Friday, September 22, 2017

How to Set a Table, Book Review

As someone who's both entertained and provided hospitality for years (not the same thing), I was curious about How to Set a Tablet. After reading through it several times, I think it’s a great little introduction to having people into your home for meals (though probably not that helpful to those who aren't just starting).

Like any good introduction, this book begins by explaining the “pieces,” detailing each part of tableware from plates, serving ware, linens, and glassware and explaining their roles. For example, the book explains the differences between porcelain, earthenware, and stoneware and does the same for stemware, i.e., why red wine glasses have a different shape than white wine glasses. However, lest you feel intimidated, the book assures you that a much more casual approach is equally valid. And, honestly, most guests are more comfortable with a casual approach where they don’t have to wonder which glass is meant for what.

Finally, the book has suggestions for all types of shared meals. Everything from formal dinner parties, wine and cheese get-togethers, BBQs, picnics, and even how to make take-out meals something guests will relish. Personally, I loved the section where the book gave suggestions about how to plan and care for guests that are early risers. We sometimes have guests from different time zones, and I really, really don’t want to get up at 4am. So I was able to pick some hints about how to provide for guests' comfort and needs without getting up during the middle of the night.

I must mention that the book is full of lovely photos that will inspire you to think outside of traditional table setting and imbuing the meals with warmth and friendliness, which is the goal of having people into your home.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.