed correctly. In no case do not put them directly to the edge of the table, back off at least three centimeters, so that guests are comfortable sitting. A soup spoon should be placed on the right side of the plate. Always lay it convex side down.

On the same side, you should position the knife. Its sharp side should be directed directly to the plate. The plug, as you already know, should be exclusively on the left side. Put this item with its teeth up. Glasses for drinks are located opposite the knife.

Always put a gravy boat on a small saucer so that guests do not stain the tablecloth during dinner. On a plate should be a napkin, and only then you can put the gravy boat itself. If you are serving a table with individual gravy boats, then they should be on the left side of the patty plate.

There are also a number of additional rules:

  • Bread should be taken exclusively by hands, and not prick it on a fork.
  • Cutting off a portion of the meat, you can grab a little side dish and eat it all together.
  • If you eat soup, then a tablespoon should remain in the plate all the time. No need to lay it on the table or lean it against the edge of the plate.
  • At a dinner party at home, a la carte dishes should be served on the left side of the guest.
  • From a common gravy boat you need to take the sauce with a special spoon. And you should take a little sauce so that it is enough for everyone present.
  • You should never eat a sauce from a plate, dipping bread in it.
  • If a drink accidentally spills on the tablecloth or a drop of soup or sauce falls, the stain should be blotted with a napkin and left on the table.
  • If the cutlery fell to the floor, then do not get up from the chair and rather pick it up. Ask for a new appliance.
  • Do not pick up fallen food from the floor. Be calm, even if part of the dish has fallen under the table.
  • In the event that you have bitten off a too hot piece of the dish, then rather drink it with some drink. You should not open your mouth wide, wave your hands and report to everyone that you have been burned.
  • If a piece of a spicy dish was swallowed, then you can not drink it, otherwise it can become even worse.
  • If you want to eat a sandwich with a paste, then you need to put a piece of bread on your plate, then add a little paste with a special spoon. The paste should be applied to the bread with a knife, and then the finished sandwich is eaten using two cutlery.

Elementary rules of etiquette will be useful to everyone. It doesn’t matter how old a person is or whether he is invited to a restaurant or home. Follow the rules of good form always and everywhere.

On how to use cutlery, see the next video.


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