international dining etiquette
Dining etiquette for toasts. More often than not, toasting simply involves lifting your glass, looking at the individual you are toasting, drinking, and lifting the glass again to them in their honor; do not break eye contact during the toast. Even if you are not making a toast, lift your glass before you take your first sip of wine or beer, look around, drink, lift the glass again (to the entire table), and set it down. You may then drink your wine or beer as you would normally from that point on.
A common toast is "Skøål!"
The male guest of honor should propose a toast to the hostess at the end of the meal. One way of getting others' attention is by lightly clinking your spoon on the side of your glass.
Dining etiquette for utensils. Danish custom requires that the fork and knife be placed parallel on the right side of the plate when you are finished, pointing north. If you want seconds, the custom is to turn the tines of the fork downward when you place the fork and knife on your plate.
Dining etiquette for seating. The host and hostess will sit at opposite ends of the table. The female guest of honor is offered the seat to the right of the host, and the male guest of honor will be seated to the right of the hostess. Name cards are often placed at each place setting.
Dining etiquette for tipping. Restaurants include a 12-to 15-percent gratuity in all bills.
- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
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