Check out more of Ellen Easton's
articles and recipes.
Learn about the
History of English High Tea and more delicious
Afternoon Tea Recipes.
Tea Travels!™....What is a Tea or Etiquette Consultant?
It's summer and many have more leisure time to take classes or think
of career changes. Over the past two decades, many people have asked
"how can I become a tea or etiquette consultant?" or stated that
they had taken courses, either from the Internet, mail order or
schools and were now diploma credentialed, certified consultants,
but were still seeking my "how to" advice because they felt
the courses were not to their satisfaction.
It pains me to see hard working people and hospitality venues
spending money on programs filled with incorrect protocols, as it is
not only a disservice to the client, but to the entire industry as a
because a person or institution has a high profile, TV presence, books with
pretty pictures, attends trade shows, or an attractive advertising campaign does
not necessarily mean they are providing accurate information or are the best
do your homework,
consider the source and question the background and credentials from whence the
information is provided. Be wary of those using European titles, as very few
Americans hold titles and none, to the best of my knowledge, are teaching
etiquette. It takes more than one to three days, marketing skills and a piece
of paper to have real credentials.
I am continually astonished to witness, at times even from those calling
themselves etiquette experts, the animosity that some exhibit towards those who
do have good manners, going so far as to equate well mannered behavior as
pretentious. Social protocols are not a free for all. There is nothing
pretentious about good behavior or being considerate of others.
I am equally astonished to see historical references applied to the rules of
etiquette and dining that, in fact, have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do
with the evolution of the table. The rules are borne from practical reasoning,
not whimsy, nor to make others feel ill at ease. There are actual reasons as to
why a table is set in a particular fashion and service is conducted in a
I am beyond appalled that many fine dining establishments have taken to reinvent
the table setting placements. When I recently asked one five star hotel why the
utensils were all out of order on the table I was told by management they are
doing so because "today, so many diners do not know how to use utensils. We
just place them where they can pick them up." (Oh gosh yes, bring me some
Before signing on for an expensive program,
A professional consultant's responsibility is not without challenges, as it
constitutes more than telling others what to do. The information a consultant
conveys is an accumulation of learning and knowledge, combined with lifetime
It is wonderful when an establishment follows the guidance and a puzzlement when
it is ignored by unfounded standards set by management. Truth be told, I have
one luxury client that will not serve a soup bowl on a plate because the plate
costs too much money.
A consultant can be proud when a client follows the given advice. However, once
a consultant leaves the premise and no longer has a watchful eye, despite the
lack of quality control the risk of blame runs high. One can lead a horse to
water, but cannot make it drink.
Biggest Mistakes to
Napkin Placement - Napkins
are never set to the right of a place setting. Napkins are never placed on a
chair~ not before, not during, not after a dining experience.
Bread and Butter Knife - The B & B knife with blade facing down, is
placed horizontally across the top of the B & B plate. The only exception when a
B & B knife may be placed vertically on the right hand side of the plate is in a
tightly set banquet room, but never if there is adequate space on the setting to
be placed horizontally.
Spoons - Spoons are never left in a glass. Spoons, after having been used,
are placed on the side of a saucer or plate. If a saucer or plate has not been
provided, request that one be brought to the table.
Bowls of any kind - Are never place directly on a table. Bowls are always
served on a plate. Serving bowls are placed on a trivet.
Reason: Hygiene. The server's hands should never touch the
Table Service - One serves on the left and clears from the right. Beverages
are served and cleared on the right. If staff is not able to serve from the left
or clear from the right due to the physical set up of the table, say, “excuse
me” and proceed in the most non-intrusive manner. All service of all foods and
beverages is conducted at the appropriate time for each course served, not
in-between the courses.
For further etiquette tips
Etiquette Faux Pas and Other Misconceptions About
Whether one is looking to supplement an income, start
a new career or brush up on one's personal skills, gather your information with
Ellen Easton is a lifestyle industry leader, tea and etiquette authority, author of Afternoon Tea~ Tips, Terms and Traditions,
A Tea Party Planner and Tea Travels™ For The Holidays (RED WAGON PRESS), as well as a hospitality, design and retail consultant, whose clients have included The Waldorf=Astoria,
The Plaza, and Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon.
Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon,
thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.
REVA PAUL, an internationally acclaimed confectionery artist, hand decorated floral sugars and mints are available by special
order for teas, weddings, and special events. Wholesale/Retail - Bulk & Gift boxed. All prices on request via RED WAGON PRESS (212) 722-7981.
AFTERNOON TEA...TIPS,TERMS and TRADITIONS
By Ellen Easton
72 pages of how to’s, 27 photos, history, etiquette and FAQ about afternoon tea, serving styles and more. “Tea is the luxury everyone can
TEA TRAVELS™FOR THE HOLIDAYS
By Ellen Easton
64 pages, 21 color photos. A complete holiday menu includes 25 easy to prepare recipes; theme teas, decorating & gift ideas; invitation template
and secret sources.
Each 5 x 7 paperback book fits into an A-7 envelope for
easy mailing, great gift or party favor item. Each book
is $20.00 post paid. Continental US Only. Final sale.
(Wholesale and Fundraising accounts are welcome. Call
for Special Prices) Please include your name, address
and telephone number for shipping. Please make check or M.O. payable to: RED WAGON PRESS and send to: RED WAGON
PRESS, 45 East 89th Street, Suite 20A, NYC, NY
TEA TRAVELS™, Wishing You Happy TEA TRAVELS!™,
“Tea is the luxury everyone can afford!™”
and Good $ense For
$uccess™ are the trade marked property of Ellen Easton/RED WAGON PRESS.