The golden rules to behave when it comes to the Holiday season. If dinner with relatives scares you and you are afraid to make faux-pas, Swide knows how not to.
You have been invited to Christmas lunch with your girlfriend. Or you are a cousin from abroad visiting your relatives after a long time. How to behave? Swide gives you the right tips to have fun while behaving like a lady/gentleman.
At the end of a formal dinner, place the knife and fork parallel to one another across the plate with the knife blade facing inward toward the plate. Position the knife and fork in the position of ten o’clock to four o’clock.
If you are giving a large napkin, it should be folded in half after opening and before placing on one's lap. At the end of the meal, place your napkin on your left side. If you have to leave the table during the meal – for any reason, for example to sneeze – don’t put it on the table, but leave it on your chair.
Seating is an important matter. The place of honour at the table is to the right side of the host because most people are right-handed. Men help seat the woman seated to his right then sits. A host helps the lady seated to his right. The hostess is assisted by the man to her left. To make the process easier, women should approach their chairs from the right. When all the women are seated, the men sit down.
Passing food: Food should be passed to the right. One diner either holds the dish as the next diner takes some food, or he hands it to the person, who then serves herself. Any heavy or awkward dishes are put on the table with each pass. Remember: cream pitchers and other dishes with handles should be passed with the handle toward the person receiving them.
One of the most discussed matters is when to start eating. At a small table of only two to four people, wait until everyone else has been served before starting to eat. At a formal or business meal, you should either wait until everyone is served to start or begin when the host asks you to.
In general, remember that biggest faux-pas in conversation is committed by those who talk too much, so just be yourself and let things go naturally.
By: Elisa della Barba