Have you ever attended a real formal dinner? I have learned that most of us have not, unless you have experienced evening at the Queen’s table. The term “formal dinner,” Americanized by the historically prominent Lady of Etiquette, Ms. Emily Post, does not mean “stuffy” as most might think; it means structured! She said in her 1923 book of Etiquette, “The higher the level of structure, the higher the level of service one will experience,” and this is where I entered the eloquent venue of Formal Dinners.
Starkey International began thirty years ago and I have hosted 12 formal dinners a year as part of our Household and Service Management curriculum. It has become a tried and true art form for us. I consistently have “Run the Table” over the years and have tried almost everything. We finally emerged with our current educational guide on Entertaining including tableware and settings, flowers, service timing and styles, entertainment, culinary menus, wines, conversation, apparel, and yes, only at the queen’s table, our mirrored service.