Friday, August 19, 2016
That Was Entertaining
As you well know, vintage magazines are my one of my biggest indulgences. Copies of House Beautiful from the 1930s? Divine! Late Sixties issues of House & Garden? So Age of Aquarius! And Architectural Digest from the Seventies? Fantastic!! But the issues that, frankly, rather bore me are those from the 1950s and very early 1960s. The design mood of that era was a little bland. But what I do enjoy about magazines from those years are the entertaining features, because entertaining at home was serious business back then.
First, there were often suggested themes for sophisticated dinner parties and buffets. A flambé supper? Hmmm, maybe not, but I can get on board with a soup buffet supper or even an omelette party. (Hiring a chef to make those omelettes would be a must.)
Also, all of the accoutrements of gracious entertaining were encouraged, not pooh-poohed. Chafing dishes, coffee services, and casseroles were on full display in the magazine photos. And while I realize these photos were staged, many people had- and actually used- these kinds of table accessories for their at-home entertaining. Oh, and they dressed up for dinner, too. How novel.
As much as I pore over these old entertaining photos and wax rhapsodic over elegantly-set buffet tables of yesteryear, the reality is that I'm not going to host an elaborate buffet supper anytime soon. My excuses are lack of time, too much work, and a kitchen that is awaiting a renovation. But it certainly doesn't hurt to fantasize about being a hostess par excellence. Who knows? Maybe someday I just might host that omelette party.