If you are like most people, a formal dinner is a special affair. You want to present yourself as best as possible, and that means showing you know how to dine with class. But how do you start eating without knowing which fork to pick up?
You don't usually eat with three different forks now do you? Here is a quick guide to help you navigate the labyrinth of table etiquette at a formal dinner.
There are two main styles of formal etiquette: the American and Continental. Although the basics are similar, the placement of the fork and knife on the plate vary. Americans put the knife on upper right corner of the plate while resting, and then lay the fork and knife parallel in the bottom right of the plate.
The continental style is a bit different, crossing the fork and knife in the middle of the plate while resting. When finished, the continental style dictates the fork and knife are placed similarly to that of the American style, but the fork’s prongs are facing downwards.
A few other tips: never clink your glasses during a toast when using crystal glassware. Crystal is far more delicate than most other glassware, and thus will break easily! Also, when eating bread rolls, tear off one bit-size piece at a time, butter, and then eat.
Finally, remember that the glasses on your right are yours, while the bread rolls to your left are yours. A helpful way to remember this is that you always drink with your right hand!