I felt like a real lady who lunches, and I put on a dress for the occasion even if it was a bit windy.
The palace and gardens were beautiful and well worth a visit, but the cakes, well now, the cakes and sandwiches were just perfect! They were served in the beautiful Indian room, overlooking the fountains... pure bliss.
We even finished every last scrap! And I have a photo of me with my elbows on the table ...
What terrible table manners! I happen to buy a book in the gift shop afterwards called 'The Lady's Book of Manners'. It's a book about politeness and etiquette from 1890.
It's so fascinating, so I thought I'd share some table manners from the book with you, and then we'll move onto some more up-to-date table manners. Seeing as I was caught sipping tea with my elbows on the table I could do with a reminder!
The Lady's Book of Manners says:
It is looked upon as the height of vulgarity to use your knife to convey food to your mouth.
I love the use of the word vulgarity throughout the book!
And a hint that I think can still be applied today...
Avoid too slow or rapid eating; the one will appear as though you did not like your dinner, and the other as though you were afraid you would not get enough.
Do you think table manners still apply today? I think they should. Sure, family meals are allot more relaxed, but it's nice to still have some form of etiquette, even if only used at formal events or at Christmas. So here's a reminder (as much to myself as anybody else) of what is considered 'proper' (as opposed to vulgar) conduct at a table, these are just the basics, but they are also the important ones!
- Wash your hands before sitting down, it's a good habit.
- Sit up straight, slouching looks untidy
- Don't speak with food in your mouth - nobody wants to see food flying accross the table.
- Chew quietly and with your mouth closed, this is of course easier to do if you take small bites at a time.
- Keep your elbows off the table, it generlly leads to slouching and takes up table space (that's me told then!).
- Excuse yourself from the table or you might look as though you are storming out on a conversation, or you were displeased with something said.
- Wipe your mouth before drinking or your glass will be full of smudges... eek!
- Never reach across a table, as well as glasses that can be knocked over, you might be cutting someone else off from their conversation.
- Don't wave utensils about in the air, for obvious reasons this could be dagerous.
- And yes, don't put your knife in your mouth!
- Don't start eating until everyone is seated.
Have a great week everyone!