napkin etiquette


Let’s talk napkins.

When given a napkin, use it. Don’t let it sit beside your plate. It is to be used for dabbing your mouth – frequently, and to protect your lap from spills.

Be it cloth or paper, your napkin goes in your lap as soon as you sit down.

Do not shake the napkin to open it. Unfold it discreetly under the table.

Fold large napkins in half and place the fold towards your body.

Dab the corners of your mouth with your napkin-don’t wipe your mouth!

Your napkin is not to be used as a handkerchief or to blot lipstick.

If you need to leave the table during a meal, place your napkin on the seat of the chair and push your chair under the table. A napkin does not go back on the table until the end of the meal – ever.

At the end of the meal, place your napkin loosely on the table, to the left of the plate. Do not refold the napkin, or put it on your plate. If napkin rings were used, return the napkin to the napkin ring, with the point facing the center of the table, to the left of the plate.