Be Our Guest: Dinner Party Basics

By Torie Rose

Jun 26, 2018

One of my favorite movies is Pretty Women, even bring it up I can hear Roy Orbison singing behind that fantastic shopping scene. However, one view that to this day gives me the anxiety to watch is the dinner party scene. You know the one where she was looking at all the forks not sure which to use. I feel for her and in truth the idea of being at a formal affair and doing something wrong use to freaks me out.

Maybe you are like me, but don’t worry. I have learned as long as you know what to expect, formal affairs aren’t tricky. With a little knowledge and some common sense, you can even enjoy them. Here’s how.

Plan and Get Information

A little preparation goes a long way. If your Sugar Daddy wants you to accompany him to an event, hopefully, he lets you know in advance. Don’t be scared to ask questions; you’re not being annoying but showing you want to be prepared and make a good impression. For sure find out about what would be appropriate dress for the occasion. This is important as it will show tact and class, depending you might need to find something to wear.

The Basics 

Some of this might seem silly, but it never hurts to repeat the basics. We will be looking at when you’re dining in a restaurant, some of this is slightly different if you are at someone’s home, but many still apply.

What to do with your napkin?

Once you are seated, remove the napkin from your place setting, unfold it, and put it in your lap. That is where it will stay for the night. Don’t shake it open, or use it to wipe your face. If you need to get up, loosely fold the napkin and place to the side of your dish. Side note: some places the waiter may place the napkin for you.

So when to start eating?

Wait until all are served at your table before beginning to eat.

What fork should I use?

A simple rule of thumb, work from the outside in. There are plenty of diagrams out there on the internet, but this simple tip works in more places.

Where do they go once I use them?

After cutting place knife on the edge of the plate with blades facing in.  A left hand, arm or elbow on the table is bad manners. Once used, your utensils (including the handles), must not touch the table again.  Always rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate at 4 o’clock and 6 o’clock. When you’re done eating place the utensils together at 4 o’clock, try to finishing eating around the same time as everyone else.

Will you pass the salt?

If someone asks for the salt or pepper, move both together, even if a table mate asks for only one of them.  Also went passing, always set the items directly on the table, instead of passing from your hands to theirs.

All of this might seem dense and imposing, but it can be freeing. When you know the rules of the game, it becomes more comfortable and less stressful to play.  Look at these tips as a little structure or guidance. Do make sure you have a good time, too. The reason you were asked to go is that they want you in attendance with them, so enjoy!