Dining Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts
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Dining Etiquette: Mind Your Manners! What NOT to do at the Dinner Table…

Formal or not, behaving appropriately at the dining table is a must if you ever want to be invited back! Aside from the obvious (no shoes on the table, please) there are some lesser known dining etiquette essentials that can take you from a standard dinner guest to one in the know. And those in the know always do better for it…

Formal dining etiquette takes the eating experience to an almost ritualistic level, something that perhaps we’re missing out on, on a day to day basis. It may feel a little odd and unfamiliar to stick to such strict rules at first, but the sanctity of sitting down to a good meal with family, friends or even co-workers is something that does deserve the utmost respect, in our opinion. Much like how the Japanese appreciate the art of tea ceremony, proper dining etiquette reminds us just how special a thoughtfully prepared, delicious meal really is and taking heed of this allows you to enjoy the journey in a whole new way.


Good manners go a long way at the dinner table, so even if the event doesn’t necessarily call for all the formalities, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of what not to do. Depending on the situation, you might find that manners amiss can put you into a pretty awkward position! Avoid this by following these dos and don’ts in our second post in the dining etiquette series…

DON’T

Talk with your mouth full! You may be in the midst of an enthralling conversation and feel desperate to interject just as you’ve taken a bite, but don’t do it. Food looks great on the plate, but not so much in your mouth so chew discreetly, mouth closed and wait until you’ve swallowed to say your piece.

DO

Although you should never speak with a mouth full of food, do feel free to continue eating during a conversation. You do not have to enjoy your food in silence – just take the opportunity to give someone else the floor whilst you carry on chomping.

DON’T

Do not dip into communal sauces OR double dip. You might be comfortable with this, but many others are not.

DO

Go ahead and enjoy dipping foods such as crudites or satay, just make sure you get all the sauce you want on the first attempt.

DON’T

Washing your food down with a drink is uncouth. Chew discreetly and thoroughly before swallowing so there is no need for this.

DO

Drink with your food if you wish, just practice good dining etiquette and take small sips rather than big gulps.

DON’T

There’s no need to make a racket! Generally speaking, no-one like to hear audible sounds made with your mouth or your cutlery. In the UK, it is not even appropriate to make sounds of appreciation, as it is in other countries. Although, you may of course give a polite thank you or word of gratitude.

DO

Revise this point if you are dining in a country or with people from another culture where the rules are different. If you are eating in an unfamiliar setting, it is always wise to do your homework first as there are often many differences – some of which would be considered rude for you act on in the UK or US but rude for you not to elsewhere! For example, slurping soup or noodles is usually very frowned upon, but in Japan, this is actually something that chefs and hosts love to hear as it indicates that you are enjoying your food.

DON’T

Avoid bringing a gift to a dinner party that the hostess might feel obliged to use during the course of the night. You certainly shouldn’t bring anything with the expectation that it be brought out. With this in mind wine, flowers, chocolate/desserts are no-nos, contrary to popular belief.

DO

Bring a gift, just not one that appears pushy. Something lovely for the kitchen is a good way to go: a herb bouquet, a local honey or if you really want to treat them, a Studio William gift set!