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GUIDE TO FLATWARE ETIQUETTE AT TABLE

How to place your cutlery after eating

Through the position of our flatware, we can communicate some concepts at the dinner table. A few simple rules to place the flatware correctly in every situation during the dining!

GUIDE TO FLATWARE ETIQUETTE AT TABLE

How to place your cutlery after eating

WHAT CAN AND CANNOT BE DONE

The language of flatware

Despite what one might think, flatware does not allow us to judge the appreciation of a dish or food. In the more formal occasions of the past it was considered incorrect to talk to butlers and waiters during the meal. For this reason a simple and immediate language of good manners was born to give some operational indications to the staff, through the position of the flatware during breaks and at the end of the meal. Remember that flatware must never touch the tablecloth during and after use. And above all... never cross the flatware!

THE SETTING

Beginning the meal

There is a lot of flatware and each of it not only has a specific purpose, but its place on the table immediately makes it possible to understand how the meal will be structured. Looking at the table setting will immediately make it clear what kind of courses will be served, for example whether or not there will be a fish dish or a soup. In this way, each guest immediately knows which flatware to use for each course!
Discover our tips

WHEN EATING THE FIRST COURSE

Cutlery placement after eating

If you wish to take a break during the first course, e.g. to drink or serve yourself from the serving plate, place the flatware horizontally. If you have completed your first course, place the flatware vertically or inclined at about 45°.

Pause

When you are at the table, it may happen that you need to take a short break even if you have not yet finished your meal. This may also happen if you want to stop for a drink or to pour something else from the serving dish. Therefore, by placing the spoon or fork in this way at 3 o'clock, you do not run the risk of the dish being taken away.

I am finished

When one has finished eating and wants to communicate that the plate is ready to be taken away, the cutlery should be placed in a very specific way. According to end-of-meal etiquette, the spoon or fork should be placed with its handle on the plate as if it were the hands of a clock, marking 6:30, according to the English style.

I am finished

According to the French style, when one has finished eating the spoon or fork should be placed with its handle on the plate as if it were the hands of a clock, marking 4:20.

WHEN EATING THE MAIN COURSE OR OTHER COURSES

Flatware placement after meal

If you wish to take a break while eating the main course or other courses requiring two flatware items, place the fork and knife at 4:20 o'clock. When you have finished your plate, place them side by side, either vertically or inclined at about 45°.

Pause

If you are using a fork and knife, when a moment's pause at the table is necessary, you can communicate this by placing the fork on the left at 8 o'clock and the knife symmetrically opposite at 4 o'clock, with the blade pointing inwards.

I am finished

If we want to communicate to the waiter that we have finished the course on the plate and are using two pieces of cutlery, such as fork and knife, according to the English style these should be positioned as if the hands of the clock were at 6:30. Place the handles on the plate and always keep the blade inside.

I am finished

According to the French style, the same message can be communicated by placing both cutlery with the handles resting on the plate and indicating 4:20 o'clock.
USE YOUR NAPKIN

What if you need to stand up from the table?

When you sit down at the table, wheter in a restaurant or at home, take your napkin, open it and place it on your lap. If you have to get up for a moment during the meal, you can fold it and leave it resting on the chair. At the end of the meal, leave it to the left of the plate without folding it!
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