British Etiquettes and Customs

Meeting and Greeting

  • The handshake is the common form of greeting.
  • Avoid prolonged eye contact as it makes people feel uncomfortable.


Gift Giving Etiquette

  • The British exchange gifts between family members and close friends for birthdays and Christmas.
  • The gift needs not be expensive, but it should usually demonstrate an attempt to find something that related to the recipient’s interests.
  • If invited to someone’s home, it is normal to take along a box of good chocolates, a good bottle of wine or flowers.
  • Gifts are opened when received.


Dining Etiquette

  • Unlike other Europeans, the British enjoy entertaining people at their homes.
  • Although the British value punctuality, you may arrive 10-15 minutes later than invited to dinner. However, if it is at a restaurant, be on time !
  • Table manners are continental, i.e. the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
  • The fork is held tines down so food is scooped on to the back of the fork. This is a skill that takes time to master.
  • Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat.
  • Do not rest your elbows on the table.
  • If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife.
  • Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate.
  • Toasts are given at formal meals.
  • When in a pub, it is common practice to pay for a round of drinks for everyone in your group.
  • If invited to a meal at a restaurant, the person extending the invitation usually pays. Do not argue about the check; simply reciprocate at a later time.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s