we have gotten away from this exaggerated display of wealth and power. Today's formal dinner is a delightful experience where
the hostess can create an elegant but relaxed atmosphere where her guests can enjoy the company of others. We recommend
that you limit your number of courses to six. Here is a suggested list and description. You can pick and choose
but remember that you need to provide a balanced menu so that your guests are satisfied but not overwhelmed with rich foods.
(or "starters" as the British call it)
This can be a shell fish such as a shrimp cocktail
or fruit cup.
Lady Virginia likes to offer her guests a choice of a clear soup or a cream
soup. In hot weather a cold soup such as Vichyssoise or Gazpacho is a welcome change. [ Note: In a formal meal,
the courses are brought in from the kitchen and everyone gets the same thing. Thus, by deviating and offering a choice
for soup, the guest can have a bit more control. The gentlemen will generally select a heavy, cream soup and the ladies
will opt for the lighter clear soup. It will make this course more of a production however, because the server will need to
supply the guest with the proper bowl and utensil for the type of soup. It also requires a steady hand to ladle the soup and
As we have said before, this is the proper order for serving the salad.
It should be a light, crisp refreshing salad with a light dressing.
Fresh Fruit Crackers and Cheese
with after dinner coffee (demi-tasse)
Nuts and Raisins
A simple but complete formal menu could include:
- Roast or fish with vegetables and starch,
- Garden salad,
- Dessert and coffee.
- To add a European touch you could offer fresh fruit and cheese for dessert served with cookies, chocolate
truffles, sponge cake or pound cake.
Refer to the other sections under the ENTERTAINING button
to find the proper table
settings and placement of items for each course.