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French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore

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Meals à la Française

Invited to a French family dinner or dining out at a French restaurant? Not sure what to bring as a gift or where to put your elbows? Fret not –
Here are our 8 do’s and don’t’s

8 Dos & Don’ts

Have flowers delivered to the hostess ahead of the dinner or bring a plant, a bottle of wine or chocolates

Sit straight, do not slump. Elbows should be kept off the table while eating.

Cheer before you start to drink : raise your glass and say “à la votre” (to you) or tchin tchin (cheers)

As a courtesy to the cook, you should take or accept a bit of each item prepared, unless you have an allergy.

Avoid talking with your mouth full. If someone asks you a question when your mouth is full, wait until you have chewed and swallowed the food.

Wait for the host to indicate that it is time to begin passing the dishes around the table. Also always wait for the host or the person at the head of the table to say bon appétit before you start eating.

If you are uncertain about which piece of cutlery to use, start from the outside in.

If you are served soup, sip (do not slurp) from the side of the spoon, instead of the tip.

How to handle…

… your napkin

Place the napkin in your lap as soon as you are seated and leave it there throughout the meal.

If you need to leave the table, place it on the seat of your chair. At the end of the meal, leave it to the left of your plate. It need not be refolded, but should be neat

… your cutlery

If you are taking a break, place your cutlery at an angle, centred on your plate, but without crossing them.

If you are done, place the knife and fork tines down along the five o’clock position.

… your plate

When you’re eating, leave your plate where it is; do not push it away, stack it, or pass it to others to stack unless directed to do so by the host.

… the bread

Break off (do not cut) a bite-size piece from your bread or roll.

French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore