I enjoy a beautifully laid table as much as the next person, incorporating well-presented and delicious food, but I was rather taken aback by an article by Jill, Duchess of Hamilton in which she suggested that good "table manners are not only a civilising force, they help keep you trim". This, she argues, is as a result of eating slowly, "which is a central tenet of upper class dining".
What a load of twaddle!
I dare say there is a good metabolic reason to support the slow eating argument, but to suggest that this is something practiced by the upper classes is simply ridiculous.
If one only looks back at Edwardian times, and even at King Edward VII himself, it's fairly obvious that slow or fast eating didn't have as much impact as the quantity of food that was consumed.
I find these rather patronising lectures by so-called etiquette experts completely vacuous.
So there, Jill Hamilton! Pass the port.