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?

ifancyashandy Sat 11-May-13 13:25:18

Nope. But I do delicately dab the sides of my mouth.

Not quite sure why the rolly eyed emoticon is necessary. Not been critical if those who don't use napkins. Unlike comments about people being badly taught how to eat.

steppemum Sat 11-May-13 23:11:17

toddlerterror - I was talking about eating a SANDWICH which had tomatoes and salad cream in it and a some tomato juice gets on my hand - why is that surprising or shocking!!!!

Jan - I do keep a towel in the kitchen, but I use my napkin all the time through the meal, why would I want to stand up and sit down 10 times through my meal?

I respect your tidy eating habits and I am sure you are never in need of wiping the corners of your mouth, and never ever drip a bit of food on your shirt/trousers. You are all obviously neat and tidy people and I am not, I take my hat off to you.

But given that all restaurants and cafes provide napkins and that at the end of the meal they are scrunched up and used on most tables, I really don't think it is so strange to use one or to need to use one!

seeker Sun 12-May-13 08:07:24

Napkins are very rarely for wiping up massive spills- but I refuse to believe that nobody gets a tiny bit of pasta sauce on the corner of their mouths or a tiny bit of wine on their top lip or a drop of butter from sweetcorn on their chin. Do the napkin rejecters use their sleeve? Lick? Back of hand?

ginslinger Sun 12-May-13 08:21:11

paper for everyday and linen for posh

Mominatrix Sun 12-May-13 08:30:56

We have napkins at every meal - regular cotton ones for ordinary use and white linen for special days.

CheapBread Sun 12-May-13 12:58:37

shock how the other half live!
I can't believe all the disposable napkin buying, and the putting of dirty napkins back in the drawer 'til tomorrow.

I'm one of those 'accomplished eaters' who don't need a wipe down post meal but my (small) children and oh are messy buggers so I sling a tea towel on the table for them to use and it goes in the wash after. I'm always aghast at how oh manages to get food around his mouth-either put less on your fork or open your bloody mouth bigger!

CheapBread Sun 12-May-13 12:59:43

...I mean wider.

Deanne100 Sun 12-May-13 22:31:36

Have I read and understood correctly? Do those of you who use cloth napkins with ID rings, generally use the napkins at each meal and wash them at the end of a week?

We use cheap kitchen towel for regular meals, pretty paper serviettes when we have visitors and I have a set of napkins and various table cloths for the Christmas/New Year period.

I see that no one uses toilet roll? :-)

ifancyashandy Mon 13-May-13 05:19:23

Not once a week only, no. Every other day or before if necessary.

Mominatrix Mon 13-May-13 06:23:10

Ugg. Reusing cloth napkins is revolting. I change mine at every meal.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 13-May-13 08:32:33

Deanne100 haha effectively I do. Supposedly I'm an accoplimished eater. I don't get the need to wipe my hands and face during the meal. But if I get my mouth dirty, I might go to the toilet and use the toilet roll to dab my mouth grin. (Or I might just wash it with soap and water when I wash my hands).

pussycatwillum Mon 13-May-13 17:10:50

I must admit I have often wondered whether fabric napkins will go the same way as cloth hankies and towelling nappies. After all most people (except my mother) use tissues, and although towelling nappies have had a bit of a renaisance most people use disposables.

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 13-May-13 17:13:58

we use proper napkins for every meal. It's just a habit I suppose but we have done for years. We wash them after a couple of uses

PigeonPie Mon 13-May-13 21:57:27

Pussycat - none of those will disappear in my house! I have lovely linen hankies, and the DSs and DH have proper cotton square hankies (because I hate playing Russian Roulette with the tissue hankies and the washing machine!), I used washable nappies and use napkins! But I know I'm definitely out of step with almost everyone else!

pussycatwillum Tue 14-May-13 13:55:16

PigeonPie do you use leaf tea as well? I know it is slightly (well more than slightly) off topic, but that is one thing I still do, in a proper teapot, and consider that I am definitely out of step with everyone else.

RibenaFiend Tue 14-May-13 14:40:29

We use kitchen roll for day to day. Common as muck me and paper napkins whenever.

Feeling inspired to buy proper napkins now. <off to the JL website>

ItsYonliMe Tue 14-May-13 15:19:48

PigeonPie - while I am an avid napkin user I really do think that any kind of cloth hanky is the most gross thing around. Blowing your snot into a bit of cloth that you carry about with you all day - yuk. Why do you do it?

PigeonPie Tue 14-May-13 17:00:33

Pussycat - yes I have loose Darjeeling tea, but the shop floor sweepings are in bags! I usually drink Darjeeling smile.

Re hankies - I don't see the difference in carrying round fabric hankies to paper tissues tbh. The paper ones end up in pockets anyway and as the DSs often forget to check their pockets, I'd rather fabric hankies got in the washing machine than tissue escaped and shredded itself all over the clean clothes! The cloth hankies are changed daily, if not sooner.

pussycatwillum Wed 15-May-13 09:10:36

ItsYonliMe- I think i'm with you on the cloth hanky front. You can bin or flush a yucky tissue. It doesn't have to stay with you all day, although I have had my fair share of washing machine tissue disasters.
When we first got married DH used to insist on cotton hankies which I used to boil. Eventually managed to break him of the habit when first DC was born and I decided it was something I could do without.
PigeonPie- gald I'm not the only one. Was beginning to wonder as teabags seem ubiquitous.

Do you know I read this thread with amazement. Ive never in my life (and my parents were quite posh) used napkins at home. Ive always managed with kitchen roll or a tea towel. But then I thought well I quite often use a tea towel across my lap or pegged to the kids tshirts if they are eating something particularly messy so I am using a sort of napkin grin

I'm definately going to buy some napkins but where? I hate the horrible silky feel ones you get in restaurants, ugh they make my teeth cringe, the feel of them ugh.

Can you get funky, washable cotton ones?

UtterflyButterfly Thu 16-May-13 16:24:33

We use plain white linen napkins at every meal, washed every couple of days. I've had them donkey's years (bought for a dinner party in the 80's IIRC!), but they're still in good nick (apart from a couple the dog chewed).

John Lewis is the place to look.

pussycatwillum Fri 17-May-13 10:26:47

Def John Lewis and branches of Waitrose that have homeward. Went in Dunelm yesterday and I can see why people think they are just for decorating the table because the napkins in there match the tablecloths, runners, etc. no 'everyday' ones at all as far as I could see.

pussycatwillum Fri 17-May-13 10:27:37

Sorry. Home ware

EmpressMaud Fri 17-May-13 10:35:14

Yes, we have cotton and linen napkins, they have their own special drawer in the kitchen. We don't use them at every single meal, but those where there's potential for messy finger.

Napkin holders only for very special occasions. We just throw them next to place settings.

Dillytante Sat 18-May-13 13:30:02

Well, this thread has certainly been a revelation.

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