Danish Dinner Etiquette

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A Danish dinner is typically considered as a formal affair and your etiquette will affect their impression of you.  In most cultures, it is basically the same thing but there are some thinks one must know when they visit a Danish home.

Punctuality is a must for most Danes so it would be wise to some early.  It is also custom to bring a small gift such as a bottle of wine and so on or you may call the host to ask if they would like you to bring anything.  You should also check to see if you need to remove your shoes before entering their home.

When you arrive at their humble abode, offer to help the host or hostess with the preparations.  Danes are happy to give you a tour of their home because they often take pride in their decorations and accomplishments.  As much as possible, do not discuss business.


When it is time to gather around the dinner table. Wait to be told where to sit.  There may be a seating plan.  Table manners are continental in Danish households.  They may offer you second helpings, but you may refuse without offending them.  They don’t like wasting food so finish everything on your plate.  When you are done, place your knife and fork across your plate with the tines facing up and the handles turned to the right.  Do not begin eating until the host toasts with “Skål”.  When toasting, raise your glass about eye level and make eye contact with each person seated close to you.  Always respond to the toast “Skål” by saying it back to each person who says it to you.

1 Comment

  1. Visiting a danish home for the first time (indeed any home in the world) you do not ask what to bring along, just take a box of chokolade,wine or, as is traditional in Denmark,,,Flowers. Welcome! Aya.

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