Napkin Etiquette 101

Napkin Etiquette 101

Until I became an etiquette consultant , I was so unaware that the place setting was a road map for proper dining and I certainly did not think that there was so much emphasis placed on how to properly use a napkin.

I figured it was there you know to make the place setting look complete, or to dab your mouth a little, you know nothing to deep.

But there are actually specific uses for the napkin and proper ways in which to execute.

As soon as you are seated to dinner:

Place your napkin on your lap.

There is actually a correct way to do that but that’s a story for another day. The napkin will remain in your lap through the meal. If you have to excuse yourself from the table, gently place your napkin to the side of your plate. I have seen some folks place the napkin on the chair, but you don’t know whose bottoms have been on that chair and I’m sure you would want to wipe your mouth with a napkin you’ve placed on the chair for obvious reasons.

Remove the napkin from your lap to;

Dab the sides of your mouth gently  prior to taking a drink

Cover your nose and mouth if you need to cough or sneeze

Signify the end of the meal if you are the host or hostess.

and for the love of all things gracious and charming, do not tuck the napkin in your shirt. No one will tell you but they are looking at you sideways and judging you.

While this little post is not all inclusive, it will serve as a basic guide to make you fell a little more comfortable the next time you are dining.




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