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9 Tips to Dine with Style

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How to Dine like a Royal

We've all been to smart restaurants or functions but let's face it—it's confusing when you have multiple utensils laid out at your place setting!

What's the difference between the salad fork and knife and the dinner fork and knife? And why is the bread knife placed apart from the other knives on your side plate?

When you're royalty, dining comes with a completely different set of expectations and rules.

We've put together the rules for dining like a royal. After this and with some practice, you'll be well rehearsed in the ways of dinner etiquette. 

1. Seating is arranged according to level of importance.

The head of the table is where the person with the most honoured position sits, with individuals of greatest importance seated to the left and then the right of the head of the table. If a couple is hosting, they each sit at opposite ends of the table.

2. Your Napkin

It’s called a Napkin and NOT a serviette. Your napkin will either be placed to the left of your place setting on your side plate or it may be placed in the centre of your place setting. Napkins should be placed on the lap as soon as you are seated. When you get down from the table, leave the napkin, unfolded on the table, to the left of the place setting.

At most formal restaurants and functions a member of the waiting staff will assist you, by placing the napkin on your lap. If this is the case then sit back slightly, to make the placing of the napkin easy for the waiter.

3. Do not switch knives and forks

The English never switch their knives and forks, keeping their knives on the right and their forks on the left. After finishing their meal, the knife and fork are laid parallel to each other across the bottom of the plate.

4. Start from the outside and work your way in

The salad fork is located to the furthest left spot, while the soupspoon is located to the furthest right. Always start with the outside utensils first, then work your way in towards your dinner fork and dinner knife.

4. Start from the outside and work your way in

The salad fork is located to the furthest left spot, while the soupspoon is located to the furthest right. Always start with the outside utensils first, then work your way in towards your dinner fork and dinner knife.

5. Keep your hands in your lap

When you aren't eating or using your silverware, hands should never be placed or rested on the table. They are to remain in your lap.

6. Pass dishes to your left

Never pass dishes to your right; they always go in the opposite direction when passing a plate down.

7. Maintain your posture and rest between bites

Never lower your head down to eat. Bring your utensil to your mouth, then rest your cutlery on your plate or bowl between bites. When finished, place them together at the central bottom part of your plate, folk tines up and the sharp edge of the knife facing the fork.

8. Don't point your utensils

Don't gesture towards others with your cutlery and quietly set them down when not in use. Refrain from scraping your plate or bowl to prevent causing a disturbance at the table.

9. Maintain your space

Always leave your fellow dining companions ample elbow space and do not reach over them. Always ask for something to be passed in your direction.

"The way we eat gives away a great deal about us: this very public exhibition is impossible to hide and says more about us in one mouthful than our entire CV. One faux pas too far and all could be lost and, believe me, it’s amazing what a knife and folk will betray!"

Nicholas Clayton

So there you have 9 fine dining tips to impress with your regal etiquette.

Would you like more free fine dining tips? 

Head on over to here to download our FREE CHECKLIST to learn 10 things you should never do at a formal dinner party and what to do instead.