LINEN NAPKINS RULE!!
All you need to know about how to use them properly
and be ready for THE CROWN casting!
When you think about napkins, most of the time your mind runs to a big pile of paper ones, ready to be smashed, bulled up and left in the most uncommon and, let’s admit, improper places around the dining area.
Here starts my personal crusade to let the poor linen napkins gain back their honor and their right place on our tables and in our hands!
There are many good reasons why linen napkins were used for centuries as an important part on a home’s table linen collection:
– They keep your hands dry and your fingerprints away from your glass
– They are soft and pleasing to touch
– They are easy to care for
– They come in a huge array of colors and patterns!
And here is my favorite one: they are the easiest way to transform your dining experience, whether you’re setting a lazy weekend brunch for two or hosting a dinner party for friends.
Last but not the least: when you offer a proper linen napkin to your guests, you immediately show them to care.
They will know you took the time for them before and even after your venue, when it’s time to clean up.
As a guest, you will show care to your friend and host, using them properly.
Let’s see some tips to do it ammòdo!
HOW TO USE IT
There is only one place for your napkin during a meal: your laps!!!!!!
Not the collar, not the table, not your belt!!!
It has to lay on your legs for the hole time you will spend seated at the table.
Place the napkin in your lap immediately upon seating. If there is a host wait for him or her to take their napkin off the table and place it in his or her lap.
No matter what the occasion, you shouldn’t flap, shake or snap your napkin around like a flag before placing it in your lap. Open it smoothly with just one motion.
Use it frequently to blot your lips with the inner part of it (to do this, remember to fold it on your pals facing you and not the table )
At the end of the meal, it’s time for you to laid your ally and leave it:
– on the left, if a plate is in the center of your place setting
– in the middle of the place setting, if it has already been cleared.
Remember to leave it unfolded.
The size determines how you unfold a napkin in your lap.
– Large napkins are unfolded halfway.
– Smaller napkins are unfolded completely and cover the lap fully.
– Cocktail napkins are small and they keep your hands dry for a gracious handshake and keep the bottom of your glass dry, protecting your host’s furniture when you set your drink down.
I have huge misfiling about napkins rings: although I recognize that some of them and nice and help in decorating the table, I personally find them a little bit awkward and inconvenient.
Staying by the rules, if a napkin ring is present, after removing your napkin, you should place the ring to the top-left of the setting and, at the end of the meal, grasp your napkin in the center, pull it through it, and lay it on the table with the point facing the center of the table.
As you can see, this process is tricky (try to imagine six or eight guests trying to center the ring with a napkin they used for the hole evening…) and can be easily skipped by avoiding rings.
If you like to decorate your napkins I will suggest you to use a small ribbon: you can choose the one that match best to your setting among hundred, they don’t take much space on your table and in your cabinet when it’s time to store them.
Small flowers or fresh herbs are another nice way to change the look of your napkin in few seconds!
Here you will find some samples about how to fold and decorate your napkins.
These are the bases you need to know to gain more confidence in every dining situation, whether it’s dinner at a fancy restaurant, job interviews over a meal or lunch at a friend’s home.
Understanding how to use a linen napkin (as any other rule of good manners) will help your meals go smoothly and with no embarrassing faux-pas!