Let's talk tea today. What's in my teacup? It's a loose tea "Florence Tea" from Harney Tea. I know I carry on all the time on my Instagram about the fabulous teas from Harney, but there are so many to love! This is a China black tea with hints of chocolate and traces of almond and hazelnut. It's delightful y'all!
From my etiquette book collection...I love this classic book by Dorothea Johnson, "Tea and Etiquette: Taking Tea for Business and Pleasure." Of all the etiquette tips she taught me, napkin etiquette will remain with me forever!
Today, in all dining situations, the napkin is properly picked up and unfolded on the lap, not above the table level. A large dinner napkin is folded in half with the fold facing the body, while a tea napkin (12" serviette) is opened completely on the lap. Don't iron the napkin folds flat (iron the napkin but not the folds). Remember that all napkin folds on your table should face the same way.
Wait for your hostess to take her napkin and place it on her lap. Then pick up your napkin and place it on your lap.
Please don't wipe your mouth with the napkin. Blot it. Lipstick is never blotted on a cloth napkin; discreetly blot the lipstick onto a tissue before you begin to eat. Don't use a napkin as handkerchief. The napkin should remain on the lap during tea.
If you need to leave the table temporarily, place your napkin on your chair, not on the table. Push you chair back under the table if the setting is appropriate. Return the napkin to your lap when you are seated. The host or hostess picks up his or her napkin to signal the close of the tea. At the end of the tea, the napkin is not refolded but picked up by the center and placed loosely to the left of the plate.
I so enjoy your etiquette posts and especially the ones on tea. The folds definitely should all face the same way when on the table. My neighbor and I recently visited a tea shop which also serves lunch. The napkins were the full size, which I suppose was appropriate as they serve food in addition to taking reservations for tea. We saw a lady with her granddaughter having tea but I didn't pay attention to the napkin. Actually, I wouldn't have known the difference before reading your lovely post!
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