All cultures and countries around the world have their share of etiquette and manners. England is no different. While in general, they are quite relaxed about formal etiquette and manners, it is important to know a few so that you can avoid any awkward or embarrassing moments. So, we have selected a few typical manners for you to know while visiting England. From basic table manners to how to tip, we have got you covered! Here are our top 5 English Etiquette and Manners to use while in England!
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Being on time is a very important matter in England. Whether that is meeting friends for drinks or going to someone’s house for dinner. It is important to make sure that you show up on time as showing up late is seen as extremely rude. Unfortunately, there may be some factors that can make you late. In that case, just make sure to send a message to let them know!
2. Giving a handshake
Greetings are always a hard thing to maneuver while in new countries. In France, you have the kiss on each cheek but in England, a simple handshake will do the trick. When greeting a new person, it is polite to extend your hand while exchanging your “hellos” and nice to meet you’s”. A handshake is good for both formal occasions and informal occasions. For example, you can use it when meeting someone in an office or when meeting someone at their home. Either way, it is a kind greeting that shows politeness.
Knowing if to tip and how much can be a very confusing thing when going to another country. In England, you should always check your bill to see if it says “Service Included” or ‘Service not included”. The latter means that you have to tip. If a service charge is included, it is up to you to decide how much you would like to tip, especially if you have received good service. Tips are usually a big part of the service staff’s pay so any amount is sure to be appreciated!
4. Waiting in Line
Whether you are at the supermarket or waiting for the bus, waiting in line is sure to be a part of your trip. An orderly line is mandatory in most places so that people receive their service or product in the order of when they arrived. Cutting in line in any way or form is very frowned upon. Similarly, while on escalators, especially in tube stations, make sure to stand on the right side of the escalator. The left side is meant for people trying to get somewhere quickly. Commuters on a rush to work are sure to remind you of this if you are in their way.
5. Table Manners
While there are strict formal dining rules in England, these are not applied in more casual settings. But in case dining out at a fancy restaurant or attending a dinner party is part of your itinerary, here are some essentials to remember:
- Your knife must be held in your right hand and the fork in your left hand.
- Elbows should always be left off the table.
- Never talk with your mouth full.
- Never lift a bowl off the table if eating from one.
- Place your cutlery in the middle of your plate to signal to your server or hostess that you are finished eating.
These are good ones to know as they are often the standard rules across formal and informal dining.
And a bonus rule: When you’re invited to someone’s home, bringing a gift over is considered a polite gesture. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A bottle of wine or a dessert would do!