• Winifred Rosenburg

      The napkin generally goes on the plate. However, sometimes in a casual setting it can go to the right of the plate.

  1. Cindy Post Senning

    Hi Theresa,

    The napkin goes on the left side of the plate. The fork(s) also goes on the left. The knife and spoon go on the right. And finally – the glass on the right and bread and salad plates (if you have them – not essential) go on the left. The bread plate just above the forks; the salad plate to the left of the forks.

    I hope that helps.

  2. James

    This question was addressedto Cooks Country, they replied that only cooking questions are answered, can you Help?
    As Children in the 1945- 50’s We were taught to eat from a Book my Mother had on Etiquette.
    The knife was used by your favored hand, placed on the side of the plate, and the fork, transferred to that
    favored hand, the fork held at a 90 degree angle to your erect body, the portion then placed in your mouth,
    and while chewing the fork was laid on the plate. hands in the lap, never on the table.

    I note when any of you eat it is efficient, with neither instrument leaving the ready position, nor switching hands.
    And the fork skewering meat is efficiently inserted in the mouth with an upward thrust at a 45 angel.

    We would have been skewered and sent to our rooms.
    Were we taught wrong, or have manners changed, or do they differ by region?

    I’m nearly 72, and I doubt it matters, but as a point of interest, I would really like to know.
    Thanks very much,


    • Alicia

      Depends where you live. In the Us vs Europe people do it differently. In the US you generally switch hands from your right hand with the knife to your right hand with the fork.

  3. A.T.

    Any recommended comments to a hostess who routinely begins clearing the table and cleaning up as soon as SHE is through eating, whether anyone or everyone else is through eating, at a formal or casual dinner or 5 or 50 for family, friends or business associates? She has been doing so for the last 45 years and we all have had as much as we can take. We continue eating and she continues cleaning around us. Thanks for your comments.

    • Elizabeth

      I think the answer depends on whether this person is the hostess (whether the events are in her home) nor not. For example, if the event was held at another home by another host/hostess, it would be well within their purview to say, “Sally, most people are not finished. Please stop clearing – we’ll take care of that later.” If it is a corporate event, the manager or host in charge could easily same something similar. “Sally, you’re making people uncomfortable by clearing so early, they think that you’re rushing them out the door. Please hold off until later.”

      It would be much more difficult to instruct a grown woman of advanced age, however, in her own home. I think you are doing the best you can by continuing to eat and ignoring it.

        • Elizabeth

          Right…in that case, it’s really hard to tell someone what to do in their home. But I completely empathize with how annoying and off-putting it must be! Perhaps gently asking something like this might work: “Sally, some of us aren’t quite finished yet. Won’t you sit down and tell us about your visit with Great Aunt Myrtle while we finish up?”

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