The Art of the Table
Suzanne Von Drachenfels
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Buy *The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners & Tableware* online

The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners & Tableware
Suzanne Von Drachenfels
Simon & Schuster
592 pages
November 2000
rated 5 of 5 possible stars
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Do you love to entertain at home but aren’t sure of all the rules of etiquette? Where is the correct place to put the butter knife? Is it necessary to set out a different fork when serving fish? Should bread be buttered entirely or bite by bite? What is the difference between the various types of wine glasses?

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced host, you’ll find The Art of the Table to be a complete, invaluable guide filled with all there is to know about table setting, table manners, and tableware.

In spite of its length, the book is easy to follow and written in reader-friendly language. It is filled with interesting facts, as well as fascinating quotes and proverbs from famous people throughout the ages. In the middle of the book, the author includes beautiful color photographs of various styles of table settings—formal, informal, eclectic, European, American, Spanish colonial, rustic, contemporary, etc. All through the book, however, there are detailed drawings used for demonstration, offering the reader a clear idea of the author’s how-to explanations.

The book is divided into nine parts, each encompassing several topics:

  1. Dining Fundamentals
  2. Dinnerware
  3. Flatware
  4. Stemware
  5. Table Linens
  6. Serving Techniques
  7. Dining Finesse
  8. Menu Plan
  9. Table Manners
The best thing about the book is not only that it demonstrates the “how-to” of table setting, but that it offers a lot of information about tableware. For instance, in Part Four, "Stemware", the author gives a historical background of glass and crystal, the different decorative methods and styles, the different categories, their shape and purpose, how to place stemware, how to purchase stemware, and even how to care for it. The same is done in the other parts with dinnerware, flatware, table linens, etc. Thus, this book is, in every sense of the word, a complete reference book.

Author Suzanne Von Drachenfels is an expert on table setting and etiquette, has conducted seminars throughout the country and appeared on many morning television shows. This book seems to be a culmination of her life’s work and passion.

The Art of the Table is a must-buy for anybody who regularly entertains, as well as for those who wish to have a solid knowledge of table setting and etiquette.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Mayra Calvani, 2005

buy *The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners & Tableware* online
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