Photo of
July 21, 2009

The barbarians aren’t quite at the gates but, according to Debenhams, civilisation is under threat from imported American eating habits. Increasing numbers of Brits are aping our American friends by body-swerving knives and eating with just a fork. The rise in popularity of pre-cut ready meals, TV dinners, pizza slices and foods designed to be eaten with the hands, such as burgers, have led to knives disappearing from our hands at dinner time.

Alarmed by sales figures showing that at one point their London stores were selling three forks to every knife, Debenhams have responded by launching a Civilised Dining Campaign. As well as hoping to save our forks, Debenhams are reminding us all to pass food from the left to right, keep our elbows off the table and not to throw scraps such as bones over our shoulders after we have picked them clean. Oh alright, I made the last one up.

As thorough as ever, The Daily Mail has gone to town with the story and come up with a history of cutlery as well as the Debrett’s guide as to how to use it.

The British at dinner
The British at dinner

Pic of The Stone Age restaurant in Prague.