Sit! Good Dog! Sharing: part two in an ongoing series by PP


Editors Note: It is National Etiquette Week – Humans Unite and Be Polite

Joining friends, family or clients for a meal sounds simple enough, but finding the right spot for one’s bum can sometimes cause confusion in the brain.  Entertaining at home should be a comfortable and joyous occasion. Don’t let seating arrangements spoil the evening.  Below are some simple guidelines to avoid a misstep – or in this case – a misseat.

  •  The male/female/male/female pattern still works well in most settings. This does not mean spouses should necessarily sit together as breaking up a couple, at least over the dinner hour, allows for fresh conversation. Still, if you feel your coupled guests will be uncomfortable at separate ends of the table, pair them together. Hosting some singles? Kindly seat shy guests next to an extrovert; and consider grouping people with common interests and hobbies together.
  • Guests of honor deserve a special spot. If Sandra Bullock’s dog Ruby were in attendance, she should be seated to the right of the host. If a male VIP were to attend – such as Prince William and Princess Kate’s pooch Lupo (a personal friend of yours truly), then he would be seated to the right of the hostess.
  • If you are planning on having more than six guests around the bowl, by all means provide place cards. This puts your guests at ease and guarantees that certain pooches, such as Britney Spears’ Hannah and Ben Affleck’s Martha Stewart, don’t get seated side-by-side. After all, what in the world would they have in common? I doubt Martha Stewart could talk spray tans and Big Gulps with Hannah. And it is safe to say that Hannah has no idea the time and energy that a decent soufflé demands.
  • Finally, if guests are bold enough to paw at their cell phones during a meal, gently but firmly ask that they silence all devices and tuck them away until after the meal.

Remember, darlings, sharing is a learned skill and practice makes perfect. Happy dining.


Put a Fork in It? Sharing: part one in an ongoing series by PP


As a puppy I understood the concept of sharing, but dug my paws in when it came to my favorite things which includes, in no particular order: my Hermes collar, my simply stunning Burberry rain jacket with four matching booties, my cashmere bedding from Italy and anything resembling food.

I am often asked about proper etiquette when it comes to sharing. Therefore, dears, I thought an ongoing series on the art of sharing was due. Sharing a meal is our first endeavor. Let’s begin:

If you are considering sharing food at a restaurant, start by considering the company. If you are dining with friends and family, and everyone seems comfortable with sharing, address the issue. A simple “Would anyone be interested in sharing the steak tartare this evening?” works well. Should you be at a dinner with clients or individuals you do not know well, skip the idea entirely.

Below are some simple guidelines to avoid a misstep:

  • Before ordering what you think is a dish to share, ask your tablemates first
  • Never ask for a bite off of someone’s dish; wait to be invited to taste and then place the food item on your plate before tasting
  • Never use another’s fork or spoon to sample – ask your server for necessary accoutrements including utensils and small plates
  • Tip your server for the effort of splitting dishes

Remember, darlings, sharing is a learned skill and practice makes perfect. Happy dining.