Etiquette rules at the table, all the bon ton not to be forgotten
How to lay the table, what not to say, how to toast
What are the rules of etiquette at the table? Although this may seem a bit out of time, good manners still exist. They can help us stay among people in a civilized way, for that they exist. They help us to stay in society, to give a good impression of us, in a gala dinner, abroad, in every occasion with others, especially if formal, but, let’s never forget it, even in the routine of every day. It is better then to do a review, a stumbling block can often change the course of events.
Even if it has to be said the setting up with the time has become a little less complex: tables overloaded with objects are no longer in fashion, a table prepared with care but with minimum things on it, is much appreciated.
Here, on those occasions a proper behavior at the table is not just a matter of good education, the etiquette comes to help us. The bon ton provides in fact precise rules to be respected. They can be applied with less rigor depending on the type of guests present – for example if there are children – but in any case there are some more elementary dictates that it is not possible not to follow.
The most common mistakes: how many times have you heard someone say ‘Good appetite!’ thinking it’s a courtesy rule. Nothing is more wrong than this. For the aristocrats, who are good-natured, the table was an occasion for conversation, food only a way to make it more pleasant. So a macroscopic error. Just a smile is enough.
How are you sitting at the table? Posture: you must always be straight on your back without resting your elbows on the table. The arms go along the sides and only the hands on the tablecloth. Do not stretch them under the table, you could also incur the risk of bumping those who sit in front of you or next to you, even with unpleasant misunderstandings.
Today, even children aged 8 and up should know this today: the napkin should be kept on their knees and brought to their mouth when they feel the need. Never tie it around your neck even to the little ones, there are bibs for babies.
Another strict rule: before starting to eat it is mandatory to wait until all the guests are served and that the hosts begin their meal. Never touch food with your hands, except for bread and breadsticks, which must first be broken and then brought to your mouth.
After breaking the bread, place it on the small plate before you, on the left. Do not talk on the phone or send messages while sitting at the table with other people. And this to many will now seem the most difficult rule to respect.
Things forbidden !!!! Never make the shoe, do not blow on the plate to cool the food at the cost of getting a third-degree burn. Do not make the noise of chewing! In case you are about to finish a soup, lift the dish towards the center of the table to collect the broth with the last spoonfuls.
The knife should never be brought to the mouth but used only for cutting. The fork is held with the right hand, between the thumb and the forefinger, while when making the cut it must be kept with the left one.
If you do not want to eat anything else, at the end of each course, the fork and knife should be placed parallel to each other to the plate. If you are still eating, place them with the contact tips and slightly apart handles. If the distance to reach a dish on the table is excessive, do not stretch too much or get up, but ask a neighbor with courtesy to pass the dish. Are you eating a food that has to be cut? You have to do it by hand as you eat it and not all at once and then eat it comfortably (you are not children whose mother has cut the whole steak to be considered). If you have an empty glass for wine or water, before helping yourself, it is also appropriate to pour it to the other neighbors.
Toast: The toast must be done by raising the glass to the height of one’s face and stretching out the arm in the direction of the celebrated. Never say cin cin (cheers) or, worse, health. To refuse a drink, just give a light gesture with your hand to the person offering it, without too many excuses or blatant actions.
How to set the table, here are the rules
According to the etiquette, the cutlery should be placed on the side of the plate: on the left, the forks, arranged in order of use, from the outside to the inside; on the right the knives with blade facing inwards and, to conclude, more external the spoon. During formal banquets, moreover, a bread plate should be provided to be placed on the left side of the serving dish, on which to place the morsels of broken bread.
Tablecloth and napkins. Choose them of the same color.
Cutlery. If you have a silver service, use it does not ruin it. Calculate a fork for each course. If the starter is fish, put the appropriate fork in the first position on the left; the fish slice is always outside the normal knife. Add soup spoon if soup is on the menu. The cutlery for the sweet or the eventual sorbet should be placed above the plate.
Dishes. Place the saucer for the starter on the flat plate and then bring to the table the soup plate already filled with the soup. To serve pasta and risotto, you should use flat plates, but if you do not have enough of the same service, use holsters (soup plates) as well.
Glasses. Those goblet the most elegant. One big for water and 2 for wine, medium for red wine and small for white wine. Saucer for bread. Top left.
It is known, we Italians are chronic latecomers. But punctuality is an important rule if you are invited to an official event: so if you do not want to be rude, go ahead and introduce yourself on time. Making others wait is a sign of great rudeness.
The 10 peoples who steal more from hotels: Italians “only” eighths
The website Hotels.com has published the ranking of the 10 nationalities that commit the most thefts in the hotel. Argentinians at the top among the kleptomaniacs of hotel rooms. And the Italians? “Only” eighths.
How to behave
Books, curtains, ornaments but also cutlery, light bulbs or towels. Sometimes the objects placed in a hotel room trigger irrepressible kleptomaniac impulses. Thefts in hotels are a rather frequent occurrence. In this regard, a survey conducted by Hotels.com has identified the most likely nationalities to steal items in the hotel. The global survey involved 5,000 travellers with surprising results. 73% of Argentinians interviewed admitted to subtract objects from hotel rooms, placing themselves at the top of the top ten. Italians, on the other hand, are “only” eighths, preceded by Singapore, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Russia and Mexico. The Colombians, according to the survey, would be the least likely to the theft in the hotel, followed by Norway, South Korea, Hong Kong and Denmark. Bath products, such as shampoo and shower gel, were not included, as they are usually offered by the hotel itself: so it is not a real theft.
Stolen items vary according to nationality. For example, the British, who do not figure in the top-10, still admit to bring with them stationery and slippers. Among the strangest thefts are pianos, televisions, the number stuck on the bedroom door, curtains, busts, flowers, weapons and famous paintings including an Andy Warhol with the value of 300.000 USD. Some guests even managed to steal a fireplace and even the owner’s dog. At least in some countries, however, thieves do not think to get away with it. In Japan, a young couple was arrested for stealing two bathrobes and an ashtray, while in Nigeria a woman was sentenced to three months in prison for taking two towels. However, in the vast majority of the cases you do not end up behind bars, but in the hotel’s black list. Crying will be the credit card, which will receive a very high charge. Top ten nationalities that steal more from hotels: Argentina (73%) Singapore (71%) Spain (70%) Germany (68%) Ireland (67%) Russia (59%) Mexico (59%) Italy (57% ) Japan (56%) United States (53%).
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THIEF BY CASE. WHAT CAN YOU TAKE AWAY FROM A HOTEL?
A book and an English classification investigate hotel kleptomania: the taste of stealing objects in rooms and suites. In addition to the more discounted bathrobes and towels there are surprises such as curtains (especially loved by the Anglo-Saxons) and (universal) light bulbs.
The hotel kleptomania. It is one of the most widespread diseases on the planet. It affects travellers from all over the world who are infected as soon as they cross the threshold of rooms and suites. It is the hotel kleptomania. A primordial instinct that transforms citizens above all suspicions into followers of Arsenio Lupine. Remedies? Nobody. The pathology seems incurable. They know perfectly well, to name one, the managers of the Ritz hotel who every year mourn the loss of more than six thousand ashtrays. But above all it is told by Jacob Tomsky, for years at the reception desk of many hotels between New Orleans and New York, and now the author of the memories “Heads in Bed”. Assuming that even the most unsuspected are affected, as if the fact of having paid a room authorizes to take possession of its contents, the English newspaper The Telegraph has compiled a list of the most stolen items in the world. Not only. It wonders about what is included in the lawful (a sort of memory of the house) or in illicit.
The classification. If bathrobes and towels are at the top of the table, taking home a soft terry cloth can be considered a kind homage to the house? Considering the commitment to protect them from the owners, from the microchips to the cartels that clearly specify the sale price, it does not seem right. The seconds in the standings are batteries and light bulbs. The question is why, who can afford at least one night at a hotel, feels an irrepressible impulse towards objects that cost a few cents? Mystery. Food and drinks conquer the third place. To escape from the control officer of the mini bar (dreaded) the most widespread ploy and drinking water and alcohol voraciously and fill the bottle with running water. But be careful: there are indeed new minibars with built-in sensors that record every movement and weight change. Consequences? Definitely a bad figure: if the bottle or chips are not replaced in their place, in ten seconds, the customer will still have to pay them.
In the fourth and fifth position, there are also settings and frames.If they are not particularly bulky, the artistic works are inserted in the sixth place. If bringing home a statue or a fresco is realistically impossible, the temptation towards the small picture would seem irresistible. In Great Britain the most loved ones are the curtains: 27% of the British admitted that, at least once in their life, they removed one and transferred it to their suitcase. Impossible to resist even the charm of the kettle, eighth in the standings. At the end there are books of generic reading (more and more often left by hoteliers in the rooms to create a pleasant homely atmosphere) and lastly the Bible, regardless of the professed religion. Then, among the objects of which it is reported the disappearance by the incredulous directors, bath mats, a boar head, hair dryer and irons. Who are the most honest tourists? It would seem the Danes, as 88% said they had never stolen anything. After them the Dutch and the Norwegians, commendable in 85% and 84% of the cases. Among those travellers who instead recognized that they had taken away a “memory” during their stay at the hotel, there are 62% of the French, 69% of the British, 76% of the Portuguese, 81% of the Spaniards and 79 % of the Italians.
The care. There is no cure but a remedy: the Five, super-luxury hotel in Cannes, allows you to buy everything in the hotel. Linen, furniture, beds. Just know that you can easily reach vertiginous figures.