Dinner with Jackie … & Patricia, & Giancarlo, & Cornelia …

IMG_6332Good morning Lacquered Lifers! Making plans to do some entertaining at home this weekend? Well then do I have a book for you. Available from Assouline is Dinner Diaries: Reviving the Art of the Hostess Book by Daniel Cappello. Taking you into the homes and the minds of some of today’s best hosts/hostesses, Cappello presents each person with a questionnaire about hosting dinner parties, “what music, what food, what lighting” and they respond to his questions in their own handwriting – which just feels so chic. Below are some of my favorites … cornelia-guest Giancarlo patricia-herreraIn addition to these completed questionnaires, Cappello includes some blank ones for you to fill out yourself, or for you to distribute to some of the great hosts/hostesses in your life, so that you may capture their expertise forever. The book also contains some invaluable tips for both the guest and for the host and hostess. Below are some of my favorites.

Tips for the Guest: 

– A good guest arrives ready to interact with other guests. Read the newspaper, a magazine article, or have an interesting story to tell. Avoid talking about yourself. 

– When it comes to dinner conversation, make love, not war. Avoid talk of politics, but welcome talk of sex and love. 

Tips for the Host & Hostess: 

– Dinner is theatre, and as the host or hostess, you are the director. 

– As a host, try to toast your guests at some point during dinner. Even a very simple, “We’re so glad to have you all here!” is all it takes.

– A good hostess enjoys her dinner party as much as her guests do.

In addition to tips and questionnaires, Dinner Diaries features a section in the rear which is like a traditional hostess book. The traditional hostess book provided a place to list the menu, seating arrangements, flowers etc. of a particular dinner party so that you could remember what was successful and what wasn’t, what was served, who came  – to prevent repetition and encourage creativity. The book provides you with enough space for ten dinner parties, but let’s be honest, after reading Dinner Diaries we are going to be hosting much more often! So once you have filled the pages that Cappello provided in Dinner Diaries, it might be time to invest in a hostess book from Graphic Image.Graphic ImageAvailable in three colors and the ability to be personalized, these Graphic Image Entertaining Books are exactly what you need to record all the fabulous dinner parties that you have hosted. Move over Jackie.

Dinner Diaries: Reviving the Art of the Hostess Book is available through Assouline.

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