It is just remotely conceivable that your correspondent may have very occasionally been guilty of this sin.Some subjects traditionally banned at English dinner tables, such as sex and politics, are in fact the very stuff of lively debate. For example: 19 Don’t boast about the value of your property.We haven’t seen it, and we could be seeing it now, actually… There are no strict etiquette rules that you have to stick to when in the UK.14 Children, it used to be said, should be seen but not heard. But civilised human beings do not binge-drink at the dinner table. Nor do they, at any time, pass out having drunk too much.Nothing has happened to alter the soundness of this advice. 16 Mealtimes should not be accompanied by intoxicants that are smoked, snorted or injected.Someone chose you to be one of a set number of people seated at a particular table.
18 Equally bad is the arrogant, indignant loudmouth who simply will not stop battering other people with his point of view, no matter how hard they try to change the subject to something less contentious.When they do use knives and forks, they don’t hold them properly. 1 When invited to dinner, you are absolutely at liberty to accept or decline the invitation.And gentlemen are sitting next to their memsahibs at dinner. Not surprisingly, Maj Gen Cowan has taken a pretty dim view of such poor form. In fact, we believe that it is our duty to apply the same rigour to social standards when eating in civvie street. You are not, however, free to accept and then change your mind at the last minute because you suddenly got a better offer, or there’s something good on the “telly”.It is advisable, however, to demonstrate decent manners and respect to the local culture and traditions.The first, and most important step, is to be aware of the clearly distinct nations which form the UK.