Etiquette Boss: Elegant eating

December 30, 2014 Phillipa Morrish
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The Soup Course: Here’s a reminder: soup may be served in a bowl for lunch, but a soup plate is required when it is served during dinner. When the soup is finished, if a bowl has been used, the spoon must be placed on the plate under the bowl (if one is provided); however, a soup plate is treated in the same manner as a dinner plate, and the soup spoon is left in the plate at the end of the meal.

The soup spoon is held correctly when the thumb is at the top of the spoon handle. The spoon is filled by moving it away from you instead of toward you, and drunk from the side or the end of the spoon (the side for round soup spoons, served with cream soups, and the end for oval spoons that are served with vegetable, chicken or other hearty soups.)

The Fish Course: If a whole fish is presented on the table, both the fish knife and fork are used during this course. The fork is held in the left hand, prongs down and the fish knife is held in the right; but finger placement on the fish knife differs from holding a meat knife.

The fish knife is held in the same manner as holding a pen or pencil, whereas a meat knife is held with the forefinger at the neck of the knife to facilitate pressured cutting. The fish knife is used to push the fish on the fork. (If the fish is boneless, a fork can be used without the knife).

The fork may be transferred to the right hand and held in the upward or downward position; however when eating in the Continental style, the fork remains in the left hand with the prongs held down..


Dyan Cannon is an actress who seems ageless. One of her beauty secrets is to soak four chamomile tea bags in a quart of hot water. Place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Rinse the face with this liquid in the morning. It is said to tighten the pores and take away the residue of any product used during the night.

Phillipa Morrish is the president of Etiquette Training International.

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