The protocol at the table ... The art of serving with art
The word "protocol", from the Latin Protocollum, has several meanings according to the Royal Academy. The same can be an "ordered series of matrimonial deeds and other documents that a notary or notary authorizes and guards with certain formalities", that the "minutes or notebook of minutes related to a diplomatic agreement, conference or congress", or especially the " diplomatic or palatial ceremonial rule established by decree or custom ”.
The latter refers to a very delicate and unavoidable topic in the new table, the protocol standards, despite the fact that currently some of these guidelines have fallen into disuse.
However, there are still certain conventions that must be followed, often no longer for good manners but for good education.
Sometimes we have inescapable commitments and we are faced with an important lunch or dinner, finding ourselves with a table full of cutlery, glasses, and we do not know what to do.
Basic patterns to follow
In that case, do not be startled, as following some basic patterns can help you so that the evening, far from being a concern, becomes a moment to enjoy.
- At a cocktail party, don't make the mistake of place the glasses in any area within your reach (wooden ones, for example, can be damaged). Take a good look, because there will surely be visible support tables to place them.
- If it is not the birthday of one of the hosts or wedding anniversary, to make a gift it is advisable to choose between flowers, sweets, books or wine. On the other hand, there are gifts that it is better to do without to avoid misunderstandings, such as animals, clothes and others.
- If you have been invited to a formal meal, and once you have gone to the table, you do not know where to sit, remember that at level dinners cards with the names of the attendees are used. If it is in a restaurant In luxury, the best thing for the guest is to wait for the host to point his place.
- We will talk with the different diners around us. You shouldn't just talk to one of them while ignoring the rest. There are "taboo" issues to avoid, such as politics, religion, sex, among others. A conversation should not be prolonged in which there are diners who, due to ignorance, cannot intervene.
- When sitting at the table, the first thing you should do is take the napkin that will be on your left, place it on your legs, and while you wait do not play with the cutlery or glasses, distract yourself in the conversation at the table.
- At fancy dinners we should not get in the way of thorns, seeds or bones, but if any appears in your mouth, use the napkin to bring it to your mouth and drop what you found annoying. Place the napkin to the right, so it draws the waiter's attention to provide you with a clean one. If not, call it, but without snapping your fingers.
- The napkin will be used to clean your mouth before taking water or sips of wine, to avoid leaving ugly stains on the glass. When you finish the meal, don't fold it, put it on your right.
- The cutlery is used from the outside in, that is, the ones for appetizers, starters and main dishes are used first.
- Currently it has been taken as a fashion to place the dessert cutlery in front of the diner, although they are used at the end of the meal. In a table of stale protocol, the correct thing is that they are placed by the waiters after collecting the main course, bread plate, salt and pepper shakers, as well as passing the raspona or swab
- If a cutlery falls on the ground, do not pick it up; the clerk must place a clean one first and then pick up the utensil from the floor.
- The bread plate should always be on the left. When taking it with the left hand, cut pieces with the right hand, smearing the butter or paté in small portions. Taking the whole bread and spreading it to start eating it, is rude at the table.
- If you want to try the food of another diner, avoid doing it by taking a little with the fork and bringing it over the table to its place. The most correct thing is to pass the plate of bread to that person and ask them to place there a few tablespoons or fractions of food that they want to try.
- When drinking soups or creams, use the spoon so that the edge opposite you is the first to come into contact with the liquid, thus avoiding burning. It should not blow or make noise.
- It is essential to maintain a correct posture throughout the meal. Although it seems obvious, it is worth remembering that, sometimes, we should not bring our heads too close to the plate or bring our mouths to the cover. The covered is the one that should go to the mouth.
- During the course of the meal, the cutlery can be placed as follows: the knife with the upper edge to the right of the main dish and the fork inside, with the handle out, the waiter will notice that it is not finished.
- Fine dining is characterized by slow service, but avoid being the last to finish.
- If you do not drink wine or can not consume it at the moment, ask for only water, no soft drinks or another drink, you can inadvertently tarnish the dedication that the hosts used in preparing the menu.
- If it is a Russian-style service, the roast is passed twice, as is the dessert. The waiter will show you the platter with the serving cutlery towards you. You should not fill the plate, if you want another portion you can have it at the second moment. An exaggerated portion is not served either.
- In certain protocol services, between the roast and the dessert is the lavadedos, aguamil or fingers bowl, consisting of a small small well and a base plate, its function is to wash the tips of the fingers. Women are given warm water with rose petals and men with a lemon wedge. After using it and drying your fingers with the napkin, place it in front of you. This service is also provided when consuming foods that must be taken with the hands and leave residues in them. The aguamanilo, unfortunately is in disuse, but a restaurant luxury or protocol food should take it, but the napkin is who pays the consequences.
- At official dinners or celebrations in a restaurant luxury the menu It is arranged, it is a menu on request. If you don't like some food, don't comment on it, it can hurt susceptibilities. If, on the other hand, you are allergic to a delicacy, the host, as a good connoisseur, will place another type of food for you. If it is an official meal, let your aide or person in charge of the delegation know.
- To signal that you have finished, place the cutlery on the plate vertically towards you. Many times they are misplaced at the edges with the handles toward the tablecloth, which is incorrect.
- There are restaurants in which, once dinner is over, they go to a terrace or other lounge, to have coffee, tea, digestive drinks or to smoke cigars. It is wrong to stay on the table, unless the table is held there.