How to survive a formal dinner – Is that my glass or yours?

Navigating the table. A simple way to remember what drink glass or bread plate is yours is using the acronym BMW — bread, meal, water. This means you start from the left and make your way to the right. Your bread plate is first, then your meal plate, and then your water.

The ‘B’ and ‘D’ sign Using your forefinger and thumb make a circle to form the letter ‘b’ with your left hand and the letter ‘d’ with your right hand (similar to the ‘OK’ sign used in many countries). The ‘b’ in your left hand will remind you that your bread plate will be on the left of the table setting and the ‘d’ in your right hand will remind you that your drinks will be on the right side. Just be sure to do this under the table, otherwise those around you might wonder what you are trying to tell them!

Water glass to the left The water glass should be placed above the dinner knife and the other glasses placed around it but this is not always the case on crowded tables. If you have several glasses to choose from, remember that the water glass will always be the furtherest to the left or the closest to the plate.

Outside to inside Follow the same principle used for using silverware by starting from the outside and working your way inwards. The glass to the furthest outside of the table setting will be for the first course, then the next one will be for the second course and so on.

Glasses at the back are for last If there are more than three glasses they will be arranged in rows. The row of glasses at the back or behind are the glasses you will use for the last courses of the meal, for example the champagne for toasts given during dessert.