As a child growing up, we were expected to eat at the dinner table with the family and only under rare circumstances did we eat in front of the television.
We would even have ‘restaurant’ nights where we would eat at our usual dinner table, but pretend that we were in a restaurant with the appropriate manners to match (which is the source of much mirth as adults).
I was recently out for a meal with friends in front of a well-dressed table, and half of the table didn’t know which cutlery to use for which course.
If the sight of more than one fork on the table makes you nervous, then today’s blog is for you.
Above is your standard formal table setting.
My rule of thumb is ‘outside in’ – which means when you’re not sure what to do – start with your outside cutlery and work your way towards the inside.
Generally it goes Appetizer (outside), Main meal (Middle Set) and then Dessert.
Another way to remember is that smaller cutlery is used for smaller meals. So the biggest knife and fork are used for the biggest (main) meal.
As a child, eating formally seemed like such a drag and something that ‘nobody else’ had to do.
But today I’ll admit that I am grateful for the table manners that my parents taught me.