POSH 101: Fork It Over

Monday, December 2, 2013
Fork it over stylishly, of course. From top to bottom flatware: Gold Lyons, Dynasty 24K, Parisian Gold, all POSH. Mocha Swirl Velvet Linen by Resource One, exclusively at POSH.

December marks a busy time of the year on the social calendar. From work holiday parties and social gatherings to family dinners with in-laws and friends, it's safe to safe that it's the most wonderful and busiest time of the year. So, what to do at those holiday gatherings? This week we will bring you etiquette and social pointers for everything from where the fork goes to the art of conversation. Whew! What a relief.

Stylish Silverware. From top to bottom flatware: Floral Elegance, Michelangelo, Christofle, Birch Hall by Redd & Barton, Marie Antoinette by Reed & Barton. Rouge Ribbon Taffeta full round linen by Resource One, exclusively at POSH.


A good rule of thumb: When in doubt, use a fork. It is the preferred utensil over fingers, spoons, and knives. For formal dinners, the hostess should serve food you can eat without embarrassment, like easy finger foods. Forks are even preferred for things like asparagus and ice cream. Eating Italian over the holidays? The spoon you use to assist in twirling the noodles is not part of etiquette - just use your fork to cut up the spaghetti. If you ever drop your fork, leave it and tell the server if at a restaurant; at someone's home, it is all right to pick it up, give to the hostess, and ask for another. Never use silverware that has fallen on the floor - even if you love the five-second rule, it does not apply ever in social settings. Finished? Lay your silverware on the the plate, never on the tablecloth. 

If you have more than one fork to use, don't panic, just start with the fork on the outside. The silver is set in the order it is to be used, with the first course’s silver being on the outside. Forks (tines up) on the left, knives (cutting edge pointing in), and spoons on the right. Remember, if the silverware you need isn’t on the table when you sit down, they will bring it when that course is served.

Seafood fork - This fork is the smallest fork. It will have only three tines. (Tines are the teeth.) It’s used with seafood, such as oysters and shrimp. It may be found to the far left of your place setting, or it may be resting in the head of your far right soup spoon.
Salad fork - This fork is larger than the seafood fork, but smaller than your dinner fork. It will have four tines but will be shorter and fatter than your regular fork.
Dinner fork - This fork will look like the ones you’re used to seeing at home (may be called a place fork).
Dessert fork - This fork is smaller than your regular fork, and you can recognize it by its placement. It will either be above your plate, or it will be set at the table during dessert.

Feel better about which fork to grab? Good. Check back this week for more POSH 101 tidbits.


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