Friday, March 30, 2007


Dining Out?
Getting one’s manners back into shape would truly make for a pleasant dining experience and it doesn’t require as much effort as you might think.
According to Emily Post, the premier authority in manners and etiquette,
“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”
Here are some useful tips in Restaurant Etiquette.
· If you make a reservation, stick to it.
· Call ahead if you’re going to be more than 15 minutes late
· cancel as far in advance as possible if your plans change
If you’re headed to a restaurant for the first time and are unsure about how to dress,
· call and ask the host outright what the dress code is.
When in doubt,
· It’s safer to wear something more conservative.
It’s always a bummer when everyone in your party is served and your meal is not properly cooked. Do you suffer in silence and pick around the plate without sending it back? If you send it back, you’ll have to wait while everyone else eats and then the timing of the whole meal is off.
If your order is unsatisfactory, there’s no need to be aggressive with the wait staff, but it is appropriate to
· Say something so the chef and waiter have an opportunity to rectify the situation.
· Turn off your cell phone or switch it to silent mode
Before sitting down to eat, and
· Leave it in your pocket or purse.
If you think the wine smells or tastes off,
· You should be confident in telling the waiter or wine director.
Don’t feel bad about the restaurant losing money. In many cases, an off bottle gets returned to the distributor.
What happens when you order a bottle of wine and simply don’t like it? If you confidently ordered the bottle on your own, without consultation from a sommelier or wine steward, it is generally not appropriate to send it back – especially if it is an expensive bottle.
However, if you requested assistance from the staff and don’t like what they suggested, it is within your prerogative to

· Express displeasure with the wine and send it back.
Poorly behaved children can ruin the dining experience for other patrons, so
· If you bring your kids to dine out, make sure they are behaving properly.
There’s nothing wrong with taking your leftovers home in a doggy bag,
Especially since portions are usually more than any human should eat in a single sitting.
Tips are a customer’s way to provide feedback about the service in a restaurant, and should be used to reflect quality.
· If service is inattentive, forgetful, rude or careless, leave a smaller tip to indicate your displeasure.
· Only in extreme cases should a tip never be given.
· If you feel your server would go to any length to make you happy, a 20-25% (or greater) tip is advisable.
The more you communicate to the waiter, the better he or she will be able to serve you.
If you are displeased with the dining experience in any way, it is up to you to

· calmly and politely articulate that to the waiter or manager
So they can have an opportunity to fix the problem. If you don’t say anything and just wait until the end of the meal to leave a sub-standard tip, the waiter won’t know what went wrong.
Tea parties are meant to be casual gatherings where you can relax and socialize with your friends.
Some tea party etiquette tips you can use:
1. Since it is a tea party, it’s okay to
· Eat with fingers.
However, if an item is particularly messy (has a runny filling like a pastry), then
· Use a fork.
2. If all the courses are laid out on the table, eat them in this order:
· first the scones or muffins;
· then the tiny sandwiches, and last
· The sweets.
3. for scones or muffins,
Break off a bite-size piece, and then put it into your mouth.
4. Take bites of the tiny sandwiches.
· Never stuff the whole thing in their mouth, even though it’s small.
5. If using sugar,
· Be careful to not dip the sugar tong or sugar spoon into the tea.
6. If the tea is hot,
· Do not blow on the tea.
· Leave your teacup on the table to cool.
7. Do not stick your little finger out when drinking tea.
Just hold the teacup normally.
8. If there are tea bags, then
· Make sure to place or use a small dish on which the used tea bag can be placed.
=an act of raising glasses at a gathering & drinking together in honor of a person or thing!
Raising a Toast
Some people find toasting intimidating, especially in front of a crowd, but
There are some secrets that can make it easier whether it be at a New Year's Eve party, wedding, or birthday celebration.
To get the group's attention,

· never bang on a glass;
· Simply stand, holding your glass in the air.
Toasts should be offered standing, unless at a private, small affair or in a public restaurant.
· The person being toasted remains seated.
· Don't hold your glass in the air during your toast.
Set it down after you get their attention, make your toast, then raise your glass and ask the others to raise theirs for your formal, final words. You can also ask the group to stand for the final words.
Guests respond by taking a sip of their drink, not draining the glass. For those not drinking alcohol, toasting with water or a soft drink is acceptable.

· The person being toasted does not drink.
The guest of honor often returns the toast, thanking the host for their kind words and then proposing a toast of their own to the host.
It's all in the delivery
First and foremost,
· Don’t start off the toast by apologizing for any problems you think you may have in delivering it.
Making your listeners aware that you are nervous will make them uncomfortable too. In order to feel more comfortable get familiar with the place and the people you will speak to.
· Speak slowly, clearly and loud enough if a microphone is not available.
Finally, if the toast is to honor a certain person,
· a fun story about him or her is appropriate,
· Refrain from referring to an "inside joke" which only a few people would understand.
Humor is good, humiliation is not
It is ok to open up the history books and tell some fun anecdotes during a toast but avoid anything that will potentially embarrass you or others.
For the toasted
If you are the one receiving the toast
· Stay seated.
If you stand it seems as if you are congratulating yourself.
· The person being toasted never drinks to him/herself nor even touches their glass during the toast.
However, the person being toasted should always stand up and respond to the toast when it is finished.
The rules change a bit if the toast is not directed at a particular person but is meant for everyone in the room. In that case, everyone can join in.

· Champagne or wine are traditional for making toasts, but non-alcoholic beverages such as water, juice and soda are acceptable substitutes.
So go on and raise a toast to good toasting times!
Eating Soup
Soup, usually the first course, shows you off as a savvy diner or someone whose manners could do with polishing! Soup is served either in a wide, shallow dish, or a smaller bowl, resting on an under-plate.
• Spoon the soup away from you, towards the centre of the bowl.
• Sip from the side of the spoon. Never put the whole spoon in your mouth or slurp. Noisy eating is better placed in the farmyard, rather than the dining table!
• Tip the bowl away from you and spoon the soup across the bowl to get at the last bits.
• After finishing the soup, place the spoon in the under-plate, or in the soup plate at a 10:20 position.
Placing the Dinner Napkin
The napkin should NEVER be tucked under the chin, unless of course one is 5 years old or younger!
• Lift the napkin soon after you are seated and place it on your lap. However, at more formal occasions wait for a signal from the host before doing so.
• Use the napkin throughout the meal to dab your lips. This prevents greasy lip marks from being transferred to the glass and of course removes unsightly food residue from lips!
• The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal. Place the napkin in loose folds to the left of your plate. If you have to leave the table during the meal, leave the napkin on your chair.
• Don't clean the cutlery or wipe your face with the napkin. NEVER use it to wipe your nose!
Breaking Bread
Bread is usually the first food served at all, but the most formal of meals. Help yourself to as much bread as you want, but remember that this is just the beginning of the meal and not the meal itself.
Good manners also demand that

· A piece of bread is left back in the basket.
Bread is served either in a basket, which is placed in the centre of the table, or served individually.
· Take a piece and place it on the bread dish, which is to the left of the dinner plate.
· Wait for everyone to be served before you start eating.
Break off just a bite sized piece of the bread.
· Don't cut the bread,
· don't butter the entire slice, and most important,
· Don’t dunk it in your soup!
Butter is usually placed in an individual container, just above the bread plate.
Take some butter, using the butter knife, if there is one, or the meat knife, and place it at the edge of the bread dish.

· Butter only a single, bite-sized piece of bread at a time.
If butter is served in a bowl, which is kept in the centre of the table, a separate butter knife always accompanies it.
· Use this, and not your knife to help yourself.
Other diners will certainly not appreciate having to share crumbs from your bread!
Eating Tricky Foods
How does one decide when to use the cutlery and when to abandon it for the comfort of eating with one's hand?
A short list of food one can pick and eat without cutlery:

• Artichokes, asparagus, cheese and crackers, chicken and other small fiddly bits of fowl, corn on the cob, escargots (snails), some fresh fruit, French fries, shellfish like shrimp, lobster and crabs claws, mussels, clams and oysters on the half shell, pizza and sandwiches.
It goes without saying that even for these foods, there are rules.
· Don't pick up chicken, squab, or asparagus that is drenched with sauce;
· Go easy with the butter on the corn and after cracking shellfish, eat the meat with a fork.
The whole idea is to be comfortable but neat!

• When you have finished, resist the temptation to lick your fingers; use a finger bowl or napkin to get rid of the grease


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