Ever wondered what the reasoning is behind why we’re discouraged to put our elbows on the table? Or where all the cutlery is suppose to go and what each piece is actually meant for? If these questions have been plaguing you for sometime, perhaps you should consider taking part in a dining etiquette course.

The TableSmarts Everyday Dining for Adults course runs through the ABC’s of table manners. Topics include, how to approach and exit the table in a polite fashion, placing an order with the waiter, navigating place settings, napkin-uses, rules for eating bread and soup, correct handling of utensils, passing food at the table, appropriate behavior at the table, and dealing with unwanted food.

Those who are intrigued by these “rules” of dining but are a little apprehensive about succumbing themselves to a course, have nothing to fear. The two-hour class is composed of friendly instruction (nothing like those stiff, whip cracking finishing schools you often see portrayed in films), group discussions, and hands-on practice during a three-course lunch at Vancouver’s Terminal City Club.

Our TableSmarts class is great for anyone who wants to present a more polished self at a business lunch with clients or those who simply wish to attain a better grasp of dining etiquette. There’s also a Fine Dining course for adults and an Everyday Dining course for kids too.


Here are my own top 5 dining tips we should all be following:

  1. Place your napkin on your lap before you take your first sip of water, as it signals the beginning of your meal.
  2. When someone asks for the salt or pepper – consider the two “married” and always pass them together. This way they stay together and people don’t have to ask for the salt and pepper individually when they need both.
  3.  It is courteous to keep your mouth closed during chewing and to avoid making noises such as slurping.
  4.  Never stretch across the table for a dish or condiment, for example. Politely ask for someone to pass it to you.
  5.  Do not blow on your soup to cool it down. In our Everyday Dining classes, we practice the “edge” technique where you learn to enjoy your soup without looking rushed or eager.


For more information about the classes and courses we offer, please contact me on