(Courtesy to The Closeteur)
The Interesting Stereotype of Etiquette Vs Posture
甚少與人提及我曾赴英修讀禮儀學，並考取了2張相關的證書。因為我不想於朋友聚會裏，為身邊的人構成壓力。直至有朋友叫我參與相關的培訓 － 幫助一群又一群將投身社會的大學生、以及職場上的年青才俊等 － 我才發覺原來學了這門學問，還可以為社會出一點力。當一個社會進步時，人對生活質素、品味、文化修養、社交、企業管理等的要求隨之提高，怎樣行出來讓客戶於初次見面就留下深刻印象：覺得你是「得體」、「大器」，即是marketing 術語中的 ”presentable” ?
- 通常朋友問我，是不是專程去英國學「儀態 」?
嚴格來說也算是的。簡單來說，儀態(posture) 即是肢體的一舉一動，即使學習跳舞也能學到一點兒。而儀態是博大精深的禮儀學其中一門的必修課 。
5. 你學禮儀是不是想嫁入豪門？ …
Isn’t a cliché photo? Chosen on purpose.
Seldom do I talk about my study of the etiquette and the two relevant certificates I got in the U.K., which has usually ended up in stressing my friends out during social gatherings alternatively. Not until was I invited to participate in a youth training on etiquette, I was convinced I could actually help contribute to the community by training peers of university students and society elite.
Being “Presentable” is a jargon in marketing. When a contemporary society is getting more sophisticated, there is a higher demand in lifestyle, taste, culture nurture, social networking and corporate management. How to make first and lasting positive image, receive and entertain clients with the utmost of professionalism, savoir-vivre and precision?
Understanding and learning the art of etiquette is a way to build and foster your self-esteem, self-confidence, social respect as well as interpersonal relationships. In short, this is the “soft skills” which we always talk about: from dressing, behaviour, communications skills, table manner, intercultural awareness, afternoon tea etiquette, international social manner to business etiquette etc.
To ME, etiquette actually means the basic respect and self-respect for others and in a culture aspect.
- Many friends asked me if I went to the UK all the way to learn “posture”?
Yes strictly speaking. Posture is how you act with your body in every single move. Like how you can also pick it up from dancing. Posture is indeed an essential lesson for the art of etiquette. (yes part of it)
- Is learning the art of etiquette restricted to ladies only?
No. We do have different requirements for men and women, regardless social networking or business etiquette.
- Friends like to follow what I do while we gather and dine. During dining at a Vietnamese restaurant, is that true that gentlemen need to take food to ladies’ plate?
I believe I didn’t pay my tuition fee to learn that in the U.K. However, I guess our parents teach us some basic unlearnt virtue at home. For example, we cannot cross the other end with our chopsticks; never flip the bottom of the plate for serving; be quiet when you chew… all these basic table manners apply across the mainstream etiquette.
- Who should settle the bill when dining?
It depends on the situation in different occasions, for example, social or business settings.
- Have you planned to learn etiquette for sake of becoming a tai-tai? Well…
Small Stories About Etiquette
Studying etiquette in the U.K. has been one of the vital and rewarding life experiences throughout my life journey. The United Kingdom is an amazing country of history and heritage where one can easily live up with examples and resources like palaces and museums. I am pleased to understand their culture. By understanding more of their thoughts, I have managed to communicate more effectively with the locals. From what I learnt from my experience, somehow you can earn more respects from the English (or foreigners in general) if you understand, speak and act as if you were part of them (of course, in confidence).
老師安排我到白金漢宮 （Buckingham Palace）近距離接觸，於禁地拍了張照片。
My teacher arranged my visit to the Buckingham Palace where I could manage to take a few shots in the forbidden area.
學習衣著及個人形象、指定動作到 V&A 學 Fashion History
Learning the art of dressing, personal styling, designated posture. Learning Fashion history at the V&A
James Bowden 於 Manners for Men 曾把男仕服裝總括和分類為: 步行、騎馬、駕駛、探訪、划船、狩獵、射擊、高球、騎自行車、網球、板球、足球、用膳、抽煙、休閒、賽車、遊艇、西裝、摩托車裝，更說明了應配以各種飾品才算完整的打扮 , 也是說明了於社會上的身份。當然，今日的社會也簡化了很多。
The art of menswear is more sophisticated than women wear by tradition.
James Bowden wrote about the menswear in the <Manners for Men>. The dress code categories include: walking, horse-riding, driving, visit, rowing, hunting, shooting, golf, cycling, tennis, cricket, football, dining, smoking, causal, racing, yachting, formal attire, motorbike.
He also introduced the accessories according to the outfit, which represented the social class status. Of course, nowadays, the dress code is far more simplified.
The basics of table manner: to distinguish the tableware and their functions, to design a menu, to set the table with table cloth, setting, tableware and glassware in accordance to the menu. Furthermore, you can imagine you ‘d learn more like seating plan, entertainment, and the art of clothing, the art of design and deco, floral arrangements and the roles and responsibilities of a host.
老師即場考我法式與英式的7道菜setting ── 訓練過關！
I was tested by the 7-course setting in both French and English ways. Yeah, and I passed!
標準Afternoon Tea 示範：三層架及scone（英式鬆餅）
The demonstration of the classic Afternoon Tea: a three-tiered cake stand and scone
Scones are usually put on the side of a cake stand. Alternatively in the centre if there are not many cakes and bites for the day.
The Classic English Business Luncheon at The Milestone Hotel, London
商務午餐對於英國（或西方人）而言是有特定的目的。由於重視低調的優雅，不會大魚大肉，更著重建立親切、和藹和彼此關係的信任。 由選擇地點、餐單、座位安排配以身份的關係、飲酒、衣著等，都是一門學問。餐宴過程中，懂得禮儀學的人能迅速透過觀察賓客的點餐及餐桌禮儀技巧等， 對你的背景略知一二。
The British (or westerns in general) prefer business luncheons with a purpose. It aims to elegantly foster relationships and build mutual trusts without excessive extravagance. Once again, It is all about the art of etiquette – from choosing a venue, setting a menu, seating arrangements, drinking and outfits. Sophisticated dinners can easily have a quick glance of your background from how you order and your table manner.
A delicate bread basket. With 4 flavours of butter. Hosts should proactively pass on the bread.
The traditional British way is to serve the main course, followed by the salad.
The salad can freshen up your mouth before the next course.
Salad veggies served in whole.
“Pudding”, the British way of calling dessert.
最後是吃芝士盤 (cheese platter)，這個傳統，無論我於酒店或英國人家中用餐也是一樣。切芝士連餅乾吃是有特定的方法，否則其他人會覺得你沒有禮貌。
Served with cheese platter finally. The same order while dining at hotel or at a local home.
Be aware of how you serve yourself with cheese and crackers in a polite way.
Experiencing the classy afternoon tea at The Ritz Hotel London
環境雅緻的The Ritz Hotel London。
The elegant and polished setting at The Ritz Hotel London.
傳統英式下午茶，我的Afternoon Tea Etiquette大派用場了!
The classic high tea. Time to apply my afternoon tea etiquette!
Every detail counts.
於The Ritz Hotel London嘆傳統英式下午茶是人生一個很好的體驗。
It is a fabulous life experience to enjoy the traditional English afternoon tea at the Ritz Hotel London.
Professional training programmes for the Elite.
Open to all kinds of corporate elite ranging from the Public Relations pros, Bankers, Merchandisers, Human Resource Pros, Marketing Pros, Insurance Industry Pros.
The essence of learning the proper social manner and behaviours include formal self-introduction, greeting, meeting, the establishment of networking, personal styling and how to increase the personal competitiveness etc.
Training Hong Kong Baptist University students majoring from the renowned Communications Study to Business studies.
Preparing them at work on corporate communications skills, table manner, personal styling.
Corporate Image Styling training for the fresh graduate of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which is a crucial stepping stone in their career.
TGIF: A Weekend at the V&A Museum!
How do Londoners spend their Happy Friday? Let’s check out the V&A where you can enjoy pop-up performances, exhibitions, food & drinks in a lovely hub till 10 p.m.!
當時London Design Week的展覽。
On exhibition: London Design Week.
You will be able to take a quick glace of the fashion history in the V&A. There are different thematic fashion exhibitions here – and try your luck to see if you would be able to see the masterpiece of the world’s famous designers!
Evening gowns at Victorian period.
Ladies causal wear in the 19th century.
The dining area is like a high-end restaurant – where you can have your own food in a much affordable price while sharing the table with different people!
You can also share your table with guests in another corner of V&A dining area.