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The etiquette of drinking soup

Elegant manners do matter!

· French Etiquette

Soup is one of the most ancient dishes on Earth, born with the domestication of fire. Today, from France to China, it’s considered an exquisite choice for a delicious meal!

Do you know how to have a bowl of soup gracefully? Let us take you through a few etiquette tips that will definitely make you feel warmer!

What soups do the French like?

A variety of seasonal soups exist in France, which logically differ from a region to another. Let’s take a look!


Seen in most Western restaurant in China, a velouté is a classic French soup typically made of mushrooms, potatoes or other vegetables cooked with cream and chicken broth. So smooth!


Originally from Provence, this soup is made from fresh Mediterranean fish, shellfish and other seafood. It is traditionally served with crispy bread slices and rouille.


A famous dish from Gascogne, Southwest France, combining fat and lean ham with fresh cabbage and various vegetables, making it a rich and unique kind of soup.

Soupe à l’oignon

Don't be fooled by this ordinary name, French onion soup is one of the most precious dishes in France! Put a crispy piece of bread in the soup with cheese. It’s guaranteed to keep you warm in the winter!

Soupe de poisson

A classic from Brittany, the soup is usually cooked with fish living along the coastline. To accompany this soup, we usually serve with small pieces of dry bread called "croûtons". Don't miss this gift from the sea!

Which spoon to use? 

Imagine that the waiter has just served a bowl of warm soup, and that you are now ready to pick up a spoon and enjoy it. Which one to use then?

The soup spoon is deeper and larger than the dessert spoon, with the entire spoon measuring between five to seven inches. Since the soup is usually served as a starter, its spoon will be placed far away from the plate, usually to the right side of the knife.

Attention please, soup spoons must be used exquisitely. Hold it like a pencil.

It's time to taste 

Be careful, if it's too hot, don't blow on it with your mouth. Instead, wait patiently by conversing with other guests or stir it gently.

Stir your soup without clinking the edges of your bowl. Remember, silence is golden when using cutlery!

Usually the French would scoop the soup towards themselves, leaning the body a bit forward (while keeping a straight back!).

The British would scoop the soup from the inside out, leaving the drop of soup hanging under the spoon on the edge of the bowl.

Finish it perfectly

Don't forget to dab the corners of your mouth elegantly with your napkin after a few sips of soup or before you drink water or wine.

If you’re going for wine, soup usually pairs best with a white one, served at room temperature and not too cold, to avoid clashing with the warm temperature of soup – and with stomach pain too!

Will you keep those tips in mind? In that case, your next French meal can only taste better!

Founded in 2018 by Matthieu Ventelon, Hedonia is the first institution in China combining professional Wine and Etiquette expertise in the same training offer.

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