For centuries, the hexagon has been recognized around the world for its elegance and its savoir-vivre. But do you master the art of the table and all its rules to perfection? La Loge Beauté reveals the 10 good French manners to respect at the table, to show your beautiful education, during important dinners!
The 10 good French manners to behave well at the table
1- Use the correct cutlery
A table made by following French savoir-vivre to the letter, as Ooreka explains, will contain several knives, several forks, several spoons and even several glasses! But beware, it should not be used in just any order, or just anyhow.
You must start the meal, with the cutlery furthest from the plate. And over the course of the dishes, you get closer to your plate. There are first those for the starter, then for the meat, then the fish.
The spoon, knife and fork located above your plate will be used exclusively for dessert. As for the knife of the bread plate, it will only be present to butter the latter.
2- Hold your fork and knife correctly
At home, you are surely in the habit of eating “à la bon franquette”, without worrying too much. But if you have a very important meal, you will have to hold your cutlery in the right way.
You must cross them before you start to eat. Your index finger should not come close to the teeth of the fork and your knife should be held with finesse, by the end of the handle. And that’s not all ! Your knife should never come close to your mouth and you should use it as little as possible. Once you have finished your dish, place your cutlery on the edge of the plate, without crossing them.
3- Put your towel on your knees
As soon as you sit down at the table, your napkin should be gently placed on your lap. You can unfold it slightly if you wish.
4- Hold your glass correctly
Glasses don’t just hang together. It is necessary to drink small sips, without ever holding it by the foot. Gently take it from below. And when you tighten up to drink, lift it slightly, without straining it, unless it is champagne.
5- Behave well
Once you are seated, you may not know where to put your hands or how to hold yourself. Know that you must have a perfectly straight back. Leave your hands on your knees, or on the table, with half of your forearm. But be careful, elbows should never be raised, otherwise you may look rude.
Last thing, you must avoid turning your back on one of your table neighbors. When you speak, everyone should care.
6- Do not speak with your mouth full
We have been telling you since you were little: you must not speak with your mouth full. So take small bites, and talk to your guests, between them.
7- Mastering the art of bread
A simple little ball of bread can turn out to be much more complex than you expect. First, it must always be on the plate that is dedicated to it, whether whole or started. Then you cannot bite directly into the bread, nor cut it with a knife. It should be gently broken with your fingers, before eating it.
8- Wait before starting to eat
Even if the meal is hot and you crave it, you should wait until your host is served, before you start enjoying your meal.
9- Do not wish “bon appétit”
Contrary to popular belief, wishing for a “good appetite” does not happen. It boils down to encouraging diners to eat, as if the host’s meal is not going to be good. So abstain and start eating, without saying anything.
10- Do not put anything on the table
According to good French manners, you cannot put your glasses or your bag and even less your phone on the table. Make sure you put everything either behind your chair, or in your jacket if you are at the restaurant, or in another room if you are with friends.
Now that you know how to behave, all you have to do is enjoy this delicious meal, with your guests!