Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Continental Breakfast

The Table, Edouard Vuillard ~ 1909

WHEN breakfast is served in the dining-room, a white cloth is generally laid, although some ladies prefer variously coloured linen, with napkins to match. A vase of flowers or a dish of fruit should be placed in the centre. The table is then set as for dinner, with smaller plates and all sorts of pretty china, like an egg dish with a hen sitting contentedly, a butter plate with a recumbent cow, a sardine dish with fishes in Majolica,—in fact, any suggestive fancy. Hot plates for a winter breakfast in a plate-warmer near the table add much to the comfort.

Finger bowls with napkins under them should be placed on the sideboard and handed to the guest with the fruit. It is a matter of taste as to whether fruit precedes or finishes the breakfast; and the servant must watch the decision of the guest.

A grand breakfast to a distinguished foreigner, or some great home celebrity at Delmonico's for instance, would be,

A table loaded with flowers.
Oysters on the half-shell. Chablis.
Eggs stuffed. Eggs in black butter, (au beurre noir).
Chops and green peas. Champagne.
Lyonnaise potatoes.
Sweetbreads. Spinach.
Woodcock. Partridges.
Salad of lettuce. Claret.
Cheese fondu.
Charlotte Russe. Fruit Jelly. Ices.
Grapes. Peaches. Pears.
From The Art of Entertaining, by M. E. W. Sherwood, 1893.


Lady Anne said...

For *breakfast*? This is enough food for three days worth of meals! Although the idea of starting the day with a glass of wine sounds pretty good.

Shay said...

I could get used to champagne for breakfast. Of course, I'd need someone to do the washing up afterwards; I'd be too sleepy.