Fine Living Gourmet: Style and Elegance in Entertaining


Entertaining Tips

Published by: Claudine McDonald

  • Feb
  • 9

Learn some entertainment tips

Your table sets the tone for your party, informal or formal. Your table should reflect your personality. Setting a table with a beautiful centerpiece, beautiful table linens, china, glassware, and flatware is the foundation of your meal. When a table is set correctly, it is beautiful -a work of art.

At informal meals, the food may be passed from person to person or served by the host. The heated food should be placed in front of the host and the filled plates passed to the guest. At formal meals, the food should be served by the waiter or waitress, course by course.

When serving a dessert after the meal, everything but the centerpiece is removed from the table. The hostess may serve from the left. Coffee and tea should be served from a serving tray which is placed in front of the hostess. She should pour the tea or coffee and start the cream and sugar around. In a formal meal the dessert is eaten at the table and coffee can be served in the living room later.

The Buffet

A buffet table can be arranged anywhere: porch, backyard, dinning room, kitchen, patio or family room. If the table is against the wall, the centerpiece is placed in the middle of the table. Card tables or small tables with chairs should be set before the guest arrives. There should be a centerpiece placed on each table.

The buffet table should always be arranged with a good traffic pattern in mind. You should decide if your guest will move from left to right or visa versa. Also decide which hot food will be served first.

The napkins and plates are placed on the buffet table first. They should be the first thing that is picked up. The silverware may be rolled in the napkins. Knives are only placed on the table if needed, and salad forks are never used at a buffet meal.

Hot food, cold dishes, and condiments are placed together and are arranged so that the guest may reach each dish easily. Bread and butter are always placed at the end of the table and should be the last things that are picked up by the guest.

Desserts and beverages may be served at a separate table, or later if the hostess prefers.

Centerpieces for a buffet table should have some element of height. The small tables for guest should have small and low centerpieces.

When using candles, the light should be high enough that the light is not at eye level. The candles are always lighted when the table is in use, with one exception.  At a dinner or reception, candles may be placed on the table to be lighted after daylight.


Fresh Flowers

Flowers are living breathing plants and they will grow and thrive if they are cared for properly. They will bring beauty and life to any room and table. When you bring them into your life, on a daily basic, they will become a part of everything you do. When arranging fresh flowers in a vase, they should neveer be crowed. There should always be enough room for them to have proper circulation. When using any flower at a table for a centerpiece, they should be kept low enough that they don’t block the view of guest from each other. In arranging fresh flowers, they should be about 2 1/2 times the height of a container.

Flowers have meaning to people receiving them.

Orchids- You are my highest prize

Roses- Beauty and loveliness

Carnations- You are special

Lily- Dignity

Iris- Sincerity and honest

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