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Archive for February, 2011

Village News article on Flag Etiquette

Napkins – Placement and Protocol:

A truly formal table has only one correct placement for a napkin, to the left side of the place setting. The napkin should be folded with the closed edge to the left and the open edge to the right. There are no exceptions!  This rule applies for rectangular, triangular, and square shape folds.  Silverware should never be placed on the napkin. Note: Less formal affairs may allow a fancy folded napkin to be placed in the center of the place setting. (Although, you will find many wedding events and other special gala tablescapes routinely dressed with the napkin in the center of the plate).  Heck, if it’s good enough for the Queen (above photo)….

The proper protocol when excusing oneself from the table, whether during or after a dining experience, is to gently place one’s napkin to the left side of your place setting. This rule is not negotiable for the simple reason if one’s napkin were soiled it could damage the seat covering, damage that may be either costly to repair or irreplaceable. While the risk for soiling a cloth also exists, the cloth can be laundered with relative ease.

Upon completion of a dining experience, a napkin folded with a crease and placed to the left side of your place setting indicates to your host or hostess that you wish to be invited back.

The expression, “to make ends meet”, derives from the 1729 French Court. The dress code for men included decorative stiff ruffled collars. When dining, a napkin was tied around the neck to protect their collars, hence the expression.

Credit:  Parts of this post  have been excerped from:  http://whatscookingamerica.net/EllenEaston/EtiquetteFauxPas.htm