Dining With Royalty

When din­ing with roy­alty it is your respon­si­bil­ity to know your din­ing eti­quette.  The BBC has great advice on things guests should know before tak­ing their seat at the dinner table.

Table Setting

Cut­lery dilemma
It’s quite sim­ple — start at the out­side and work in as the meal pro­gresses. The soup spoon will always be on the extreme right if soup is the first course. It will be sec­ond from the right if served as a sec­ond course. Dessert cut­lery will always be at the top of the place set­ting with the fork fac­ing right and the spoon above it facing left.

Drinks order
Glasses are also placed in the order in which they are used. So, for exam­ple, water, cham­pagne, white wine, red wine, dessert wine. A nap­kin might be placed on the plate or to the left of the forks.

How to eat…
Some dishes require their own eti­quette.
Bread rolls: don’t cut with a knife — break with fin­gers.
Soup: tip the bowl and scoop the spoon away from you; sip, don’t slurp.
Aspara­gus: eaten with fin­gers, start with the head.
Oys­ters: use an oys­ter fork to detach the oys­ter from its shell. Hold the shell between thumb and first two fin­gers, place against lower lip and slide the oys­ter and its juice out of the half shell. Don’t swal­low it whole. Chew slowly and savour.

Source: BBC

To Tip or Not To Tip

Recently 2 col­lege stu­dents Leslie Pope and John Wag­ner were arrested over a $16.35 tip.  Per­son­ally I under­stand their frus­tra­tion with lousy ser­vice and the manda­tory 18% gratuity.

My fam­ily and I were at din­ner at The Gal­ley in Santa Mon­ica, CA.  Great restau­rant, but, because of the size of our party they were adding the 18% gra­tu­ity to or bill.  Ser­vice by our wait­ress was HORRIBLE she  never checked us. The bus boy and other staff mem­bers were wonderful.As an eti­quette con­sul­tant I know that not tip­ping is not an option besides every­one else  was won­der­ful, I spoke to the man­ager explained to him the lousy ser­vice the wait­ress gave us, but pointed out there was another waiter that took care of us along with the bus boy and he said he would make sure that the appro­pri­ate staff received the tip.

From time to time receiv­ing lousy ser­vice does hap­pen but unfor­tu­nately when you are in a large party your bill have the 18% gra­tu­ity added.  If you are not OK with this then don’t eat there.  If your ser­vice is lousy then speak up.  But, don’t ever NOT tip.  The tip is divided by other sup­port staff so by pun­ish­ing the waiter/waitress you are also pun­ish­ing other employ­ees who have done their job.

Here is a guide­line that was part of an arti­cle I recently wrote on who and how much to tip

  • Bar­tender — 15% of bill or $1 per drink, whichever is greater
  • Cock­tail Wait­ress — 15% of bill or $1 per drink, whichever is greater
  • Coat Check Atten­dant — $1 per coat
  • Restroom Atten­dant — $1
  • Hotel Maid — $2 to $5 per night depend­ing on the qual­ity of the establishment
  • Hotel Bell­man — $1 to $2 per bag
  • Hotel Concierge — $5 to $10 for secur­ing your reservation
  • Sky­cap — $1 per bag

I would love to hear from you Share your thoughts, eti­quette faux pax sto­ries or ques­tions  Jules