There are many rules I respect without even thinking about it. But honestly ladies, I know many educated French men and women which will be suprised you if you don’t respect these (including me – ask my fiancé!):
- Never say “Bon appétit”. I know that it’s sound nice, but to say it will be the same as to say “Good Digestion”, which it a bit disguisting.
- Close your mouth when you are eating. I expect the people I invite to my table to be human-being, not cows.
- Do not talk with a full mouth.
- Do not bite straight into a piece of bread.
- Finish your mouthful before you put more food in your mouth.
- Do not touch the food with your figers.
- Wipe you lips before and after drinking and between each dish.
- Do not smoke at the table.
- Do not feed pets under the table.
- Place your napkin on your lap, not on chest.
- Avoid making too much noise with your fork, knife, spoon…
Specific rules for France
- Never, never, never put your hands on your lap or on the table. You have to put your wrist on the table.
- Your arms have to be stuck to your body. I.e your elbows should be close to the side of your body.
These are the main rules for good table manners.
To me, they are essential. If you are pretty, with nice-make up and fancy clothes, don’t ruin your effort with bad table-manners.