Etiquette Guide for Fine Dining

Dress code:

When you go to an exclusive restaurant, you should always dress up. Jeans or mini dresses are not considered appropriate dressing. Make sure clothes are ironed and have a good fit. It will help you walk with confidence and make an entrance.

Table code:

– No elbows on the table.

– No car keys, mobile phones or small purses on the table.

– Sit up straight, don’t slouch like you’re sitting at home. 

– Don’t chew food and cut a new piece at the same time. Finish chewing, once you’re done you can go ahead and cut a new piece.

– Never reach across the table to get something, always ask someone politely to pass it for you.

– If you have a runny nose, always go to the bathroom to blow your nose and never do it in front of the table!

– The guests should always order first and the host last.

– It is considered bad etiquette to eat quickly, so slow down if you have this problem.

– Always thank the waiter after any form of assistance as part of good manners.

Napkin code:

– The napkin goes on the lap just before the first course arrives or when the host puts it on their lap.

– If you need to leave your seat before the last course, the napkin should go on your seat when you stand up.

– When you’re finished with the last course, the napkin goes on the left hand side of the plate neatly placed and not folded.

Cutlery code:

– You always start using the outer cutlery first. Smaller cutlery is for starters, while the small is knife for bread or butter and chunkier cutlery is for the main course.

– When you are done with a meal, always put the cutlery in a 10:20 position.

– While eating, make sure your cutlery is clean. There should not be any sauce or food on them, especially on the knife while eating.

– Hold the cutlery comfortably with your fingertips, and never hold too firmly.

Wine code:

– Unless you’re a wine expert, always ask the sommelier for a recommendation. You can point to a bottle in your price range on the menu to show your budget. Never bring up the price range loudly.

– If you are the person getting to try the wine, you should be aware that you’re not trying the wine to see if you like it or not. You are simply supposed to see if the wine is not completely terrible or if it’s gone bad in it’s taste. You can not send back the bottle if your taste buds don’t agree with what you’ve chosen.

– In most of the exclusive restaurants the waiter usually pours the wine for you even if you have the bottle standing next to you. Please avoid assisting yourself.

– A wine glass, champagne glass etc should always be held by it’s “leg” and not on the actual glass leaving fingerprints.

– Always drink from the same spot of your glass so it’s left looking neat and tidy.

Bill code:

– Never shout at the waiter to get the bill. You can make a silent gesture to catch his attention. It’s more classy that way.

– If you’re invited by someone to a meal, then the general rule is that the host pays the bill.

– If you’re out together with friends, try to settle the bill beforehand to avoid long calculations or conversations about who’s gonna pay for what.

– If a man invites you out, then he should always pay the bill.

Last, but not least:

Do take time to study general etiquette. This will give you the touch of class and style every elegant lady needs. Walk the talk girls!


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Anna Bey is an educator in the elegant feminine empowerment space and the founder of an online finishing school for women. She can confidently call herself a pioneer in this genre because she was the first to be sharing content in this niche since 2012.

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Anna Bey is an expert on Modern Elegance™, upscale transformations, and leveling up, with over 150 million channel views. Since 2012, she has taught women how to develop a more refined personal presence and lifestyle inside the Anna Bey Academy, where she hosts her various classes and courses. Her publication features include The Times UK, Newsweek, New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and many more.

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