A recent feature in The Daily Telegraph mused over Ms Taylor Swift’s penchant for British chaps. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the US songstress’s record of romantic liaisons reads like a Who’s Who of British A-list menfolk, including Messrs Harry Styles, Calvin Harris, Tom Hiddleston and, most recently, Joe Alwyn.
Buy why do American women find men from this damp, drizzly island nation so attractive? Apart from the sultry, clipped tones of the accent, it has something to do with manners, apparently. “[British men] possess an innate charm when seated at a table with a woman that can border on regal,” wrote the article’s author Ms Pandora Sykes. “Americans are obsessed with British etiquette and dedicate TV shows to it. Bill Bryson may have criticised British blokes for their lack of tipping, but at least they know how to put their knife and fork together at the end of the meal and, most importantly, how to signal for more wine without shouting “Garçon!” in an American accent and clicking their fingers.” As much as I’d like to believe this to be true of all my fellow countrymen, the current degree of lamenting in the media about the state of modern manners, particularly from older generations, tells another story. To most mortal folk, it seems that in today’s frenzied, urbanised society, even the most basic rules of etiquette have gone the way of the dodo.
In an attempt to better ourselves or, at the very least, make the world just that little bit more pleasant, we sought the advice of two leading etiquette experts, who explain why we could all do with some more decorum in our lives.