If you excuse yourself from the table, loosely fold the napkin and place it to the left or right of your plate. Do not refold your napkin or wad it up on the table either. Never place your napkin on your chair.
At the end of the meal, leave the napkin semi-folded at the left side of the place setting. It should not be crumpled or twisted; nor should it be folded. The napkin must also not be left on the chair.
At a private dinner party:
The meal begins when the host or hostess unfolds his or her napkin. This is your signal to do the same. Place your napkin on your lap, completely unfolded if it is a small luncheon napkin or in half, lengthwise, if it is a large dinner napkin. Do not shake it open.
The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal. The host will signal the end of the meal by placing his or her napkin on the table. Once the meal is over, you too should place your napkin neatly on the table to the left of your dinner plate. (Do not refold your napkin, but don't wad it up, either.)
For more information about Teen Etiquette and Ms. Fiona Cameron-Williams' other etiquette courses and seminars, visit www.fionacameron-williams.com.
For over 20 years, FCW Hospitality and Private Residence Consulting, Inc, based in New York City, is a firm providing private residence and hotel consulting services in any location desired by a client, both nationally and internationally. President Fiona Cameron-Williams is certified by The Protocol School of Washington as an International Protocol & Etiquette Consultant, and Founder of the International Head Butler Network. She is an International Protocol Consultant to the United Nations International School, and a hospitality management adjunct professor at the New York College of Technology. She also provides On-Site Etiquette Briefings and Seminars for teens, business professionals, dignitaries and corporations. FCW consultants are experienced, dedicated professionals with many years of estate and hotel management experience. They train existing staff, recruit new talent, train to Five Star hotel standards, and set up a new private residence once construction is complete. For more information, visit www.fionacameron-williams.com