Watching jeering MPs on television or seeing truly hideous comments by trolls on social media, you might well conclude that we have lost all sense of manners and courteous behaviour in this country. So, to the question: ‘does etiquette matter?’, the answer is ‘more than ever’.
Indeed, it’s even more important than before that we appreciate and treasure the civility and etiquette of the great British custom of afternoon tea. This tradition embodies the very ‘best of British’ and represents us at our kindest and most considerate self.
Etiquette is not Snobbery!
We must understand that etiquette is not about snobbery.
It’s nothing to do with having ideas above one’s station
or anything snooty or la-di-dah!
Far from being about ‘class division’, it’s actually all about
caring for others - and that’s something everyone appreciates.
At afternoon tea it’s about listening, passing the plates, pouring
other people’s tea first, not taking the biggest/best bits but
offering them around. It’s about being in rapport and giving
your attention, creating quality time with others. Does
etiquette matter? If caring for others matters, then yes!
Little finger out when sipping tea?
Does it matter if you know the actual niceties of whether you hold your little finger out when lifting your cup, if it’s pronounced ‘scone’ or ‘scon’, whether tea or milk should go in the cup first or when you should place your napkin (or is it a serviette?!) on your lap etc?
Well, those things are useful to know about because they
can eliminate any concerns about ‘doing it right’ whether
you’re with your in-laws, boss, friends or clients.
Of course they are not vital, but if they can give a touch
more confidence, then that’s all good. The answers are
here by the way, if you’d like to be sure!
However, it will never be old-fashioned to be considerate and able to make people around you known they are cared for and nurtured. It’s a joy to be in the presence of someone who makes you feel that way, right? That’s why, when asked ‘does etiquette matter’, we should all give a resounding YES!