Etiquette Guide for Fine Dining

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How to have Table Etiquette

Etiquette Guide

for Dining in Exclusive Restaurants

I get a lot of requests of writing on this topic, and today I want to put the focus on etiquette when you go fine dining in exclusive restaurants. You can also apply this guide when dining in general, as having good manners never hurt anyone 😉

Dress code:

When you go to an exclusive restaurant you should always dress up. Jeans or mini dress is not considered appropriate dressing. Make sure clothes are ironed and have a good fit.

How to have Table Etiquette

Table code:

– No elbows on the table

– No car keys, mobile phones or small purses/clutches on the table. Order a seperate chair for your purse or ask the waiter where you could put it so it’s not in the way.

– Sit up straight, don’t slouch or treat the chair like if you’re at home.

– Don’t take pictures of your food.

– 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, never in front of the table!

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

– Fast eaters are considered having a bad etiquette, so slow down if you have this problem.

– Always thank the waiter after any form of assistance.

How to have Table Etiquette

Napkin code:

Napkin goes on the lap just before the first course arrives or when the host put his on the lap.

– If you need to leave your chair before the finish of the last course, the napkin should go on the chair 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 (not folded).

– If you at any time need to use the napkin to wipe yourself, do it neatly with the corners of the napkin to the corners of your mouth.

How to have Table Etiquette

Cutlery code:

You always start using the outer cutlery first. Smaller cutlery for starters, small knife for bread/butter, chunkier cutlery for main course.

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

Cutlery 10:20 position

– While eating, make sure your cutlery are clean. There should be no sauce or food on them, especially on the knife while eating.

Hold the cutlery in a comfortable position with your fingertips and not grabbing them with the entire hold.

Always use both kinfe and fork while eating, eating with just fork is not appropriate.

How to have Table Etiquette

Wine code:

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

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

– In most of the exclusive restaurants the waiter usually poures 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.

How to have Table Etiquette

Bill code:

Never shout to the waiter that you wish to get the bill. You can make a silent gesture in the air to catch his attention that you wish to pay.

– 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 then try and settle the bill before hand to avoid long calculations or conversations of who’s gonna pay what etc.

– 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 JetsetBabe needs. If you don’t have any etiquette then no expensive designer clothes, bags or jewelry will be able to justify yourself. Walk the talk girls!

Dining Etiquette


About Author

Anna Bey is the founder of JetsetBabe and School of Affluence - and online educational platform helping women achieve elegance and get an affluent life. Visit for more info! P.S Don't miss her Youtube channel & Instagram.


  1. Anonymous on

    Even as a woman, I always found it rude to make the man pay. Why should you be entitled to HIS (maybe earned) money simply because he invited you or ever? Especially if not married. If that’s the case, then if a woman invites a man out, then he should not have to pay. Just my opinion.
    Also, some of these etiquette rules seem a little ridiculous and I wonder if anyone actually follows them. Or if there’s etiquette police around. 😛 Lastly, doesn’t the etiquette vary from country to country?

    • I think the person who invites another person out for dinner shall pay, unless it’s between two friends who decide together to go and grab a bite. Usually the man invites the woman out for dinner, hence he should pay. If the woman would invite the man out then I think she should pay. But that doesn’t happen very often as you can imagine.

      What etiquette rule did you find ridiculous? There is no etiquette police around, this post is written about the general etiquette principles when you go to the very exclusive restaurants like in 5 star hotels and michelin restaurants. I believe you do need to act accordingly when visiting places like that unless you want to break the etiquette code, that is certainly up to your self and nobody will hunt you down for that 🙂

      • Anonymous on

        The most ridiculous ones to me were the “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,” no elbows on the table, no taking pictures of your food, eating fast is considered bad etiquette (as long as you’re not wolfing down food noisily like a ravenous animal, you should eat at your own comfortable pace), and don’t eat with only a fork.

        If anyone did any of these, I don’t think I would notice or take offence.

        That said, I do agree some of them such as the no slouching (bad for the back anyway), and no blowing your nose at the table.

  2. This post refers to ”Fine Dining” not eating at your local pizza parlor or casual chain restaurant. If you are interested in being taken seriously by a real gentleman that is well established with a highly educated/high income social network of friends, then you should train yourself accordingly.

  3. I think a good one that should be on there for American girls – sorry, but it really is horrid, is eating and drinking at the same time. There is simply no need to eat and drink at the same time. You eat your food, swallow, then take a sip of your drink – but together at the same time, is just really vulgar, and horribly off-putting to observe.

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