When the British lay the table, they place a dinner plate in the centre of the setting and lay forks to the left of the plate and knives and spoons to the right. They place the cutlery in the order that it will be used starting from the outside. Knife blades should be facing towards the plate and fork prongs facing upwards.

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Wait until everyone is seated before starting to eat.

During the meal, never lick the knife or eat off it. Ask someone to pass the food, rather than reach across the table. If using a knife and fork together, always keep the tines of the fork pointing downwards and push the food on to the fork. Chew with your mouth closed. When drinking, it’s rude to drink noisily. Never speak with your mouth full. Before eating a bread roll, you break it into pieces with your fingers.

When you finish the meal, place your knife and fork together in the “twenty past four” position.

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