Mess Dinner


I have been invited as a guest to a mess dinner and have been told it is bad etiquette to leave the table during the meal. Can anyone explain why?

It is generally frowned upon, because it's a formal military occasion.

HOWEVER... depending who is overseeing the whole event, he / she will say in their initial welcomes that civilian guests or pregnant may leave the table. Couple with the fact that the Officer / SNCO that has invited siad guest is normally then haranged into buying a bottle of port etc anyway!

But to be honest, if you visit the toilets during the breaks that are factored in you will be fine.
It used to be that if, as a guest, you left the table during dinner then it was half-a-dozen extra duties for whoever invited you.

Probably a bit more reasonable now. If in doubt ask, but use a bit of sense as to whose answers you rely on.
As has been said already there will usually be breaks factored in when you can leave the table. Even 'stag' (serving members only) functions include some form of comfort break. Don't fill yourself up with drink before you go to the table and decide whether it is worth 'breaking the seal' at the 5 minute call before dinner.

As for why it is bad etiquette it is simply a tradition. Over time this has been (sensibly) eroded to allow functions to become more enjoyable rather than some form of torture. The comfort breaks factored in allow the formality of the occasion to remain without people getting up and doing their own thing like some sort of pikey wedding.


Book Reviewer
You will get a warning before the meal starts (usually 10 minutes)... Use this to go and drain as much beer/wine out of your system as possible. That helps.
I call Wah!


Book Reviewer
If it's the RAF take an empty pint tankard in with you ..
seaweed said:
If it's the RAF take an empty pint tankard in with you ..
If it's the Navy, remove Ipod earpieces before sitting down to Dinner.... :p

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