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The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners and Tableware    by Suzanne von Drachenfels order for
Art of the Table
by Suzanne von Drachenfels
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2000 (2000)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The flyleaf of The Art of the Table describes the contents of this wonderful, informative book succinctly: 'Coming together to share a meal is one of our most vital traditions. Whether dining with friends, family or business associates, we know that an elegant setting and gracious manners bring a sense of order and harmony to the occasion.'

But many of us are not confident about our proper use of a salad fork or demitasse cups. We're not all comfortable with how to set a formal as opposed to an informal table. Types of wine are always a matter of concern, as is how to eat certain foods. Suzanne Von Drachenfel had a career as Tabletop Consultant to Fitz & Lloyd, a maker of fine dinnerware (some of which has been used in the White House). She is eminently qualified to advise on proper table settings and gracious dining. And she does just that here, in what could be considered a bible for those who like to entertain and want to do it well.

From Dining Fundamentals to Dinnerware, Flatware to Stemware, Table Linens to Serving Techniques, Dining Finesse to Menu Plan and finally Table Manners, von Drachenfels covers all topics needed to give the ultimate dinner party with grace and finesse. This book is a treasure trove that any hostess would cherish. Before your next big extravaganza or your little informal tea, make The Art of the Table yours.

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