Sunday, September 5, 2010

Photo - Courtesy Vogue Korea - PRETTY! PRETTY! ( )
Step 2: Place the glasses

French tables have to have stemmed glasses, for all cold beverages, not just wine. Different shapes and sizes are common, but all glassware should be clear. Larger, thicker glasses are used for water and smaller, thinner stem ware is used for wine. You should not use one glass for both beverages. The French also often serve different wines throughout the course of the meal, so make sure you have a glass for each type of wine as well. Champagne flutes are to be used for champagne only. As for the arrangement, place larger glasses (usually reserved for water) to smallest from left to right. The second largest glass will be for red wine, the third largest for white.

• It's the host who should serve the wine at the table, ladies first, after having poured a very small amount in his own glass (that's so he gets any bits of cork that might be floating about). It's also the host that has to see that everyone has wine in their glass during the meal. Fill wine glasses only half way full.

• Whichever one of these French drinks you are enjoying when you raise your glass in a toast; why not try out a little French?

• Always wait for the host to make a toast and then hold your glass upwards and say - Santé - in good Health.

• À la vôtre - To yours, meaning to your health.

• Tchin-tchin - This is the noise of glasses touching in a toast. The French will frequently say it before taking their first sip.

• Do not begin eating until the host says “ Bon Appetit! “

Step 3: Place the Cutlery

Cutlery, is placed in the order in which you will be using them, with the cutlery furthest from the plate, being the ones you will use first. The forks are placed to the left of the plate. The knife, or knives, are placed to the right of the plate with the cutting surfaces, pointing towards the plate. The spoon, is always placed to the right side of the knife. At informal dinners a dessert spoon will be placed above the plate. At formal dinners, it will be brought in with the dessert. Oyster forks or fondue forks go next to the knife and snail tongs, yes, next to the fork. You could use an eclectic collection of silverware where variety simply adds more elegance. Have you noticed how the French lay their cutlery up side down? So you can see where it originated from, the stamp is usually engraved at the back.

Step 4: Place the Crockery

White, embellished China and stoneware can be used, with the latter often used on the French country tablesetting. A separate plate is needed for each course like salad plate, soup plate, dinner plate, bread plate and one for dessert. A white placemat could be placed between a colourful tablecloth and colourful plates. The main, large service plate for the main dish is typically a part of the place setting. There are no bread plates at an informal French table setting as the bread is simply placed on the table cloth. In France they break chunks of bread and place it directly on the table cloth, next to their plates! ( They don’t cut bread. ) At a very formal setting you will have a side plate but please, never bite into your bread! Bread is rarely served with butter or olive oil and is instead used for the cheese course or to soak up the sauces and juices from the main meal.

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