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Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

How to Dine in Style

The Art of Entertaining, 1920

The 1920s marked the high point of refined dining, when silver tray–bearing white-gloved waiters circulated among guests and starched linens and candlelit tables were de rigueur. For the decadent class that came to prominence during the post-war period, achieving a reputation for throwing the most recherché dinner parties meant instant social success, and many an enterprising host or hostess sought advice in J. Rey’s The Whole Art of Dining.

By turns a collection of practical advice and a catalog of eccentricities, The Whole Art of Dining, republished by the Bodleian Library as How to Dine in Style, contained everything the would-be socialite needed to know in order to elevate food to high art, from tricks for putting together a proper French menu or throwing a garden party to practical tips on serving wines in the correct order and at the right temperature. Throughout the book are stories of astonishing excess, such as the search for ever-more-elaborate themes and venues, and the more daring of the book’s devotees might have been tempted to emulate efforts like those of the intrepid hostess whose mountaineering-themed dinner party had guests rappel to the rooftop of her Chicago home or American millionaire George A. Kessler, whose infamous “Gondola Party” flooded— for the first and only time—the central courtyard of the Savoy.

A captivating glimpse into the golden age of fine dining, this book will be consumed with interest by discerning diners and fans of the Roaring Twenties—and it may even inspire readers to try their hand at throwing a stylish soiree of their own.

168 pages | 30 halftones | 5 x 7 4/5 | © 2013

Food and Gastronomy

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Table of Contents


1             The Dining-Room

2             How to Lay the Dinner-Table

3             Hints and Suggestions in Floral Table Decorations

4             General Rules to be Observed Before and While Waiting at Table

5             Order in Which the Guests Should be Served at Table

6             The Denominations of the French Dishes and Their Origin

7             The Art of Composing a Menu

8             Breakfast

9             Luncheon

10           Tea

11           Dinner

12           Supper

13           Ancient and Modern Banquets

14           The Lord Mayor’s Banquet

15           Wedding Luncheons

16           Wedding Receptions

17           Ball Suppers

18           Garden-Parties

19           Picnics and Al-Fresco Luncheons

20           Table Manners and Food of the Nations

21           Remarkable Tables and Freak Dinners Given by Wealthy People

22           The Art of Carving

23           When Food is in Season

24           Bottling, the Care of Wines and the Cellar

25           The Correct Temperature and Order in which Wines Should be Served

                at Table

26           The Uncorking, Decanting and Serving of Wines

27           Employer and Employee

28           The Butler and the Efficient Modern Waiter

29           The Maître d’Hôtel

30           The Pourboire or ‘Tipping’ System

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