Tea Time Napkin Etiquette

Tea Time Napkin Etiquette
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Tea party etiquette as far as napkins are concerned is much like it is with a nice dinner. When you arrive, you should be seated where indicated and politely wait for everyone to be seated, or for the hostess to remove her napkin from the table and place it in her lap.
Napkin folds should be kept fairly simple, and the napkin should be placed next to the salad fork. If the tea party is served buffet style the napkin will be smaller and can be placed one of two ways. They can be placed directly on a small tea/dessert plate which are neatly arranged for each guest to pick up at the buffet. Or the small plates can be stacked neatly and the napkins placed in front of them in a grouping. Again, do not put your napkin in your lap or begin eating until everyone is seated or the hostess begins by placing her napkin in her lap.

When you are finished with your tea and food, it's the general consensus that it should be placed to the RIGHT of the plate on the table. IF you need to leave your seat during the tea it is acceptable to place the napkin on your seat until you return.

A hostess will often signal the end of the tea party or meal by placing her napkin on the table. At this point she will rise and let everyone know what to do next, such as move to a different room to play a few simple party games. You should also neatly fold your napkin in half or quarters and place it on the table. There is no need to fold it as neatly as it was in the beginning of the tea, but it shouldn't be crumpled or balled up either.

A note on whether to use paper or cloth napkins- if your tea is formal, cloth napkins are really the best way to go. If it's slightly informal, or very large, such as a church tea or a function for a women's group, then elegant paper napkins are fine to use.



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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