3 Tips To Perfecting Your Dining Etiquette Skills

We are honoured to partner Nan Hua High School for the third year running. Welcome to Camp Horizon 2015 – where we attempt to mould students into gentlemen and ladies.
Seeing the sea of 407 Secondary 4 students dressed in their finest, I know they are really looking forward to both the grooming and dining etiquette workshop.
It is especially heartening to see more schools and educational institutions focus on soft skills, or shall I call them lifeskills, for the students. After all, lifeskills cannot be learnt from textbooks. They have to be experienced firsthand.
One of the biggest giveaway secrets I’m going to share is that your image and etiquette should never scream out for attention. This is for wannabes. Instead, it should be subtle. It should be so subtle and almost second nature that you don’t even have to think of what to do next. It just comes naturally. You go with the flow. And the flow is smooth, like cruising on a traffic-jam free expressway.
I know the biggest Achilles heel of most people remains the dining etiquette. So let that be the focus of today’s blog entry.

Let me share three tips on how to perfect your dining etiquette skills at the dining table.  

Dining Etiquette Tip #1: Know Your Territory
You are not going to war. But you still need to know where your territory lies. Remember this simple rule – breads to the left and drinks to the right. That is the extent your ‘territory’ starts and ends. 
Do not eat other people’s food at the table. Similarly, do not drink from another’s wine glass. This is considered extremely rude.
Your ‘homebase’ of course will include the soup bowl, dinner plate and various cutlery placed on both sides.

Dining Etiquette Tip #2: Cut Your Meat In One Direction
I’m sure everyone has heard of the British pop group One Direction. Take a cue from these cute guys and cut your meat in one direction.
Pin the meat down with your fork in your left hand and using the knife in your right, neatly cut the meat straight down. It’s like doing a mini-operation. Surgeons do not play with the knife nor do they cut the patients up in zig-zag movements. Got it?
You only cut the portion of the meat you want to eat. You do not cut everything up in one go.


Dining Etiquette Tip #3: Hold The Wine Glass Correctly
As society grows in affluence, we tend to pamper ourselves and indulge in a little wine. Many have asked me where they should hold the wine glass.
If you look at a wine glass, there is the stem and the bowl. 
Just remember this – if you are drinking red wine, it does not matter if you hold the glass at the stem or at the bowl. This is because red wine is served at room temperature.
But, if you are drinking white wine, then you have to hold the wine glass at the stem. White wine is served chilled and you do not want the heat from your palm to warm the wine.
In today’s society where we spend so much time getting to know each other better over the dining table, it makes good sense to perfect your dining etiquette skills. When you are at ease at the dining table and everything flows, you can then concentrate on enhancing the quality of your relationships via good conversations. 

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