How to Set Your Table Like the French

Not sure how to set a table? Next time you feel this way, take a few notes from the Parisians. They have a strong sense of tradition, which is why you'll often find even their most casual weekday dinners adorned with fine silverware and candlelight. By the same token, the French are epicurians at heart, which is why even though their tables are always beautifully set, their tablescapes are usually also deceptively simple to put together.  

In their book, How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, authors Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas demystify some of the most fascinating qualities of the French—not limited to matters of love, style, and etiquette. We are fascinated by everything from the French way to light a room to the Europeans' technique for styling a mantelpiece, but one of our favorite chapters is the one on setting the table. The French have perfected a table-styling manner that looks both chic and effortless—a true feat. We're spilling these entertaining secrets below. Bon appétit!