How to use a napkin
Why a napkin?
The napkin has several functions: on the one hand, it serves to protect clothing and, on the other, to dab your mouth. In addition, a nicely folded napkin is a decorative element on the set table.
Where is the napkin?
The artfully folded napkin is usually in the middle of the place setting, but sometimes it is also to the left of it, if only very little space is available, exceptionally to the right of the place setting. For a champagne breakfast it can also be put in the champagne glass, whereby smaller napkins are used for breakfast or with coffee.
How is the napkin used?
Before starting to eat, it is unfolded and placed on your lap so that two thirds of the napkin is on your feet and the remaining third is folded over. This allows you to dab your mouth without having to pull up the whole napkin and put the used end back into the two-thirds of the napkin on your lap without running the risk of soiling your clothes.
If you eat à la carte in a restaurant and the napkin bothers you when you open the menu, you can put it on your lap at this point.
Especially with fatty foods, the mouth should be dabbed before reaching for the glass, greasy lip prints are not particularly decorative there. If the lipstick is not "kissable", it is advisable to remove the excess with a Kleenex before eating - of course not at the table - or not to use such a product in the first place. After eating, the lips can be drawn back - in the washrooms!
When you have to get up?
If you have to get up while you are eating, fold the used third of the napkin into the free third, fold it again diagonally and lay it on the chair.
When you return, return the napkin to your lap as you did before.
And when you're done?
After eating, the napkin is loosely folded up (so that the used side is inside) and placed to the left of the place setting. For the service staff this is the sign that you have finished the menu. Paper napkins are also placed next to the place setting and not crumpled up on the plate!
Special feature: finger bowl
There is a specialty when handling the napkin - when a finger bowl is served with a meal. A separate napkin is served to dry the fingers and is only used for this.
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