Do you like to throw elegant dinner parties? Is a beautifully set table an essential requirement to your holiday dinner? Do you find enjoyment in expressing yourself artistically with eye catching floral arrangements and centerpieces?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, this is the book for you. This 12″ x 9″ hardcover book offers 320 pages of entertaining tips, glossy photos of beautifully appointed tables, flower arrangements, and recipes for all occasions.
Carolyne Roehm – famed for her job as fashion designer for Oscar de la Renta – more recently achieved success with a series of books about gardening and entertaining… but this book is her best. In the introduction to At Home with Carolyne Roehm she says, “Entertaining is one of the last rituals left in our modern, hectic, technological, schedule-stressed life that slows us down. A beautifully decorated table is like a wrapped present, an offering to guests, thanking them for coming to the table. I view entertaining as a creative outlet, a theater set waiting to be designed before the play opens. When the audience arrives, I want them to feel, as they move from cocktails to dinner to after-dinner, as if the production were seamless, effortless, and graceful.” (Pg 8 – 11)
Separated into the four seasons, At Home with Carolyne Roehm shows 12 individual table arrangements for each season.
Spring includes: Mother’s Day, Easter in the country, a late breakfast, a light lunch, and a picnic with friends. Among the Summer entrees is Independence Day, at home with roses, a lobster feast, and a pond side picnic. Autumn features a cottage buffet, supper in the country, a small dinner for two, and a birthday celebration. And of course a Thanksgiving feast. Winter includes: an informal tea, the Christmas party, a New Years Eve dinner, a ladies luncheon, a simple soup dinner and Valentine’s Day dinner.
In addition, Carolyne makes suggestions on collecting glassware, linens, and accessories that can be used to create elegance and a warm atmosphere for any occasion. She mixes and matches everything from fine china to earthenware pottery, clear crystal and colored glass goblets, and a variety of flatware, silverware, and cutlery.
Also shown is an eclectic collection of formal white starched linens and simple country plaid table cloths. No occasion is too small for special attention… especially a romantic dinner for two. The table set for Halloween dinner in a hunting lodge is spectacular. And the huge silver metal bucket of whole steamed lobsters is mouthwatering.
Somewhere in the book I read that when setting your table, it is not always necessary to spend a lot on hothouse flowers. Use whatever you have available in your back yard – colorful leaves, greens with berries, wild flowers, and ivy. Look at her photos and then take it from there. Enjoy being creative.
At Home with Carolyne Roehm is a beautiful coffee table book. It makes a lovely gift, or a valuable addition to your reference books on graceful entertaining. If you only use 20% of the ideas offered, it will still be worth every penny spent. In a word – for those who love entertaining – At Home with Carolyne Roehm is truly inspirational.
Rated 5 Stars.
I use a rating scale of 1 to 5. Books rated 1, I seldom finish. Books rated 2, I usually finish but would never recommend to anyone. 5 is the highest rating.