Table manners for your holiday party, Gentlemen only ! (video & podcast)

To listen to the podcast click here : http://media.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/content.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/YHH0bmKGXxXkdDEEoJxg.mp3

 

 

Today Umbert helps his friend Georges coming from Cape Town in South Africa. 

Georges needs an update about the table manners for the holiday party.

A very fun moment for both of us, cause they will do role play.

 

Benefits of this coaching :

  • Best methodology to become irresistible
  • Innovative technique to unleash your charisma
  • Learn the new etiquette & manners
  • A better lifestyle

 

« If you do not know good manners, pray for good reflexes … », Billy Crystal, American Actor

Si vous ne connaissez pas les bonnes manières, priez pour avoir de bons réflexes…“, Billy Crystal, Acteur Américain

 

In this article :

1) Going to the table

2) At the table

3) Table service

4) The toast

5) How to eat some dishes

 

1) Going to the table

About 1 hour after the beginning of the aperitif it is time to sit down at the table.

Here is the timeline :

  1. The host gets up and offers the guests to sit down at the table. He does not hurry the guests who have the courtesy not to hang out too much.
  2. He places the guests or the guests look for the place cards. Do not change the order.
  3. The men help their neighbors to sit down behind the chair and back to the table once the woman sits.
  4. Men sit after women.

If a woman gets up during the meal, all the men get up too (optional, this for a very formal dinner).

If a new guest arrives late, the men get up, the women do not (optional, this for a very formal dinner).

If a woman arrives late at the table, the men stay up until she sits (optional, this for a very formal dinner).

Never forget that you aren’t the host who should handle the party.

Do not take any initiative (turn down the lights, install the guests, go to the kitchen) without asking permission.

2) At the table

Attention: The good education is judged now …

If you hesitate, look and imitate the other guests or the host.

Only sit down after the host.

Do not stick to the table. Stay 50 cm away.

Stand upright without leaning against the chair.

Put your hands on the table.

Do not put your belongings on the table.

It is very impolite to take medicines at the table.

Carefully unfold the towel and put it on your knees. Never put it in the collar. If it is very large, keep it folded in half on your knees.

Take the piece that is in front of you when you are presented with a dish. Think about testing a bit of everything.

Wait for the house host to start eating.

Use cutlery in order: from the outside to the inside.

The cutlery must be held so that the fingers touch only the handle: a few centimeters above the blade of the knife or the fork. Do not gesticulate with the cutlery while talking.

Never eat with your elbows on the table. If you prick red meat with your right hand, do not put your left elbow on the table. The elbows must remain stuck to the body. Even to cut the meat.

To push the food in your plate: in France use bread, in England the knife.

Do not lean towards your plate. Raise the fork or spoon to the mouth while standing upright.

Do not bite into the bread. Delicately cut eat with your fingers if it is not already cut.

Eat without noise. If a soup is served, do not vacuum it or blow on it if it is too hot. Wait a few seconds for it to cool down.

Your mouth must be shut when eating.

Never lick your knife.

Never eat the sauce with bread. Exception: if the host prides you the sauce and invites you to taste it, then yes. In this case sauce by putting a piece of bread at the end of your fork. Never with your fingers.

If you want the salt and pepper, or whatever, ask your neighbor. You never reach out to someone.

The glasses are placed in order.

Remember to serve wine or water to your female neighbors.

Wipe your mouth gently before drinking and after drinking. Do not lift your little finger to drink.

If you do not want wine, gently touch the glass with 2 fingers, expressing your refusal.

If you need to lay your cutlery while you are eating a dish, put them on the inverted V in your plate (/ \); the handle should never touch the table, cutlery are almost entirely on the plate.

It is polite to finish your plate, it shows that you’ve really appreciate the dinner.

Do not spread your leftovers on the plate.

At the end of a dish, place the cutlery next to each other at “quarter past four” and not “quarter past nine.” The fork teeth in the air.

At the end of the meal, put your towel lightly on the left of the plate. Exception: if you stay with at someone’s, either fold it or get a towel ring.

The house host gets up first.

3) Table service

All dishes are presented on the left.

The wines are presented on the right.

The plate and cutlery are removed from the left. They are replaced (if possible at the same time) by the right.

Never serve by stacking plates or, worse, dragging leftovers.

Only the salad can be served on the same plate as the main course. The ideal is to provide another plate for this purpose that you will place on the left of the large plate.

The service without butler:

  1. Serve first the lady sitting to the right of the master of the house.
  2. Then the one to his left.
  3. Then opposite, the one sitting to the right of the hostess.
  4. Then the one on the left.
  5. Then the 2nd in the same order, etc …
  6. The host is served last.
  7. For men, same principle from the one to the right of the hostess then left …
  8. The last served is the master of the house.

For a meal with friends: the first woman served passes to her neighbor on the right, who will serve his female neighbor, or,  if the host ask, will serve himself before.

Option: The host serves the guests who tend their plates.

4) The toast

If you are toasted, you must answer it.

  1. Raise your glass, no higher than the chin, holding it by the foot.
  2. Toast yourself by taking a sip.
  3. Finally, look the person in front of you in the eyes and make a kind head sign.
  4. A toast is never done with a glass of water, even if you do not drink alcohol.
  5. It is elegant not to address only the one who initiated the toast, but also to your neighbors on the right and left, with the glass, eyes and smile, without necessarily drinking.

5) How to eat some dishes

For the dishes bellow, you can read the article on the blog.: https://umbert-de-paris.com/how-to-eat-etiquette-manners/

  1. Soup
  2. Asparagus
  3. Artichoke
  4. Salad
  5. Caviar
  6. Oysters
  7. Mussels
  8. Lobsters
  9. Sushis
  10. Foie gras
  11. Escargots
  12. Omelet
  13. Spaghetti
  14. Fishes 
  15. Poultries
  16. Sandwiches
  17. Tacos 
  18. French fries
  19. Cheese
  20. Fruit pies
  21. Chocolate cake
  22. Orange
  23. Pear/apple
  24. Ice-cream

 

Umbert and Georges had so much fun playing table manners for their holiday party.

The gentlemen will impress the other guests for sure, especially the ladies.

What you must remember : tables manners seem to be very complicated, but they are not when assimilated. The best is to role play with a friend. If you you feel trapped in a dinner party, just imitate the others discreetly.

How to become irresistible ? Download now the free eBook, chapter Behave (only available this month).

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris

Should you cut your steak with the oysters fork ? How to eat some dishes properly (Vidéo & Podcast)

 

To listen to the podcast click here : http://media.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/content.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/gJ2I7vgcHYySJhhsMf8X.mp3

 

 

When Umbert goes to the restaurant with his friends, they like to discover new dishes and try any new experiences.

For exemple he likes to go to The Ritz, and meet the famous chefs from the Escoffier School. This is his favorite place in Paris.

But sometimes some dishes requires different utensils, especially in France.

Here is list to know if Should you cut your steak with the oysters fork ? How to eat some dishes properly.

 

“Whoever does not eat at the table eats in the barn”, French proverb

« Celui qui ne mange pas à la table mange à l’étable », proverbe Français

 

In this articles : 

  1. Soup
  2. Asparagus
  3. Artichoke
  4. Salad
  5. Caviar
  6. Oysters
  7. Mussels
  8. Lobsters
  9. Sushis
  10. Foie gras
  11. Escargots
  12. Omelet
  13. Spaghetti
  14. Fishes 
  15. Poultries
  16. Sandwiches
  17. Tacos 
  18. French fries
  19. Cheese
  20. Fruit pies
  21. Chocolate cake
  22. Orange
  23. Pear/apple
  24. Ice-cream

 

  1. Soup : only with a spoon. You can now finish the plate by leaning backwards and slightly to the right (for right-handed) or left (left-handed).
  2. Asparagus : you can eat them either with your fingers in an intimate dinner, either cut with its fork, leaving in the plate the harder part. If the asparagus are very thin : they can be folded in the middle with a knife and put in the mouth with a fork.
  3. Artichoke : use to fingers to did the leaves in the vinaigrette sauce. Use your fork and knife to eat the heart.
  4. Salad :  the salad should not be cut with a knife. Take your fork to fold the large leaves. The host must serve cut leaves to avoid this problem.
  5. Caviar : serve the caviar with the little spoon, then spread it on the toast or blinis. You can use your fork and knife, or your fingers, to eat the blinis.
  6. Oysters :  the oysters are eaten with elegance. It is necessary to take the shell in the left hand, to unhook the flesh with the oyster fork, and to suck it with the water from shell without making noise.
  7. Mussels : hold the shell in the palm of your hand and use an empty shell as a pliers to detach the flesh. 
  8. Lobsters : the claws are cracked with a nutcracker. Take the meat with a seafood fork. If the piece is big you can use a knife to cut it into small pieces.
  9. Sushis : you need some chopsticks. Pick up the sushis so it doesn’t break into pieces. Dip it into the soy sauce, eat part of it, then let the chopsticks on the table side by side. The best is to practice before with someone who will teach you. Advice from one of Umbert friend who is a well-known chef in Tokyo : “don’t put to much perfume before going to a sushi place, because the strong smell may modify the sushi taste and your experience.”
  10. Foie gras : do not spread it. In France, it is eaten with a fork, with a piece of toast. In England, cut a piece and place it delicately on a piece of bread.
  11. Escargots : hold the shell in tongs, use a snail held and remove the snail from the shell. Use the fork to dip the bread in the garlic butter.
  12. Omelet : the omelet is cut and eaten only with the fork.
  13. Spaghetti : never cut with a knife. Wrap them around a fork.
  14. Fishes : for the soft fishes use the fish cutlery. Split the fish with the fish knife from head to tail and lift the nets. If the flesh is hard use the cutlery especially the knife.
  15. Poultries : detach the flesh with the knife and fork. Never use your fingers. Do not suck the bones. When can you use your fingers exceptionally ? Caution: provide a finger rinse (warm water with a lemon slice or mint leaf) : ortolans, quail wings, wings of young pigeons, frog legs.
  16. Sandwiches : tea sandwiches are eaten with the fingers. For the other ones, even club-sandwich, you can use a fork if they are not cut already.
  17. Tacos : you can use your fingers.
  18. French fries : do not use your fingers. Prick them with a fork.
  19. Cheese : present it, it is possible to leave the label. Warning: the Camembert never stays in its box as pretty as it is. Cut it if it is round into sections. If it is square: it is sliced. If it is in a semicircle : it is cut into a triangle. To eat cut a piece and put it on a small piece of bread. You can use your fingers or cheese fork and knife.
  20. Fruit pies : the fruit pies can be enjoyed with the desert spoon. If a pie is made with puff pastry, you can use a dessert knife to keep it from breaking.
  21. Chocolate cake : the chocolate cake can leave traces around the mouth. Remember to wipe your lips, especially before drinking, so you won’t stain the glass.
  22. Orange : cut the bark, detach it and separate the quarters by hand.
  23. Pear/Apple : cut the fruit in four, peel with a knife and a fork and eat with a fork.
  24. Ice-cream : you can eat ice-creams and sorbets with a desert spoon.

 

There are many other dishes, cutleries and flatware, especially if you travel in different countries.

So now you know if you should cut your steak with the oysters fork ? And How to eat some dishes properly.

Umbert will bring you in some amazing restaurants and cafés in Paris, with more advices to come during his monthly Weekends.

Don’t forget to read my other article Chronology on how to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman, and respect the New Etiquette (Video & Podcast).

What should be remembered : it is very important to know those advices and train before, so you won’t be surprised and look ridiculous.

 

Quiz : Register to my blog to get regular Quiz and learn more about the New Etiquette.

You can post a comment or ask Umbert about your next weekend in Paris, and new etiquette advices, in the section below.

Sign in to download the 1st chapter of New Etiquette , and get the next vidéos, podcasts and articles.

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris

Chronology on how to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman, and respect the New Etiquette (Video & Podcast)

 

To listen to the podcast click here : http://media.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/content.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/VJcnTsKb3PhLwXrioFQt.mp3

 

 

Umbert loves to go to the restaurant. He is a gourmet, and every month, he gives you his choices for the best places. You can check Umbert Weekends.

To behave correctly at the restaurant is not a protocol matter, but part of the art-de-vivre and new etiquette.

Umbert gives you the Chronology on how to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman, and respect the New Etiquette.

 

« The gastronomy is an incredible source of happiness” Pierre Hermé, famous French pastry chef.

« La gastronomie est une formidable source de bonheur », Pierre Hermé, célèbre chef pâtissier.

 

In this article :

1) Arriving at the restaurant

2) At the table

3) How to eat some dishes

4) Leaving the restaurant

 

1) Arriving at the restaurant

If you have invited a woman, be sure to arrive before the time, if not contact her. You can also read my article How to be a winner at the first date (Podcast & vidéo).

When arriving with a lady, a man always goes first to the restaurant, and hold the door. Why ? This is an old tradition : to protect the woman from looks, or fights that were common in hostels in the past. If there is a staircase : the man goes first, it is also an old tradition because the man should not see the legs of the woman, and when they go down to avoid a fall to the lady.

Enter and wait for the butler to place you.

If the butler leads a couple to the table, the woman goes first. 

It is important to wait until the hostess places you. However, you can politely ask to change if the table proposed does not suit you.

The man gently pulls the woman’s chair to invite her to sit down and extends her right hand to the table. The woman is still sitting in front of the room and on the bench if there is one.

When Umbert invites friends to the restaurant, he asks for a table, and leads his guests there.

 

2) At the table

If the man arrives before, and is already at the table, he must get up when the woman arrives to greet her.

Never sit down first. The bench is always reserved for ladies. If there are two women, they will be side by side. If there are only chairs, think of pulling the woman’s chair, unless the butler does it.

When you sit down to the table, immediately put your towel on your legs, without waiting for the dish. The towel should not be tied around the neck, shirt or belt. It must stay on your knees, except to wipe your lips before drinking, so the glass is not dirty.

Turn off your phone ! Personal items shouldn’t be on the table (sunglasses, phone, keys etc …).

Do not put elbows on the table while eating.

To make your choice on the menu, do not look at the neighbors’ plate at another table. Do not choose dishes which are too expensive, to respect the other guest regarding the bill, or too modest, so you’ll seem cheap.

The host chooses the wines, after having asked everybody if his choice suits them. 

When the waiter comes to you with a bottle of red wine, look at the label to check the order. Turn the red wine in your glass delicately before tasting and agreeing.

The men serves the drink to the ladies who accompanies them, unless the butler does it. 

Glasses : the water glass is the largest on the left. The red wine glass is the middle one, the smallest white wine glass is on the right. Wipe your lips before drinking so you do not stain the glass.

If you do not want to drink wine, do not put your hand on the glass to refuse, but say “no thank you” to the server.

The bread is not eaten before the first course is served, even if you are very hungry !

Before starting to taste the dishes, wait until everyone is served. Exception : if you are many at the table, and your neighbors ask you to start. But for an appetizer or a cold dish, wait for everyone to be served.

If you made a mistake while ordering a dish, ask the server quickly if you can still change. If this is no longer possible, accept your mistake with a smile.

There are numerous dining utensils to know. Take it easy : start from the ones on the outside, and come back toward the center when a new dish arrives.

Always put small portions of food into your mouth, and eat slowly.

Start the conversation and look the others in their eyes to talk. This prove your sincerity and improve your charism.

Avoid your problems, drama, work, vulgarity or heaviness. Do not complain about everything (climate, cost of living, car breakdown, noisy neighbors, etc …). Be open, balanced, attentive, confident, cheerful. Prefer funny anecdotes, travel, art or great experiences. Do not show off with your culture, especially if your guests are not intellectuals.

Umbert and his friends love to talk and laugh. They are often numerous at the restaurant. They know however that it is necessary to speak with a moderate tone not to disturb the other clients.

Fortunately everyone knows perfectly the rules of etiquette so there is no disorder, and nobody is shocked !

When they need more wine, and they always do, they call the staff, saying “sir” without speaking too loudly, and without making big gestures.

If you have to leave the table for a few minutes, excuse yourself, you don’t have to say why. Place the napkin on your chair (USA only), or on the left side of the plate (Europe).

If someone in the restaurant recognizes you and stop by for a short talk, just stand up for a few minutes.

 

3) How to eat some dishes  

The salad should not be cut with a knife. Take your fork to fold the large leaves.

The oysters are eaten with elegance. It is necessary to take the shell in the left hand, to unhook the flesh with the oyster fork, and to suck it with the water from shell without making noise.

The omelet is cut and eaten only with the fork.

For soft fishes, use the fish cutlery. If the flesh is hard use the cutlery especially the knife.

Fruit pies can be enjoyed with the desert spoon. If a pie is made with puff pastry, you can use a dessert knife to keep it from breaking.

Chocolate cake can leave traces around the mouth. Remember to wipe your lips, especially before drinking, so you won’t stain the glass.

 

4) Leaving the restaurant

At the end the host asks for the bill, and pay it discreetly, or share with the other men. If there are errors, do not discuss them in front of the guests. 

The tip should be around 15%, more if the service was amazing or if you get special attentions and gifts.

As you leave, slide between the tables facing the next table.

On your way out thank the staff and compliment the manager, saying that it was delicious and you will come back.

On leaving, do not talk on the sidewalk making noise, people sleep around.

If a woman has come by taxi, or with her own car, accompany her. For the taxi, open the side door on the sidewalk for the woman. If you take it too, go around to get on the street side. 

If you take her home, wait until she has entered the building.

Call everybody the next day to thank for this amazing diner at the restaurant.

 

This is a lot of advices on how to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman, and respect the New Etiquette, and more will come… 

Try to learn them step by step, so each time you go to the restaurant add one.

Don’t forget to check Umbert Weekends to find some cool spots.

What you should remember : it is very important to respect the new etiquette and good manners at the restaurant. Your guests will judge your education and savoir-vivre on this. Your reputation depends on it, and it is even more important for business lunches.

 

Quiz : Register to my blog to get regular Quiz and learn more about the New Etiquette.

 

You can post a comment or ask Umbert about your next weekend in Paris, and new etiquette advices, in the section below.

Sign in to download the 1st chapter of New Etiquette , and get the next vidéos, podcasts and articles.

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris