Saturday, October 31, 2009

Framed . . .

As you are well aware after all this time, I use my friend Anne-Françoise as my consummate touchstone in the category of perfect hostess. Her flair, creativity and calm under pressure are unshakeable. She can roll out a dinner for 24 as easily as I can throw together a meal for four. More easily actually.

Her tables are beautiful, the food is perfect and all the rest just flows into wonderful evenings. I've told you this before, but today I wanted to mention a small detail I've stolen from her and would like to give to you.

Starting with eight guests at table she uses place cards. She doesn't have time to dither over who sits where when she has more important last second details to oversee in the kitchen. 

My stolen gift to you on this last Saturday of the month (can you believe it?):  She has a collection of small silver frames. Into them she places white parchment or a colored craft paper if it works better with her color scheme and writes each guest's name in the place of the picture. One New Year's Eve she gave us all our little round silver plate frames as favors. I still have mine.

P.S.: My beautiful pumpkin, which reigned in all its glory on the porch for one week, is now in the process of being turned into a soup for a small dinner party we're having tonight. Makes me sort of sad in a way. It was so sweet and bright sitting there. (If the soup isn't good, not beyond the realm of possibility, I'll be furious.)

Have a beautiful weekend. It continues to be autumn gorgeous here with sun and a few red and gold leaves still holding on to their branches. 

A demain for the weekly line-up.


Shelley said...

Can't ever remember a time when I needed to tell people where to sit at a table. I know there are etiquette (looks like a French word there...) rules in books. Does your friend have rules she follows? What if your table only seats 6 because you lost the insert decades ago?

Bonjour Madame said...

Have a wonderful dinner party! I have a question for Dear Cherie: My dining area is small. Too small to hold a substantial dinner party. Is it acceptable where you live to rearrange furniture in our larger living room and place a beautifully draped larger but temporary round table for a dinner party?

koralee said...

What a wonderful idea to use those little frames as placecards. Have a great time at your dinner party...I am sure it will be amazing.

Chemin des Muguets said...


Miniature silver frames as placecards-a brilliant idea.

Bonne chance ce soir. The pumpkin soup sounds perfect.


ELS said...

Yet another fab idea which I will shamelessly steal and pass of casually as my own.

Bring 'em on!!

Dedene said...

You must go on "A dîner presque parfait"! I'd love to see you host a dinner.

Marsi said...

Those little frames would be wonderful as little wedding favors, no?

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