The British usually pay a lot of attention to dining manners. When dining out, keep the following tips in mind:
1. If you are allergic to certain ingredients, or have special preferences, notify your host several days prior to the dinner party.
2. Wait for your host to take a seat and start eating before doing so yourself. It is impolite to start without his or her indication.
3. Hold the knife in your hand, and fork in your left hand with the prongs pointing downward. When you want to take a break for conversation or wine, put down both the knife as well as fork on the plate with prongs pointing downward.
4. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Make sure you chew and swallow the contents in your mouth before participating in a conversation.
5. Always say “please” when requesting for a dish on the table, and say “thank you” to the host or server when served.
6. Never put the knife in your mouth for licking a sauce or other food item.
7. Break down a dinner roll using your hands. It is never appropriate to it whole, or cut it using a knife. Also, make sure you butter only one bite at a time instead of the whole bread. In formal settings, it is appropriate to take some butter out of the dish using your knife and put on the side plate for putting on your dinner roll. This prevents the butter dish from accumulating a lot of breadcrumbs.
8. Keep your hands rested on your lap when they are not being used for eating. It is inappropriate to have your elbows placed on the table whilst you eat.
9. Use knife and fork for eating items such as pizza or chicken when in formal settings. You may eat it with hands when at an informal setting like a barbecue.
10. Do not use your fingers for pushing food onto the fork or spoon.
11. Let others know that you have finished eating by placing your fork and knife together with prongs facing upward. The server can then take your plate away.
12. It is customary to pay for your own food in a restaurant, by placing money on the plate, once the bill arrives. If you want to pay through a credit or charge card, you may let the server know how much amount to deduct from it.