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A quick guide to fine dining

Let’s face it, we don’t go in for fine dining super often, but there’s nothing wrong with learning a little bit of dinner table etiquette for special occasions right?

By Taryn Wilson


1. Always be on time. Besides it being impolite, when you are late you are rushed and flustered, which does not look great. It also implies that you do not value or respect others’ schedules, so make sure you arrive at least 10 minutes before the time.

2. Whether you’re attending a dinner for work, entertaining a potential client, or like and respect the people you’ll be dining with and want to make a good impression, make sure you do some background research to get know a little bit about your fellow diners.

3. Dress for the occasion. Depending on the event, you should dress appropriately and according to the theme of the evening.


1. If you’re eating at an upmarket establishment, chances are there will be more than one set of cutlery to accommodate more than one course. The top rule when using cutlery is to work from the outside inwards, taking the cutlery placed furthest away from the plate to start, and so forth.

2. Do not place your elbows on the table, especially when eating. Bring the food towards you, while keeping an upright position. This promotes good posture and respect for those around you.

3. If you’re saying cheers, make eye contact when clinking glasses. However, when drinking from your glass, make sure you keep your eyes down.


There are five different ways you can use your cutlery to indicate certain actions to your server:

1. If you are still eating, but want to pause, place your cutlery on the outer edges of the plate at a slight diagonal angle.

2. When you are ready for your next course, place the cutlery in a ‘plus’ sign position in the centre of the plate.

3. To show your servers that you enjoyed the meal, place your knife and fork next to each other in a horizontal position on the plate.

4. If you want to show that you are done eating, place the knife and fork together vertically and centered on the plate.

5. When you have not enjoyed a meal, you will place your knife and fork crossed into each other and at diagonal angles.

With these tips, you are sure to ace your fine dining experience.

Image: Unsplash

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