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DINNER PARTIES.

• yyyty ■■ a.-.a -■ : .■.'.-...■■..-....■ -.*"-. - — .... y- •,.... -:,:y We extract the subjoined from ?? JFppd-and iFeeding," by .Sir: ;He^ory r ThQmpsqn,7 in ' tha .Nineteenth- Century '.ih?' 1 The/ largeA. private dinner is^tiliigenerallyvtQpr long, the menu tpo v pretentious. Let me, however, be per- - mitted to record, equally iv proof of growing taste and as' da? grateful personal duty, how many admirable, .exceptions to the prevailing cusiqhi 7 are iidv/ 'affbrdedAd'Then, :of_ course, it/ must- be understood, that while the dinner for six" or eight persons is dwighed as au harmonious wboledpf few, well-chosen dishes, all of which-.aiSs.-ih<^nded:to be eaten in their • > prder^ theymsnu of the- larger party mus^t offer '-. .yaripusidishes fqnchqice tq-meet the'drffering dtasfies of more gu&tSj- and it musfc : therefore .be larger. Let'iis'see h'dw J this is to ; i it is-'the-cultdm. to -'oSet'A&'yconsamiiis, 'which ought-Atb be&pirtecb in clearness, color, and sa.vbr,-andJ ! .t6 be . ser ved:perf ectlyi ;ho"t p containing , vegetables, Sec, variously treated— doubtl-ss - the best commencement, as ! it is ; the keynote, of tbe .dinner"; revealing also, as it does nine times biit of ten, the calibre of the cook tojwhose taleut.thp. guest. is entiTi3ted. TBut there is mostly" an" alternative of ■ ' -white '* soup,' and this is. almost always a. mistake. - llan'y persons refuse if," and'they 'are right, Containing, - -as-it generally does, a considerabli!.pfppj)rtion of, ..cream^- an,, inj udicipus beginning ~ when ' there is much' variety to follow '? excellent sometimes ras ; one pf three or; four dishes, but dangerouis otherwise to' the guest who has not t i an/d exceptionally powerful digestion. But . Isupppse oysters, vinegar, and chablis have just , been-swallowed/fA-b^ or brie of greed vegetable, less frequ'eh-ly met wjth, .would/ be far safer.- . Two fish, of cburse, shbiild; alivays' be .served ; as/* fbr example, a slice ot} Severn orAGhristchiirch salmon, just arrived frq:2iHhe,watei',fqrits'oWh sake.; and a fillet of Svhite;fis"h : forthe sake of its sauce an:l garnish, whi{jh7sbq,uld be therefore perfect. . The liexc' dish is^iri'London, a question underddisctt3sion,'viz4-the question"; '~6f precedency to an entree, or to the ypieeede rciisiance. The 'custom .;has: been to postpone the appearance of the lafter until lighter dishes have beeu 'despa'tched.brAdeclihed. If, how- , '^ey^tbe English! joint is risquiredrat a meai alrea,dy:compr_hehsive inthe matter of dishes, ;an 1-, taken atAa -late hour, it seems more rea^ooabiedto 7 it-; next $o the fish, when those who::.demand a slice of meat may be expscte l;tb jhayean r apprppria.te appetite, which - Svill^^ cerj^vinlyie/impaired. 'equally by accepting t\ieTcntrees,7oi feasting partially without. them. r^Aftei^the j'qinfcjitwo light entrees may follow'; and these 7must J necessarily ; be either ■ in- thgn^el yes/pec 7prddubts7 bf dcuhnaiy 'skill, offering inducement to" the iialdte rather 'than to an appetite which is no longer, keen. 7 Then the best roast possible in season, and a salad V a firstrate vegetable, .twp-clibice ; sweets, one oE , which ihay' :he ice'd'; a light savoury biscuitor ' a morsel of fine 'barley salted caviare, which may jbe 7 prbca'eil ia-oaeor two places afcmOSG in town; will "completed the dinner. For -dessert, the finest fruits in season to grace tho &ble -atid'' J for lightA amusernefi-s after ; or simply7hu!S;indvariety>;and.dry biscutes^; nothing between the ; two is tolerable, and little more than. the :^tter^7 re^ily wanted ; only for decoratrveptrtpds^es 'frnit equals, flowers. r ßut: it.may/be adcMtted .that dthe diminished Ma mb&i] dpf v '%yee^ "pieadfbl* a supply' "of deiieiqtisj truits, readerihgdthe dessert useful and ; agreeable as well Tas'dbrnamehtal." A The ; foUqwing.^remarks, -which we; borrow frbmthe'^u^en, deal with 'another A phase' of- 'thc^dihrier que--tibaA—-" Whea sending in tb dinner some A hostesses, wbed it iaaunouueed, inform S£helget.tiemehfTvhbnj. tbeyjare^tjpr^ke down, according to their various degrees of rank. IBut-althbtfgh.this is-sppdetim^^pne the more /usual plan- is for ; dAe^stto iurormthe gentledmen on theifariival/as to which of the 'ladies'' they are to takedown ; thus avqidmg any conf risiqn or'delay iii proceedingtb -QJladining- ;- rqom/.the^hbst^leadingthe way w^thelady -bf the^High&t r^iikf,' the!boste3s folio wing the ia4t- ' &bupTc with- -the 'gentleman of highest rank. AtAsbmKi houses it is customary to dwrifce th^}nain^bfthe;different guests ou /sin^ll scf aps/jo^ iimpe^ahd to-oao^hem on the i^able to; -ip^^te where ei*ch '^aest is to -sit|;,but; th^s ;'is*;a^TO ment^ and/Jv^^'g^/M say bld-fashiOned as7v? ellwand^ in. .the smartest and most f ashioh-d dable-hquses itd.is a 7 practice v%at yis never /adopted ; still. there*ar^*sbnie people: who yeb rjjlingtp rit^ as a straight- ' 7 'fqf.ward:^mann(ir/qf";^ can be jnq^pqssible mistake; 7but-.iu.:reaiiity/i-^ little delay and Ttrqnbiej many oi the guests in search of their proper y pi^ dibiirAqf: The rnbst uSefid piauifolibw^i^.'fb^he j^pstj»re rplaceat thb" b/bttbm p& the^bie/^ahd by a dgesture brhishand f tc iindTicate'to each couple i as; thpy enlterAthe rpom^ sit; tnaking "a diere^l^at7tte/|aj^time to this effect A A Ifoih&h^ the spciability of the dinner part.^ as to take no trouble aboutdthe placiiig q^tfie guests'at taj^ejiand /tb-ailpw^' them yt6A §1.? where they pleasbi ~ qi '/toAtake what they places .they choose qhjentCTing-theJ dimng-foom' : thus^ if husbands and wives escape sitting side by dsi#j"t^ mb^(; uoQqngenM of the gaeste may

find theipselvee in juxtaposition to each other, or perhaps all the brightness,, wit, and geniality arc grouped together at one end of the table, and all the dullness and mediocrity at the other, which precludes any general conversation ; the' dull people' rarely originating a remark, and .feeling rather aggrieved that they, do not find themselves at i\vy opposite end bf the table anidhgst'tbe ami iing talkers, to hear what is, tfiere going on. * When this is the case the* silence becomes positively oppressive, and th_ dinper voted tb UC a Yety !J heaYy <>»e. ; -Ladies' '-"wtoain^ £iit but seldom have rather a; way of falling ,, behindhand in the routine of &.' dinner-table. From the very commencement of the dinner tbey are laggards ; they haye not removed their gloves or unfolded their serviette by the time the- servants are'hpon them -with the ■oop ; they have not found time to examine the menu, or to decide which soup they will have ; so to the question' put they hesitate. add finally choose the soup wbich they would i ither not have had could they have thought the matter over before sitting v down to^table. At dessert they'have busily engaged iwitb . their grapes while the hostess x is vainly'endeavoring ;to attract their attention,, y?ith a view of quitting the dining-room".; and , when aroused from this occupation they are surp ised- to observe that the other ladies are rising from their seats, and are ready to depart. .In hurriedly rising -their gloves, pbekethandkercbief, -and.fan are;not v tp be ' found, and are finally discovered by sbme eaterprißitf{r.gcntletnan,-who rises- fr6m his lowly position with his discovered^treasures, not*to> well' pleased-- with the lady who has given him this unnecessary trouble." • .

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ST18791117.2.16

Bibliographic details

DINNER PARTIES., Southland Times, Issue 3559, 17 November 1879

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1,081

DINNER PARTIES. Southland Times, Issue 3559, 17 November 1879

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