The Art of the Dinner Party
Take a quiet 15minutes to read this perfect article that had me close to tears of joy. The New York Times magazine has pulled together a series of essays on the art of the dinner party but the one by Gabrielle Hamilton, the Grown-up Dinner Party is a treasure. She so clearly expresses how I feel about food, dining, getting together and hospitality.
She touches on…
“The insistent, well-meaning clean-up brigade…”
“A dinner party is about what is said not about what is eaten.”
“When phones came to the table … instead of summoning words, people tapped on images.”
But best of all, she writes of coming downstairs as a child the morning after, where she would would “read” the detritus as if it were a fossil impression of the conversation just hours beforehand, the table strewn with the last debris of the late finishing dinner party.
(Gabrielle Hamilton is also author of Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
7/11/2017 06:39:17 am
Cath, I too loved reading this! My parents' dinner parties in the late 70s and early 80s felt glamorous, rich, interesting and a bit magical and mysterious. I remember poking my head around the door of the formal dining room on many occasions claiming I couldn't sleep. Sometimes I would get marched back to bed but if dad was drunk enough, I'd get to sit on his knee and get a taste of dessert or possibly even brandy while he told outrageous stories. Like the author I've always chased that as the dinner party ideal. Reading this has inspired me to hold more dinner parties! Thank you for sharing!
I loved reading your memories. The sip of brandy and the outrageous stories made it all magical. Kids are often rowdy today or doped up on social media but I remember we learnt very early on that if we stayed very quiet we could watch from afar for quite a while before being send back to bed. We were also given a small drop of port on special occasions and I think this is why I've never over-indulged unlike some brought up in rigid Methodist or puritan households.
7/11/2017 01:51:05 pm
I think this woman is your long-lost sister, alter ego, or some such. What a delightful article. We can all be inspired, But at least our age group isn't always on the mobile phone.
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