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Miss Manners: Flatware turned down toward the table? I had never seen such a thing.

Apr 22, 2024

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I visited the Hillwood Estate in Washington, D.C. The gardens and home were beautifully decorated. The breakfast room and dining room tables were set to display the estate’s collection of china, crystal and flatware.

One thing puzzled me: The flatware was turned down toward the table. I couldn’t find an answer as to why the flatware was facing the table and not the chandelier.

GENTLE READER: Some European flatware is designed with the decorative carving on the back, so that the carved side is seen on the place setting -- and when using the fork tines-down, as Europeans often do.

Why, Miss Manners cannot tell you.



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(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email, [email protected]; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)




1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500

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