As we near the last day of October, for our Cultivating Elegance feature, let’s focus on learning more about everyday elegant hospitality as the holidays near.
The holiday season is best enjoyed through hospitality and though, we are coming through a pandemic, I hope that many of us will still be able to experience time with family, friends and neighbors.
Today, I would like to share with you some wisdom from France…documented in Tish Jett’s second book, Living Forever Chic.
Tish begins the chapter on Entertaining with these words, “In France, entertaining is translated as l’art de recevoir, “the art of receiving,” and it is one of the best, and perhaps most enjoyable ways to celebrate l’art devivre a la francaise.”
The art of receiving is such a wonderful way to characterize hospitality. When I shared with you my new Vision Board, I explained my love of hospitality and how I want to enhance it going forward. With my kitchen under construction this week and the holidays near, I have experienced so many visions of how to finally invite others to come over and bless them with attention.
Tish explains women in France are influenced by their mothers and grandmothers on how to be elegant hostesses…I want to do that for my children and grandchildren…especially since it was NOT done for me.
The winning hospitality combination in France is good food enhanced by a pleasing presentation.
“This winning combination is not at all complicated and encourages warmth and connection at the table.” This can happen any night…not saved for holiday dinners alone.
I will discuss Thanksgiving food in another post, but Tish encourages us to keep the meals simple…but good.
Something I desire to do is study what wines go best with different foods. I just purchased a new wine to test for Thanksgiving which is fruitier with seasonal spices. I will let you know if I can recommend it.
One of the Frenchwomen Tish interviewed recommended serving food which can be cooked ahead of time to keep cooking odors out of the house and out of the kitchen. I actually love for the house to be filled with the aromas of good food cooking…so I would disagree with that…maybe that is my “American” side coming out or my “Southern” cook side showing.
Tish explains that often the garden will provide all the decoration necessary. I know that for Thanksgiving I do use decoration from my backyard and a neighborhood walk near that time provides many acorns if needed.
Another Interviewee said this, “However I set the table, I like it to be eclectic, mixing styles and eras high and low. I serve soup with ice cream bowls with stems and dessert on small plates placed on large exotic leaves if it fits the look. (I have a very creative flower shop near me)Some of my friends are very innovative in their table settings, using hand painted plates, colored glasses from here and there, and antique salt and pepper shakers in ivory and ebony.”
Now that is a quote I can get behind. I do like to be more creative with table settings…I guess I am choosing the more fun over elegant side. But, it can be more take on elegant…right?
Tish reminds us that inspiration is every where and we can be creative no matter what our budget is. I know for me…thrifting has made table decoration so much fun!
This chapter is packed with information about French entertaining, so you might want to pick up the book, but for a final thought…. I like this quote to close on today, because we can have a lot of fun with it….
“When you think about it, there is something romantic and refreshing about moving dining locations in the house and around the garden. Placing a table in front of a fireplace in winter is charming, dining in a book lined library is very elegant, and a table for two en amoureux in a bedroom is another idea from the past. Why not?”
Or even on a boat..yes, why not?
I love this…and want to set a goal to create some special dining moments around the house for me and Mr. B once the kitchen is done. Now that sounds elegant!
I have some more ideas about elegant entertaining I want to share with you…so make sure you are joining us on Fridays for all of the elegant posts.
The holidays on over 50 feeling 40 officially begins on Sunday with a special announcement!
Would anyone like to share your elegant hospitality tips? Please do…then consider using my links below for any hospitality or home shopping….and always, always……
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By Pamela Lutrell