With Thanksgiving just a week away, some of us will be obliged to dine in a social setting other than ones own home. How does a gentleman conduct himself at the dining table? What are the protocol’s for distinguishing oneself as a classy and proper gentleman of good taste? Well, here is a guide to help you shine like an “Elegant Classy Gentleman”. Whether in a restaurant, at someone’s home or a formal dinner party this guide will set you apart from the cavemen.
A Gentleman’s Etiquette Guide to Dining:
Many men at their own table have little peculiar notions, which a guest
does well to respect. Some will feel hurt, even offended, if you decline a
Dish which they recommend; while others expect you to eat enormously, as
If they feared you did not appreciate their hospitality unless you tasted
Every single dish on the table. Try to pay respect to such whims while sitting at the table of
Your host, but avoid having any such notions when presiding over your own table.
1) Whatever delicacies which may be upon the table, and which are often served in small quantities, partake of them but sparingly, and decline them when offered the second time.
2) Observe a strict sobriety; never drink of more than one kind of wine, and Partake of that sparingly.
3) The style of serving dinner is different at different houses; if there are many Servers, they will bring you your plate filled, and you must keep it. If you Have the care of a lady, see that she has what she desires, before you give your Own order to the waiter; but if there are but few servers, and the dishes are upon the table, you may with perfect propriety help those near you, from any dish within your reach.
4) If your host or hostess passes you a plate, keep it, especially if you have Chosen the food upon it, for others have also a choice, and by passing it, you May give your neighbor dishes distasteful to him, and take yourself those Which he would much prefer.
5) If in the leaves of your salad, or in a plate of fruit you find a worm or insect, Pass your plate to the waiter, without any comment, and he will bring you Another.
6) Be careful to avoid the extremes of gluttony or over daintiness at the table. To Eat enormously is disgusting; but if you eat too sparingly, your host may Think that you despise his fare.
7) Watch that the lady whom you escorted to the table is well helped. Lift
And change her plate for her, pass her bread, salt, and butter, give her orders To the waiter, and pay her every attention in your power.
8) Before taking your place at table, wait until your place is pointed out to
You, unless there are cards bearing the names of the guests upon the plates; In the latter case, take the place thus marked for you.
9) Put your napkin upon your lap, covering your knees. It is out of taste, and Looked upon as a vulgar habit to put your napkin up over your breast. (Who does that in the 21st century?)
10) Sit neither too near nor too far from the table. Never hitch up your coat sleeves Or wristbands as if you were going to wash your hands. Some men Do this habitually, but it is a sign of very bad breeding.
11) Never tip your chair, or lounge back in it during dinner.
All gesticulations are out of place, and in bad taste at the table. Avoid
12) Converse in a low tone to your neighbor, yet not with any air of secrecy if others are engaged in tête à tête conversation; if however, the conversation Is general, avoid conversing tête à tête. Do not raise your voice too much; if You cannot make those at some distance from you hear you when speaking In a moderate tone, confine your remarks to those near you.
13) If you wish for a knife, plate, or anything from the side table, never address Those in attendance as “Waiter!” as you would at a hotel or restaurant, but Call one of them by name; if you cannot do this, make him a sign without Speaking.
14) Unless you are requested to do so, never select any particular part of a dish; But, if your host asks you what part you prefer, than please do so, as in this Case the incivility would consist in making your host choose as well as carve For you.
15) Never blow your soup if it is too hot, but wait until it cools. Never raise Your plate to your lips, but eat with your spoon.
16) Never touch either your knife or your fork until after you have finished Eating your soup. Leave your spoon in your soup plate that the server may Remove them both. Never take soup twice.
17) In changing your plate, or passing it during dinner, remove your knife
And fork, that the plate alone may be taken, but after you have finished your Dinner, cross the knife and fork on the plate that the server may take all Away, before bringing you clean ones for dessert.
18) Do not bite your bread from the roll or slice, nor cut it with your knife; Break off small pieces and put these in your mouth with your fingers.
19) At dinner do not put butter on your bread. Never dip a piece of bread into The gravy or preserves upon your plate and then bite it, but if you wish to Eat them together, break the bread into small pieces, and carry these to your Mouth with your fork. Using your fingers evinces a shocking want of good-breeding.
20) Never criticize any dish before you.
21) Never put bones, or the seeds of fruit upon the tablecloth. Put them upon The edge of your plate.
22) Never use your knife for any purpose but to cut your food. It is not meant To be put in your mouth. Your fork is intended to carry the food from your Plate to your mouth and no gentleman ever eats with his knife.
23) If the meat or fish upon your plate is too rare or too well-done, do not eat It; give for an excuse that you prefer some other dish before you; but never Tell your host that his cooking is uneatable.
24) Never speak when you have anything in your mouth. Never pile the food On your plate as if you were starving, but take a little at a time; the dishes Will not run away.
25) Never use your own knife and fork to help either yourself or others. There Is always one before the dish at every well-served table, and you should use That.
26) It is a good plan to accustom yourself to using your fork with the left hand, When eating, as you thus avoid the awkwardness of constantly passing the Fork from your left hand to your right, and back again, when cutting your Food and eating it.
27) Never put fruit or bon bon’s in your pocket to carry them from the table. Do not cut fruit with a steel knife. Use a silver one.
28) Never eat so fast as to hurry the others at the table, nor so slowly as to keep Them waiting.
29) If you do not take wine, never keep the bottle standing before you, but pass It on. If you do take it, pass it on as soon as you have filled your glass.
30) If you wish to remove a fish bone or fruit seed from your mouth, cover Your lips with your hand or napkin, so that others may not see you remove it. If you wish to use your handkerchief, and have not time to leave the table, Turn your head away, and as quickly as possible put the handkerchief in your Pocket again.
31) Always wipe your mouth before drinking, as nothing is more ill-bred than To grease your glass with your lips.
32) If you are invited to drink with a friend, and do not drink wine, bow, raise Your glass of water and drink with him.
33) Do not propose to take wine with your host; it is his privilege to invite you. Do not put your glass upside down on the table to signify that you do not Wish to drink anymore; it is sufficient to refuse firmly. Do not be persuaded To touch another drop of wine after your own prudence warns you that you Have taken enough.
34) Avoid any air of mystery when speaking to those next you; it is ill-bred And in excessively bad taste.
35) If you wish to speak of any one, or to any one at the table, call them by Name, but never point or make a signal when at table.
36) When taking coffee, never pour it into your saucer, but let it cool in the Cup, and drink from that.
37) Never leave the table till the mistress of the house gives the signal.
38) On leaving the table put your napkin on the table, but does not fold it.
39) Offer your arm to the lady whom you escorted to the table.
40) It is excessively rude to leave the house as soon as dinner is over. Respect To your hostess obliges you to stay in the living-room or parlor at least an hour.
41) If the ladies withdraw, leaving the gentlemen, after dinner, rise when they
Leave the table, and remain standing until they have left the room.
Follow these simple protocols of gentlemanly etiquette, and you will command the respect and awe of everyone present. Good Dining to All!