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Getting French Etiquette Right First time!


10th November 2017

Getting to grips with good manners and etiquette away from home can be challenging. It’s probably a good idea to inform yourself of the niceties before you get there rather than offend anyone, especially your host!

Gascony Cookery School French Etiquette

Mealtime Etiquette

  • Don’t start to eat until the host says, “Bon appetit!”
  • When you’ve finished lay the knife and fork parallel to each other across the right side of the plate.
  • The knife above your plate is usually for bread and butter. A plate for bread is rare as it’s usually broken by hand, then left on the table to the left side of the main plate.
  • Cutlery should be used from the outside and course by course work your way in.
  • Your hands should be above the table even when not using cutlery.
  • Pass all dishes to your left.
  • It’s unusual to ask for seconds and you should eat everything on your plate.
  • It’s considered bad manners to leave the table to use the toilet during a meal.

Business Meal Etiquette

  • If you are dining with a business associate take your cue from them and only discuss business during the meal if they initiate it first.
  • When invited to a colleague’s home for a formal meal, you’ll be told where to sit. Don’t wander around as most rooms may be off-limits to guests.

Greeting Etiquette

  • Shake hands to greet those you’ve not met before or are just an acquaintance,
  • To greet ‘faire la bise’ – It is a kiss but only for those you know very well or a family member.
  • The number of kisses varies region to region and so does the order of the cheek to offer! In Gascony, it’s usually two.

The Gascony Cookery School will always be welcoming however you greet us! We are here for you to enjoy the homely ambience and Gascony hospitality while you learn new cooking techniques and familiarise yourself with the ingredients. Discover more here.

David, Vikki & Bernard

David, Vikki & Bernard

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