How To Avoid Dining Room Table Embarrassments

The dining room table is often a major focal point in the family home, where everybody can eat meals together and talk about what happened during their day; as well as discussing any problems that might have cropped up at school. But more than that, the dining table can also be a place of learning. It is where we all, as kids, learned about food itself, and our likes and dislikes. It is where we were forced by our parents to eat those horrible greens that we love so much now we are healthy adults. And dining tables are where we learn about manners, asking people to pass items that are out of reach, and not talking with our mouths full!

All of these things help us to grow into sensible, polite grown-ups, but there is always the horror of formal restaurant dining, waiting around the corner. So it is a good idea to teach your kids about some of the extra dining tips that will stand them in good stead later in life, at more formal occasions. If you have ever felt that lurching feeling of dread when you approach a dining table decorated with a myriad of forks and knives of various shapes and sizes, then you might agree!

Here are some tips: first off, napkins. Unfold your napkin after sitting down and place it on your lap; don’t cram it down the collar of your shirt. Very often, there may be a set menu for a meal over several courses. If this is the case, the waiting staff will provide you with the correct cutlery, in the correct order; use cutlery from the outside in. This is the big question that always gets asked: “Which fork do I use?” Always use the outermost one. At the end of that course, it will be removed, and you take the next fork for the following course.

The other bone of contention is which bread plate to take. Your bread plate – usually with a butter spreading knife – will be to the left of your main plate above the forks, so try not to help yourself to your neighbor’s. And your drinking glasses are always to the right, above your knives.

This simple information is always worth telling your youngsters, even though you probably never set up your home dining table so formally. It will save them from any needless embarrassments later on!