A Gentleman’s Guide to Dinner Etiquette

October 25, 2013

Even in the modern world, proper dinner etiquette can make a significant difference to the quality of an evening, be it a romantic date for two, a cosy family meal or a special occasion event. Dinner set beautifully on one of the luxury dining tables from Luxdeco with co-ordinating crockery and decorations will be undermined by poor manners, just as the best behaved gentleman will struggle to make a good impression if his table is not well laid.

Although dining out in a restaurant means that others have already established the table arrangements, understanding which item is which remains important. Casual and formal dinners have their own place settings, but follow the same basic principles.

The dinner plate will be directly in front of each guest with the salad plate and soup bowl on top, perhaps with a coloured charger underneath for decorative impact. To the left will be the fork, immediately next to the plates is the dinner fork, further left is the salad fork. Likewise to the right-hand side, the knife closest to the plate is for dinner and the next is for the salad or starter.

At the very right will be the soup bowl, above the plates will be the fork and spoon for dessert. Less formal meals might not use all of these items, but they will be in the same arrangement. Also to the right will be the glasses, one each for water, white and red wine.

Tea and coffee cups are brought when required after the meal. To the left is the bread plate and butter knife. For dining at home on special occasions, using luxury tableware sets which cater for every course makes a tremendous impact.

Once these principles are understood it is down the gentleman himself to use his good manners throughout the evening. Choosing a restaurant for a group requires a consideration of the tastes of all present to find the most suitable venue and cuisine which all will appreciate, with a reservation made in advance to avoid embarrassment on the day.

Likewise, when the party arrive, it is gentlemanly to hold open the door for female guests. When ordering, etiquette has it that the guests of the party are invited to order first, with the host ordering last.

Similarly, with wine, the server will present the bottle to the host once he has ordered so that the label can be checked and a small sip tasted. If it is acceptable, the party will be served before the host himself.