The Proper Table Etiquette for the Use of a Napkin

While we all may know the use of our knife, fork, and spoon, have you ever thought about the use of the napkin, ever-present throughout each dining experience?

Let us help you.

• Put your napkin on your lap upon being seated. Unfold your napkin without any grand gestures. Place it comfortably on your lap. This is its home until either you leave the table or the meal is completed.

• Wipe your mouth with care. Gently dab your mouth and allow the napkin to absorb any residue on your mouth. It is also vital that you use your napkin before sipping your wine or any beverage so that food is not deposited on the rim of your glass.

• Should you need to leave the table, excuse yourself and place your napkin on the seat of your chair, not on the table and not on the arm or back of the chair. Position on your lap upon return.

• Do not tuck in your collar. Do not wipe your face, teeth, or nose at any time.

• At the completion of the meal, the host may signal that you have reached the end of the meal by placing her or his napkin on the table beside the plate, but never on the plate. It is correct to mimic this gesture and express thanks for a lovely meal.