Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quick Tip: Dining Etiquette 101

We all know to “start on the outside and work our way in” when we sit down to a multicourse meal.

But it gets a little more complicated when there isn’t much space between table settings.

Is that my water? Which bread dish do I use? For this predicament, I use what I call the “b&d” method.

Hold your hands out over the table setting (or do it in your lap if you’re trying to be discrete) and touch your first fingers and thumbs together, while leaving your other fingers extended.

Your left hand forms a “b” for bread, and your bread dish is conveniently located on your left. Your right hand forms a “d” for drink, which you’ll find to your right.


  1. that's actually quite brilliant!

  2. i learned that years ago and still use that tip often!

  3. I read this last week and ironically was able to use it this weekend as a group of "aging" friends gathered for brunch. We were trying to determine what belonged where at the table. I demonstrated the "b" and "d" theory to them. Not only did it solve our problem but led to a very interesting conversation about hand symbols across many cultures!!!