So you’ve been invited to a dinner party, that’s great! Your social calendar is packed and you’re ready to spend time catching up with friends, both old and new. However, hold on a sec. Before you head out, ensure that your dining table manners are top-notch. Believe it or not, dining etiquette matters more and more, with people experiencing global travel, and the preponderance of food and dining-related television shows on every major channel. Here’s our guide to what to focus most on, when you're invited to a party.
Whether you’re hosting a dinner or attending one, do remember that couples are usually expected to be separated and seated next to other guests. This is only to ensure that couples don’t only talk to one another, and create a chance for lively conversation, sometimes with people you don’t know at all! So don’t be surprised if this happens at the next party you attend – it’s total de rigeur!
This may sound old-fashioned, but at Discern Living, we’re all about charming manners! Men should ideally keep standing till all the ladies at the dining table are seated, before taking their places. Adding this touch seems small, but it’s certainly special.
Take a moment to compliment your host/hostess for the dining room decoration. They would have clearly made some effort to create a pretty tabletop, in your honour. A small but sincere compliment will work wonders and ensure you a seat at that table for many dinners to come!
Irrespective of the way the meal is served (whether it is buffet-style or whether you are served at your seat), it is important to not begin eating until everyone at the table has received their food. Politely waiting for others shows good manners and will be appreciated by your hosts and the guests around you.
A good way to indicate that you’re done eating (apart from an empty plate, of course!) is to place your cutlery in a specific way – slightly inclined to the left, in a '10-o’-clock' position to be accurate – will immediately let your hosts or server know that you’re done and ready to have your dishes cleared.
This may seem like one of the most obvious tips, but always ensure you put your phone away when at a dinner table. If there is something you absolutely must check on during the duration of your meal, excuse yourself and step away when required to check-in and make sure everything is okay. However, keeping your phone on the dining table indicates that you aren’t engaged, either with the other guests or the food.
Discern Tip: Setting up a table for your guests is another etiquette that needs to be checked before the guests arrive. Up your game with some table setting that adds splashes of colour in it, keeping the table busy and full. Invest in decor pieces with intricate detailing like candle holders, printed dinner plates and glass centerpieces that transform into a beautiful table setting according to any festive. Awe your guests with an impressive setting that you can create for every occasion with these versatile pieces.
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Discern Tip: Not sure of which table linen to use to enhance your dining room decor? We give you a wide range of table linens to choose from!