Do you use napkins at meal times?

(130 Posts)
Dillytante Sun 05-May-13 20:49:13

I went a proper 'ladies wot lunch' lunch this week, all matching china, jugs of elderflower & 3 types of salad. It was lovely, & so far above my hostessing skills that I am not even on the same scale. I don't even have matching crockery, which I'm ok about, I just have stuff I like. But what struck me most was the napkins. They were paper, granted, but floral & lovely. It's not like they were leftover Christmas napkins or Peppa Pig ones.

So do you all have napkins? Do you have linen ones? Are they special occasion things or do you have them with every meal? I don't have 'guests' very often, but when I do they make do with kitchen roll. But then it is usually good friends.

Tell me, have I been committing social suicide until now?

CultureMix Mon 06-May-13 21:39:28

Cotton ones for everyday, we rarely if ever get the posh linen ones out as we're still at the wipe-clean tablecloth stage with the children. These days actually we tend to keep a couple of old terrycloth bibs at hand as well, say for big tomato stains.

I grew up with napkins at the table so it's second-nature to me. My DH never had any and to this day I get distracted when I visit my PILs and have nowhere to wipe hands/mouth on so have to jump up and get some kitchen roll. I notice DH does it now too grin.

DewDr0p Tue 07-May-13 14:17:25

This thread is an absolute eye opener grin

We only use napkins at Christmas and other special occasions.

As an adult I very rarely feel the need to wipe round my mouth after eating! For the dcs I grab a facecloth although it's usually only the youngest who needs it.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 07-May-13 14:20:45

I'm surprised so many have napkins too. We don't use napkins at all ever. 2yo has a muslin which I guess could count as one grin. But it's for mopping up things she drops.

Dilidali Tue 07-May-13 14:38:52

Yes, we do. Never occured to me it's a'posh' thing to do though, it is just something we do. We don't have rings though.
Sometimes, yes, I would use kitchen roll if it has a pretty pattern on and my linen ones aren't ironed, but I always thought it's got to do with my OCD and weirdness rather than anything else.
I wouldn't judge someone who doesn't use cloth napkins though, I only do it because it reminds me of my granny and the effort she would put when serving even a coffee with a biscuit next to it.

RoganJosh Tue 07-May-13 17:49:44

Proper ones if we have people over for dinner, paper ones if we have people over for lunch.

Nothing the rest of the time. It wouldn't occur to me to wipe my mouth, I manage to get all the food inside quite nearly. The children need a damp j cloth as they're little still.

RoganJosh Tue 07-May-13 17:50:06

Neatly, not nearly!

mrspaddy Tue 07-May-13 17:53:19

Yes we use napkins everyday.. I usually buy the cream Tesco ones. At Easter I buy yellow gingham ones etc. Every now and then I buy pretty designs like Emma Bridgewater ones. DH is a fan of good old kitchen towel and doesn't really use the napkins he is more careful with money than me

every day.

Ragwort Tue 07-May-13 17:57:35

Cotton for every day, paper for bbqs & some social events (not if my dad comes round as he is very judgey about paper napkins - won't go back to a restaurant if they use paper napkins grin.)

I find it really awkward to eat a meal if there is no napkin provided, not that I am particularly messy but I just feel the need to wipe my hands etc. I eat with one friend at her house quite a lot, she never provides napkins so I have to stuff my pockets with tissues etc grin.

aftereight Tue 07-May-13 18:09:48

Only at Christmas and for BBQs/picnics.
Any mess is cleaned from DCs after meal using kitchen roll or baby wipes.
I consider napkins for a plated meal eaten with cutlery to be an affectation rather than a necessity. Do adults really get food round their mouths or on their hands?

BackforGood Tue 07-May-13 18:10:34

No. None for 'everyday'.
If I were doing a special buffet for guests, I'd probably put some paper ones out, but nothing posh.

GoofyIsACow Tue 07-May-13 18:16:02

I am getting napkins as a result of this thread! grin

seeker Tue 07-May-13 21:57:54

You put the napkin on your lap in case you drop anything . Then you just lightly wipe the for era of your mouth at the end of the meal just in case there's any traces left. It's not a great wiping and scrubbing process- that's why they generally last more than one meal and you have your own ring.

Vatta Tue 07-May-13 22:16:32

Can honestly say it has never occurred to me to put out napkins, paper or fabric.

May have to get some now, I hadn't realised they're seen as a requirement by some people!

I am reading this thread thinking that some people must have families of very tidy eaters. If my children eat porridge, pasta with a tomatoey sauce, or soup, the younger ones either need a napkin or a change of clothes afterwards! smile

nohalfmeasures Tue 07-May-13 22:28:06

We use kitchen towel for napkins. When Ds2 was about to start primary school we were going through what would happen at lunch time as he would be having school meals. His first question was "Will they have napkins?"
"No," I replied, "Everyone uses their sleeves"
He looked visibly shaken at this, but sadly it was the truth. smile

ChewingOnLifesGristle Tue 07-May-13 22:30:02

We use 'naice' paper ones. I don't like the really cheapy ones. I have a special paper napkin holder too blush

ozymandiusking Tue 07-May-13 22:32:36

We always use napkins.White linen,and have our own silver napkin ring.
Washed weekly.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 07-May-13 22:35:23

But how would the napkin save the clothes threebee? Food goes on DD's tshirt too, not just on the lap. Besides she would never be able to keep a napkin on her lap. She is 2yo and most of the time, eats with a soft toy on her lap. And she wiggles around the chair.

As for me and DH. We are too tidy to need napkins on lap. We don't put paper napkins on our laps when eating out either. They are left on the table. I only use them when the place do cloth napkins, because I feel i ought to in this case. And why would we end up with food around our mouths?

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 07-May-13 22:38:14

I should add DD is a very messy eater. Weetabix ends up on sleeves, front of tops, trousers and even the bum area of her trousers. (That is from sitting down on weetabix dropped onto her chair). Trust me when I say no napkin can save her from dirtying her clothes.

BillComptonstrousers Tue 07-May-13 22:39:42

I have linen napkins that I use when people come over for dinner, in case they need them. But I just can't understand how an adult, using a knife and fork, would need one??

The little ones tuck the napkins into their collars. We used to have clever things that clipped on to the corners of the napkins and went around their necks. Once they stop chucking food all over themselves, they start wearing the napkin on their lap. They don't use napkins at school and I can usually guess exactly what DS3 has had for lunch, just by looking at the white school polo shirt.

Viviennemary Tue 07-May-13 22:46:51

I was made to use a napkin and ring at school. So never again!

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 22:52:25

Yes, paper ones. I have linen ones for special occassions and cotton ones, too.

nohalfmeasures I am with you every step of the way.

DH & I always amazed when other households don't offer napkins - some people don't even have a kitchen roll in their house - WTAF shock

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