A formal dining table

Hi to all of you reading !  As I told you in my last post (read it here )on the Chile Ambassador’s residence, I found the dining table looking so classic and beautiful that I thought I would do a separate post on it.

Talking about formal dinners, Luz remembers a time when Leonel and she hosted a dinner for some guests in Dublin. She did not have anyone in the kitchen to help out but had two waiters who would do the last heating and serving of the courses( That’s right-the lovely dinners often mean no fancy chef but that the Ambassador-man or woman-or his/her spouse has slogged in the kitchen!). She had made gnocchi in cream with a cheese topping which she had instructed the waiters to put in the oven to cook, thicken and brown.

When they brought the individual dishes in and placed them in front of everyone-Luz discovered, to her horror, that it was positively not cooked. Instead there was gnocchi swimming in thin cream. She could definitely not have asked everyone to wait while she took back their food to cook and bring back ! What else could she do but eat and pretend it was this special dish you ate often !  And the guests, she thinks, hopefully, must have thought that ,too– because they ate and appreciated it-or they were just kind people !

Look at this beautiful table-


And the beautiful room ( just reminding-there is a view of the sea from the window!)-

SG205769Another view with beautiful blue and white Chinese vases in the background-


The white table cloth is from Damascus, the red beaded mats -probably sourced from my India–are from Dunnes Store,Dublin (click here for nice things from Dunnes). The cutlery is from the famous French company Christofle (click here to see more Christofle cutlery and their very nice website). The crockery and glassware is beautiful and from Chile- by a well known Chilean company,Florencia.


A hundred years ago (actually in 1985–just seems like a hundred years)on my first formal dinner at an ambassador’s residence in Beijing I had agonized over which out of the three sets of forks and knives to pick up and picked up the wrong one when the first course was served. See–having married a man in the foreign service-I had read in a Western etiquette book in my small hometown in India that 1) the fish fork and knife looked a certain way and 2) You had to start with the outermost set of cutlery and work your way in.  All that had happened was  that the fish was actually served first but the fish knife and fork had been placed inside. So I was totally confused. Not having ever eaten before this in formal western style–of course I made a mistake ! And the waiter had looked down his nose !     Well, just remembered this as I saw the formal setting—




A simple bowl of fruit–how gorgeous it looks– no wonder painters always use it for their still life paintings-






Now- if only one could actually sit there and eat—

Thank you so much, Luz, for sharing.

To read about and see more table arrangements or ‘tablescapes’ in my blog click here.

Photos by Debashish.

I have a simple idiot camera. It takes good idiot pictures outdoors. Indoor shots are only passable. Debashish’s camera,however,is good- the resolution of the images better and his exposures best.  So I just beg him to take pictures–only hope he continues to agree.


About Adity

Hello ! You are either already a friend or will become one--through this medium! I am an artist and jewellery maker, a wife and mother to two lovely children. Beautiful homes, food, nature and wonderful things happening around me make me ecstatic. That is why I started to write this blog-- to share with you all of these things. After all what good is any experience if not shared !
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5 Responses to A formal dining table

  1. Shikha Chaki says:

    Interesting write-up and beautiful pictures.Keep it up !

  2. Avi says:

    reminds of the times my Dad was serving in the Army and we wd hv dinning table laid out like that
    it is all functional and practical now

    • Hi Avi! Thanks for coming by! I know the great style often followed by our senior army officials ! You are right about it being all functional now. All the same I think it is wonderful to make just a little effort once in a while and make things beautiful-also on our tables. My 87 year old mother-in-law will still have her kansha polished and arrange flowers while she serves food in her kansha thaalis !

      • Avi says:

        You are so right Aditi
        We do it once in a while especially when the kids visit or some special events or when the friends visit , and these days so many new ideas are available
        Oh by the way I tried the matar mushrooom dish and used awadhi chicken masala and it tasted yummy , going to teach my daughter too who has started her married life in Europe

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