Sunday, May 12, 2013

Banquet seating versus home entertaining

I, yet again, went to a fundraiser for a local concern and yet again was one of 12 seated at a 60" banquet table. And yet again, the 24" cover rule was dispensed with. And who do we lay blame for this offense of sensibility? The White House! You see, the White House, when it gives a State Dinner or White House Gala, is more interested in cramming the maximum number of persons a table, thus ensuring the maximum number of attendees, rather than hosting a proper formal dinner. If you take a look at the two tables pictured, you will indeed see the horrific standard of 12 covers at the five foot round table.

The sad result, as pictured here, are the magnificent Clinton Chargers, used on both tables, inches from each other forcing historical vermeil and mother of pearl flatware to being crammed under the china rims. Subsequently, the chargers are replaced with plates that have portioned food upon them and guests are in the position of figuring out where their cover ends and their neighbor's begins. Or worse yet, laying out their silver more appropriately themselves. In such a cramped setting I fear for the stemware. So, if you are hosting a formal dinner, and using the standard five foot round tables, please for the love of the Graces and the Muses, seat eight to a table.

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