Luxe Beat Magazine MAY 2015 - Page 57

Travel Europeans are known to be stricter about table manners than Americans are. (Not than my family was. My grandfather noticed everything and was the enforcer.) In Europe, don’t rest your elbows on the table, but keep both hands above the table at all times. This feat can be accomplished by resting your wrists on the edge of the table. Never be tempted to tilt your chair back on two legs or push food onto a fork with your fingers. Italy If you are tempted to ask for extra cheese, don’t. It’s a giant faux pas to put more cheese on your pizza. A bigger sin would be to add it to seafood. A service charge is usually added in the bill, but if the service is exceptional, add 5 to 10% gratuity. Portugal If you are someone who uses a lot of salt and pepper and there are not salt and pepper shakers on the table, don’t ask for them. It is quite offensive to the chef’s seasoning skills. France Don’t ask to split the bill, as it is considered unsophisticated. You offer to pay the bill or someone else will. I personally have a problem with this custom. I have found myself in situations where someone paid the bill and, later in the taxi, I slipped them some money to help cover my share. I knew their budget, but I also knew they were French. They were very appreciative. Use bread to help push food to the fork. Tear a piece of bread off and use it. When not in use, bread belongs on the table, not on the plate, unless a very f