Friday, January 9, 2009

Napkin Etiquette

Napkins belong on your lap. They do not belong tucked into your shirt (never, ever!), no matter how much you want to protect it from spills (simply order something that is easy to eat). Napkins do not belong tucked into your pants or skirt either. They don't need to be secured like that.

You may place your napkin on your lap as soon as you sit down at the table. If you are attending a business lunch, look for hints given out by the "leader" (the host of the lunch, or the client, or your manager), and you may follow his/her actions. However, it is expected that a napkin is already on your lap before bread, or the first course is served.

What do you do if you need to briefly leave the table? Where will you place your napkin? I want to hear it from you. Plase take the poll on the right, and let's see what you believe is appropriate!
When you are hosting a dinner party:
Beware of creating fancy napkin folds. At least make sure your hands are very clean, because fancy napkin folds require you to touch the napkins many, many times, and keep in mind that someone else will be using that napkin later on. Sometimes, the simple fold is just the best.

Instead of using all of your napkin, try to keep it clean and use an area around the same spot. This will increase your chances of you staying clean as well.

Don't wipe your face with your napkin, but lightly press it around your mouth area to dab what needs to be dabbed. Your napkin may hold some unwanted piece of food, but remember to be very discreet when placing it inside the napkin!

Avoid placing your used napkin on your dirty plate. There is no need for that. Additionally, it does not leave a good impression on other diners who are with you.

There is much more to napkin etiquette, but I hope you enjoy the brief "tutorial"! Now, have you participate in the poll already?

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