9 Butler’s Tips for Impeccable Table Manners

The way you eat and behave at the table is still important, says Nicholas Clayton of The Guild of Professional English Butlers. His guidelines:

from Forbidden Advice

1. Let your food cool of its own accord - don't blow on it.

2. Don't spit unwanted food into your napkin - remove it with your fork and place it on the side of your plate.

3. Never talk with your mouth full.

4. Don't hold your knife poised as if ready to sign a cheque, and don't point with any of your cutlery.

5. A napkin is there to protect your clothes; use it to dab the corners of your mouth but never to polish your teeth.

6. Never cut bread or bread rolls. Break the bread with your fingers and butter a small piece at a time. Breakfast toast is the only exception.

7. Be careful not to insult your host by adding salt before you have tasted your food.

8. When you've finished eating, place your knife and fork or spoon and fork together, vertically. Leave your plate where it is - never push it away from you.

9. Don't get drunk; you'll look absurd.

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