Sunday, November 12, 2017

How to Set a Table, a Review

If you read my recent book review on the holiday cookies book, then you are well aware of my love for books as gifts for the holidays. The first thing I thought upon holding How to Set a Table, Inspiration, Ideas, and Etiquette for Hosting Friends and Family by Clarkson Potter is that this slim, canvas-covered volume would make a wonderful holiday gift. It's a smallish, delightfully inexpensive book that, I'm guessing, would slip rather easily into a holiday stocking. How delightful would it be to have this little book sticking out the top, and then various other table setting components like napkins, napkin rings, flatware, place cardholders, and the like, all making up the contents of the stocking? Adorable!

By now you may have gotten the idea that I really like this book. For someone like me, who has been entertaining for more years than I care to admit, there wasn't a whole lot new here. But that didn't keep me from absolutely falling in love with the book, the lovely pictures, the clever table setting ideas, and the reminder that revering dining seems to have flown out the window beginning somewhere back in the 90s, and definitely needs to return!
If, like me, you would like to see the appreciation for beautiful dining, and Sunday dinners make a come back, then you can join that effort by buying as many copies of this book as possible, and dispersing it amongst your family and friends. Yes, I like this book just that much. In addition to making a great stocking stuffer for the holidays, it would also make a cute and thoughtful hostess gift either on its own, or stuffed into a basket of goodies.
How to Set a Table will guide you through the selection of your dining pieces, how to put all of it together, and then set a variety of lovely tables from a formal dining table, to a breakfast bar, coffee table, picnic table, bistro table, console, and even a serving tray. The breakfast in bed and teatime trays charmed me, and served as a reminder, that we probably don't enjoy small things like breakfast in bed and afternoon tea as much as we ought to.

For a small book, it is an excellent resource, providing information on dinnerware basics such as the types of plates and when to use them, various types of glassware and their proper usage, flatware essentials, information on linens and napkins, as well as a few useful napkin folds.
There are nice layouts in the book directing you on how to set a formal table, mixing and matching, introducing heirlooms to your table settings, and adding lovely finishing touches like candlelight, fresh flowers, and greenery.
The photos throughout will assist and guide you. The information is attractively presented, easy to read, and completely inspiring. A quotation at the beginning of the book from Virginia Woolf really says it all, "one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

You are going to want to get this book -- one copy for yourself, and as many as you can carry for family and friends. Highly recommended.

For purchase or additional information, click the image below.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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