Thursday, September 10, 2009

On the Elegance of Dinner Parties






It was a particularly common Thursday. I did laundry in the morning and in the afternoon I prepared fish with white rice. A couple of days ago I went to see Julia and Julie with some friends. As I ate I couldn't help but thinking about all the fabulous dinner parties I've seen on the screen throughout my life. From the philosophical My Dinner With André (1981) to the riveting luscious 19th century banquet displays in The Age of Innocence (1993). Who can also forget Babbette's Feast (1987)?, based on a short story by Isak Dinesen. Dinner can be a dramatic counterpoint to a dull day. When people gather at a dinner table they participate in one of the oldest ritual known to man, sharing. Today I imagine wild red roses flowing from a aquamarine epergne; a tea stained Battenberg lace tablecloth, crisp and flowing at the same time; my long gone set of Fostoria Depression glassware featuring tall, elegant cobalt blue stems. Elegance is a perfect equation of joy and generosity. To aim for beauty has long being the obsession of mankind. Elegance is beauty presented as a gift. It has little to do with money or wealth. True elegance is about sharing. Who can be elegant and selfish? A fool no doubt.

3 comments:

willow said...

Ooooh, all the wonderful courses and china in The Age of Innocence is just fabulous. I like to watch the movie just for those scenes!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I love elegant dinner parties too, (although I usually managed to spill soup down my neck!). Maureen sets a beautiful table and we love to entertain our friends.

I think 'friends' is the key word for me. A cheese sandwich shared with a true friend in harmony of conversation is as good as the most sumptuous banquet!

Emmanuel Chaussade said...

C'est magnifique! On se croirait à Paris! Bravo !!!!Emmanuel