Sunday, August 07, 2016

How many tableware used for a French meal

We had a gathering in my in laws house. After lunch, they were heading to the beach so I decided to stay and handle the dishes. I have always thought that French use a lot of tableware for dining, so here I'm counting how much we used just for one meal, for a family of 6 adults + 2 kids.

Glassware: 8 wine glasses and 5 water/juice glasses. French do not mix up drinks in the same glass. Every type of drink has its own specific glass. If we drink champagne we would use tall champagne glass. During this meal, some people drunk water/sparking water so we needed wine glasses + water glasses.

Still for drinking : 2 water jars + a wine opener.

8 plates for dining, + 2 to serve food.

For dessert we had cakes and fruit salad, so we needed 8 bowls (for fruit salad), 8 small plates + 8 small spoons.

After dessert was coffee time. 6 cups + 1 small spoon (for the person who added some sugar in the coffee).

The cutlery: 8 knifes and 8 forks + some for cutting and cooking

We had French beans so the pot to boil the beans, drainage + a pan to fry it.

A salad spinner

The pan for potatoes

We had BBQ so a tray and cutlery for the preparation.

So for this meal, we used 8 wine glasses, 5 glasses, 6 cups, 2 water jars, 10 big plates, 8 bowls, 8 small plates, 8 knifes & forks and 9 small spoons, 1 pot, 2 pans, a salad spinner and varies cutlery. Wasn't it a lot just for one meal? And this time was simply BBQ and we bought the cakes, else there would be more kitchenware. 

My in laws do not want dishwasher so I washed everything manually. I don't mind when everyone is helping around, it becomes a convivial moment where we continue the conversations. But washing all these alone, it was a lot of work and I felt that it was not environmental friendly. I don't know what would the French react if I tell them to cut down the usage of glasses or plates, for example using only one glass for all kind of drinks, or using one plate for all kind of dishes (main, side, cheese, salad, dessert). They would probably throw me out of the country since gastronomy comes with fancy tableware, and fine cuisine is in the blood of a lot of French people.


  1. I enjoy your blog very much.
    Reading about everyday life in France makes me miss it even more:)

  2. I think that there are a lot of French families where only one glass and one plate is perfectly acceptable ;)

  3. There is indeed a lot of washing to do. I helped out a lot my in laws to do the is a lot of work !