Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged last November I have been interested in how Meghan will have to go through what is referred to as ‘Princess Boot Camp’ to get her accustomed to her new Royal lifestyle. The Royal Wedding is taking place on May 19th.
I always think that manners and courtesy never go out of fashion so I decided to read and learn more regarding not only the etiquette required for Meghan’s new royal role but etiquette that is generally used. My mum had lessons in school about using the right cutlery and glass and deportment, standing, sitting and walking properly, something which we don’t have included in our schools anymore. While we may not all end up becoming Princesses or marrying aristocrats I can see no reason why we can’t all practice grace and etiquette. I have always particularly loved the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s style and poise.
To learn more about Table Etiquette I recently met and spoke to two wonderful people, Mr. Peter Loughnane, General Manager of the Cork Airport Hotel and Lorraine Gavigan, Food and Beverage Manager of the Cork International Hotel. Peter has previously worked in Buckingham Palace, Kensington, Highgrove, and Downing Street. It was fascinating to hear about all the royalty and dignitaries he has served at table over the years and how tables are set and proper manners used.
Lorraine Gavigan, Food and Beverage Manager in the Cork International Hotel originally trained in Dromoland Castle. Lorraine has also run her own restaurant and has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry. When people come to dine at the Cork International Hotel Lorraine and her staff would like the diner’s experience to be a good one and with that in mind I asked Lorraine about her list of Do’s and Don’ts when we choose to fine dine. So, Ladies and Gentleman, next time you are either at a posh banquet or simple lunch make sure to keep in mind ‘Lorraine’s List’.
- Don’t Lick your Knife.
- Don’t Leave the table before everyone was finished.
- Don’t Use the wrong cutlery.
- Don’t Start to eat before everyone’s meal has arrived.
- Don’t Leave cutlery askew when finished your meal.
- Don’t Stack plates for waiters.
- Don’t Chew with mouth open.
- Don’t Pick your teeth.
- Don’t put your Elbows on the table.
- Don’t Rearrange the chef’s menu.
- Don’t Let children run around.
- Don’t Sit on the edge of the chair.
- Do Close menus to signal you’re ready to order.
and finally, Do enjoy your meal!
My Table Setting
I used the lovely cutlery that my parents got as a wedding present and our Galway Crystal Glasses so I was able to create my own table setting at home. This type of table setting would be formal and when I first started reading up on table settings and layouts I thought to myself “Oh dear, what do I use and where do I start!”. Obviously, we wouldn’t be all familiar with these formal settings because we don’t use this sort of cutlery every day. As listed above in the picture I have named all the utensils I used and the general rule of thumb is to work from the outside in. Starting when you arrive you have your demitasse which is a small cup of tea/coffee, a soup spoon for starter and finally, the knife and fork nearest to the plate are the main course utensils.
I would like to give a special thank you to the President of the Cork Business Associaton Mr. Philip Gillivan and his lovely wife Maria for their help. Philip put me in contact with Mr. Ray Kelleher Manager of the Trigon Hotel Group who I would also like to thank. Mr Kelleher set up the appointments with Peter and Lorraine for me. I enjoyed the experience immensely.
Thank you for checking out Part 2 and I hope you enjoyed learning about the Royal Lifestyle, I definitely did!
If you haven’t seen part 1 of this blog post Royal Wedding special, you can see it here Royal Wedding Special Part 1 : Princess Modeling with former Miss Cork the beautiful Mairéad O’ Farrell