One of my favorite ways to enjoy a meal is as follows:
Apéritif is optional and it usually consists of champagne with either frozen raspberries, crème de cassis or Grande Marnier put in the glass first and then the champagne is poured in the glass. This is usually accompanied by crisps, nuts, and/or canapes.
First course is usually soup and usually served for dinner, not lunch
Next is the entrée and is usually pâté (charcuterie) et du pain, cornichons (little pickles), or a vegetable with vinaigrette
Plat Principal is the main course
Frommage - cheese
Salade - The cheese and salad can be served together
Dessert - Can be anything from fresh fruit to gâteau
Café - This is not served with dessert, but always after
Except for dessert et café, l'eau plat (non-sparkling water), l'eau gazeuse (sparkling water), du pain et du vin are drunk throughout the meal.