Ask B: Bread Plate Bewilderment

Dear B, 

I recently attended a formal dinner with my colleagues and as we sat down at the beautifully set table, I panicked not knowing which bread plate to use. The right? The left? I followed suit of the others, however, which side does the bread plate go on, and how can I remember this for future occasions?

Bewildered Diner

Bewildered Diner, Darling, 
Ah the bread plate – a tiny little porcelain compass for your place setting! Trust me when I tell you that you are not the first to be perplexed by this little plate, as it can be overwhelming when sitting down to an ornately set table, brimming with multiple plates, glasses, and flatware. Have no fear though, MBB is here! Let me enlighten you with a tried and true etiquette pearl of wisdom I picked up from the one and only Emily Post – Using both hands, clasp the tips of your thumbs to the tips of your pointer fingers, making a lowercase ‘b’ with your left hand and a lowercase ‘d’ with your right hand. This little trick will remind you that “bread” is on the left and “drink” is on the right. Good luck! 

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