British Table Etiquette – Dining With Grace

Farina Khan

Updated on:

British Table Etiquette

British Table Etiquette: Table manners are an appropriate way to judge the manners and etiquette of any individual. Whether it is a formal dinner or an informal meeting, dining with grace is as important as dressing appropriately.

If you are planning to study in the UK, you should be aware of the certain rules and regulations to be followed on the table. In this blog, we will highlight British table etiquette, which you should be aware of before moving or settling down in the UK.

Check out our blog on cultural etiquette to ease your academic life: 

Basic Manners 

There is a set of basic rules that you need to be aware of, before sitting down on a British table. You should follow this British table etiquette to avoid any embarrassment at your student housing in the United Kingdom.

  • Start eating after the host or hostess asks you or tells you to start.
  • Chew your food properly with a closed mouth.
  • Never talk with food in your mouth.
  • Avoid putting too much food in your mouth.
  • Finish off the food first and then take more.
  • Bread and rolls should be broken with the help of fingers.
  • Do not butter the whole slice.
  • Do not blow on hot food or drink.
  • Do not sip from a coffee spoon or teaspoon.
  • The soup should be spooned away from you. 
  • Never mash or mix food on your plate.
  • Use a piece of bread on a fork to soak up sauce or gravy. 
  • Never hold the bread in your fingers to soak up sauce or gravy.
  • Always use a knife and fork, barbecue is an exception.
  • Never use your fingers to push food onto your spoon or fork.

Also, check out the Comprehensive Guide To American Culture Etiquette

Crockery and Cutlery

There are some basic rules to be followed for cutlery and crockery as well. Check out the below-mentioned rules.

  • A napkin or serviette should always be placed on the lap.
  • The napkin should not be removed until you leave the table.
  • Keep your serviette on the left side of your plate, never on the plate.
  • Never tuck your napkin into the collar of your shirt.
  • Do not wipe off cutlery or glassware with your napkin. 
  • The fork is held in the left-hand
  • The knife should be in the right hand to cut food.
  • The fork is held tines down. 
  • The knife is used to move food onto the fork.
  • Cutlery should not be shifted.
  • Never leave your spoons in a plate or bowl after finishing your food.
  • Do not push your plate away or stack your dishes.
  • Place the knife and fork together in the “twenty past four” position
  • Cut only three bites at a time.
  • Do not scrape the plate.

Be mindful of the Things You Should Never Do in the UK. Check out our blog to avoid embarrassment in the new academic step of your life.

Also, check out the Things You Should Never Do in the UK

Placement and Procedure

The placement and procedure of the dining table should signify your manners and etiquette. Below-mentioned is a list of rules you should follow.

  • Forks will be on your left. 
  • Knives and spoons are placed on your right side.
  •  oyster or seafood fork will be on the right next to the soup spoon.
  •  The silverware indicates the courses that will be served.
  • A dessert spoon and dessert fork are placed on the top of the plate.
  • When dessert is served, slide cutlery to the sides of the dessert plate
  • To eat dessert, break the dessert with a spoon.
  • Push the food with the fork into the spoon
  • Eat from the spoon with the fork in the left hand and the spoon in the right.
  • Coffee spoons are either to the right of the plate or brought with the coffee.
  • Red wine is served in a glass with a round bowl.
  • Hold red wine at the base of the bowl
  • Red wine should be served at room temperature.
  • There will be a butter knife located near the butter dish.
  • Salad may be served before or after the main course. 
  • The placement of the salad fork will give you a clue regarding salad serving.
  • Finger bowls are presented after the main course and before dessert.

Passing Dishes and Food

  • Always pass the dish to the right.
  • Initiate the passing of rolls, butter, and condiments.
  • Pass jugs, gravy boats, etc. with the handle toward them.
  • Never reach across the table. 
  • If anything isn’t directly in front of you, ask for it to be passed.

To know more about British Culture, Ethics, and traditions, Check out our video on the Core Values of Britain.

FAQs on British Table Etiquette

How to use napkins while dining?

Napkins should be placed across the lap. Never tuck them on your collars or clothes.

Should I eat peas with a spoon or a fork?

Peas should be crushed onto the fork. Add peas with something sticky for eating.

From which direction should I pass on the dishes?

The dishes should always be passed from the right side.

What is the British way of setting a table?

In the British way, forks go on the left, knives on the right, and the spoon above the plate. Napkins are placed to the left or on the plate.

What is strange British etiquette?

A peculiar British etiquette is saying “sorry” frequently, even when not at fault, and forming orderly queues for everything, maintaining strict politeness and patience.

A popular saying in the UK is ‘Manners maketh man’, which means politeness, good manners, and civility are essential to humanity. Above mentioned are basic British table etiquettes, you must be aware of, to avoid any kind of embarrassment in your future.

For booking the best accommodation abroad to start your study abroad experience you can contact Fly Homes at 1800572118. 

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About Farina Khan

Hi, I am Farina Khan. I am a journalist by profession and a writer by passion. I carry over a decade of experience in Journalism and Mass Communication. I worked with renowned media organisations like Doordarshan and Zee Media. I performed numerous roles during my work tenure including reporting, anchoring, and heading a channel as well. My passion for writing, combined with my dedication in delivering high-quality content, drives me to excel in the dynamic field of content writing. From thought-provoking articles to SEO-friendly blog posts, or engaging website content, I'm here to bring your ideas to life through words.

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