Appy Blog

The Fine Art of Dining – Table Etiquette

When we are having a normal dinner at home sometimes we don’t want to lay a proper table and after we are done we just put the dishes away but when we are expecting guests then we do take care of laying the table well.

I personally feel that having good table etiquette is not something, which is handy only while dining out, or you are having formal social or official business meals or any special occasions but in general every one should know and understand and follow them. Basically if you master the art of dining well, of having good table etiquettes then you will fit in very well, practically any where in the world, you will never feel out-of-place!

In India a lot of the people are still used to eating with hands or just using a simple spoon or fork, although few will be there who would actually know the perfect way of table manners, way of properly using the cutlery etc. This is not just the scenario in India but in some other countries too, so this made me think and write a blog post on having the right table manners or etiquette or showing the right way to lay a proper table and share with every one else. Hope it will be handy & helpful.

Firstly let’s talk about how to set the table Step-by-Step:

The simple and logical thumb rule is that you have to start from outside of the table place setting and work your way inside towards the dinner plate. Follow the below picture settings to understand the right way to set your table, you will really feel in the end that it is too simple!


a. Napkin
b. Side plate and butter knife for dinner rolls
c. Salad fork
d. Fish fork
e. Dinner fork
f. Service plate.
g. Dinner Knife
h. Salad knife
i. Soup spoon
j. Red wine glass
k. White wine glass
l. Water glass
m. Dessert fork and spoon

Once you understand and follow these simple instructions, you will sit pretty in your place without any awkwardness.

Secondly let’s talk about some basic rules of table manners and some table friendly tips for you:

  • Be properly dressed for the dining occasion.
  • Place the napkin on your lap as soon as you sit and when you are done, before leaving the table when you get down, place the napkin unfolded on the left side of the place setting.
  • Sit straight and keep your hand in your lap, do not keep your elbows on the table. Use a good sitting posture, don’t lean or couch.
  • Maintain and sit at a distance from the table so you are at the right distance for handling the spoons, forks & knives properly, don’t be too close to the table.
  • If you are already served, then it is polite to wait for others to be served or wait for your host’s permission to start.
  • Do help in passing dishes to others sitting next to you if they need but don’t stretch yourself across people on the table, if you need anything then request some one close to it to pass on to you.
  • Don’t eat too fast or too slow, try to maintain the pace with others and try to relax.
  • Keep your mouth closed while eating to avoid making any sounds, especially with teeth & spoons or slurping the soup etc.
  • Don’t speak with food in your mouth, as this is very essential.
  • Never give adverse comments while dining at some ones home, in a restaurant you can give your suggestions or advise your thoughts, try to compliment the cook in the end if you like the food.
  • Always turn off or keep your mobile on silent while eating & dining and never smoke at a table.
  • If water or any other beverages are on the table, then the person sitting nearest should serve them.
  • Try not to order food, which is difficult to eat with fork & knife, so that you don’t feel any embarrassing situations. Use your hands mostly to eat breads.
  • While dining out, try not to order the most expensive dishes & drinks, let your host decide which ones to order.
  • After seasoning your food with salt & pepper, do pass them around.
  • While eating if your cutlery drops by mistake, don’t pick up and use, request for a replacement immidiately.
  • While eating cut one piece ta a time, don’t cut your food into small pieces initially like serving a toddler.
  • Never move the food from your plate to another person’s plate without taking his permission first.
  • Try to use the rest rooms either before sitting on the table or after you are done eating, it is not good to leave the table and rush to the rest rooms in the middle of eating your food.
  • In the end after finishing food place your forks & knives in a proper position showing you are done eating and after getting up, push the chair inside.

How to place your cutlery while you are resting between meals & how to indicate that you have finished eating:

 There are two ways of doing it, which are known and followed globally mostly. It is either the American way or the Continental way. See the below pictures to understand the same.

2010-05-30-contstyle- 2010-05-30-amstyle-

Also note the below:

  • After you are done eating, your napkin should not be folded properly, meaning that it should not be refolded properly, it should then be kept on the left side of the plate.
  • Do not leave your napkin on the chair.
  • Do not keep the used cutlery on the table. Do not cross and keep your cutlery in the shape of “X”.

I hope that this blog post will be helpful. I will shortly post some fine dining table setting ideas. Keep visiting

Happy Dining!!

Picture courtesy:,,

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