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Dine in Style: A Guide to Fine Dining Etiquette


Fine dining can be a daunting experience for some, especially those who are not used to it. But fear not, for mastering the art of fine dining etiquette is easier than you think. In this guide, we’ll take you through the basics of fine dining etiquette, so you can wine and dine in style.

Table Manners

Before we dive into the specifics of fine dining etiquette, it’s important to remember one key principle: manners matter. Treat others with respect and kindness, and you can never go wrong. The same goes for fine dining etiquette. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind:

• Sit up straight and keep your elbows off the table.

• Wait for your host or hostess to sit down before you do.

• Place your napkin on your lap as soon as you’re seated.

• Use utensils from the outside in. If you’re served multiple courses, you’ll see new utensils laid out for each course.

• When you’re finished with your meal, place your utensils together on your plate, with the handles facing the right.

• Ask for permission before reaching across the table for something.


When it comes to ordering at a fine dining establishment, there are a few things to keep in mind.

• Conduct yourself respectfully and politely with your waiter.

• Stick to items you know you’ll enjoy.

• Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the menu if you’re unsure.

• Wait for everyone at the table to order before you start eating.

The Drinks

Wine is often an essential part of fine dining, and learning a bit about wine etiquette can greatly enhance the dining experience. Here are a few tips:

• Don’t order the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu. Instead, consult with the sommelier for a wine that pairs well with your meal.

• Hold your wine glass by the stem, not the bowl.

• Take a small sip and swish it around in your mouth to appreciate the flavor.

• Never fill your glass to the brim. A good rule of thumb is to fill it about a third of the way.

Small Talk

Fine dining often involves interacting with others, whether it’s your dining companions or other guests in the restaurant. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for small talk:

• Be courteous and considerate to other guests.

• Keep conversation light and polite.

• Avoid controversial topics such as religion or politics.

• Be mindful of volume, as guests in a fine dining setting tend to speak quietly.

Paying the Bill

When it comes time to pay the bill, there are a few things to keep in mind.

• Don’t argue over the bill, it’s bad manners.

• Offer to split the bill evenly, even if you didn’t order the most expensive items.

• If you’re treating someone to dinner, let them know beforehand.

• Tip generously. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15-20% of the total bill.

Final Thoughts

Fine dining etiquette can be intimidating, especially if you’re not used to it. But with a bit of practice and common sense, you’ll soon be dining in style. Remember, the most important thing is to conduct yourself respectfully and politely, and show consideration for your fellow diners. Happy dining!