The Hightea or the tea time

tea2The atmosphere of the tea time is still quite cozy, no special clothing is required; the courtesy and good manners are essential. Nowadays, the tea is consumed at any time, during the breakfast, late afternoon, and after hard days work. In England, the tea time became a custom and it is taken usually from 5-6 P.M. This habit was particularly pleasant in the countryside; the dishes are arranged on a large table, while the guests sit comfortably. Once the pot of water(preferably made in porcelain) is boiled, the tea is prepared by putting a teaspoon per person, then, then the water is added and left for five minutes; it is served with toast, jam, cake, and with small tea napkins.

The tea time is always best to provide at least two different teas, such as a Chinese tea and Indian tea.
There are infinite nuances of aromas, l’Orange Pekoe, light and soft (Ceylon tea) ; Darjeeling , very fragrant and sweet teas from the India; Imperial , smoked taste of jasmine ; Yunan, with a strong taste, from China. Mandarin is consumed without sugar with Chinese or Vietnamese cuisine. The tea supports mixtures with alcohol, especially with ice (rum, whiskey, Pimm’s )…

The Black Tie

The Black tie is reserved for the special occasions and generally it is recommended and marked with the mention “black tie”. Men will wear then a tuxedo while women dress an elegant long dress.

The Evening gown

It keeps in mind the occasion for which it is reserved. Indeed, depending of the style of the dress, it will be better suited to a particular occasion. The diversity of evening dresses involves the designers and the women who wear it.

The material is important and an essential element in the choice of the ideal dress. Light and delicate fabrics such as silk, captures the elegance of the dress, but you can also choose a “satin” or “taffeta” that will give you a lighter or rigorous style.

An important note; for choosing the perfect gown no matter the occasion are your personality and morphology.  An evening gown is designed to reveal your beauty.

The Tuxedo

This garment was born in 1886 in Tuxedo Park, a village to sixty miles from Manhattan in the imagination of a New York heir; he was looking for a less strict dress coat for a ball. His suit was inspired by the jackets worn in Britain the hunting horsemen.

The Tuxedo is now a suit designed of a jacket for the ceremony, silk trousers and a waistcoat. Single or double-breasted, it is generally dark blue, sometimes black.

Spencer jacket and white are reserved for summer evenings. It comes with a white shirt with wing collar and a pleated front.

The tuxedo is worn during the evening receptions; in general the dress code is detailed on the invitation.

A man in a tuxedo is accompanied by a woman wearing a very dressy dress long or short.

 

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photos from Pinterest.

 

A perfect Garden Party

garden-partyIt is the spring time, your roses start to get gorgeous and you need to make many invitations… Gather around a buffet in your garden with friends and family.

Plan for a sufficient number of tables and chairs so your guests can sit, optionally; do not forget a “Parasol” and place the plates on the buffet, cutlery, glasses and napkins before the arrival of your guests.

Because of the warm weather, you should put available lots of ice; you must fill several champagne buckets to keep the bottles cool. If your refrigerator is full, provide an ice tray.

If the garden party takes place in the evening, consider the delightful garden lights, spotlights, lanterns without forgetting mosquito candles!

You have the choice between two menus:

-The buffet of meat, and cold fish, variety of delicatessen and salads. Or

-“Mignardise” and “Petit Four” buffet, which not require to be covered.

As an aperitif; sangria or “Kir”, fruit juice, dry white wine, rose wine, fresh red wine. Avoid strong alcohols, but you can expect a brut champagne.

Do you want to prepare the buffet by yourself or do you want to call for a catering service? The number of the guests, your availability and your budget will guide your choice.

The relaxed atmosphere does not exempt you to ensure the comfort of each guest; often ask to your guest if everything is ok in order to ensure that they lack nothing, so check frequently that the buffet is always stocked.

For the evident reasons don’t let the ices and sorbets on the buffet; they could melt.

A good advice:

Let know to your guest that the sun and the warm time could not be achieved. Plan the possibility to go into the house or under a tent.

Some decoration tips:

To the delight of your guest, put the same color of your tablecloth and the chairs cushions, and place on each table a small bouquet of flowers with the same range of colors.

Photo from clipzine.me – judith collins

Cutting of meat or poultry

In particular game and poultry were considered under the ancient regime as a true art which were to exercise the young lords. We learned not deteriorated best pieces; white for chicken, pheasant, partridge, woodcock thigh, the fillet for the hare and rabbit. Techniques used to have hardly changed.

Chicken legs are held with the help of a fork and a knife, then, we cut the wings before separating white of the breast and split the carcass.

Separate the two duck legs and then cut the flesh of the breast along the wishbone. Then, cut the pulp into strips or slices on either side, before detaching the wings.

The lamb shoulder is cut into slices perpendicular to the bone. The slices should be very thin as for the leg of lamb.

The pigeon is cut like a chicken unless it is very small. In this case we cut in half.

It is advisable to observe well the piece before cutting; this will allow you to make a perfect cut.

A last piece of advice; the birds are served lying on the back and mammals on the belly. Enjoy!

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Pictures from kinoshitaphotograph.blogspot.jp, youngandfoodish, pinterest

 

A bouquet for each place in the house!

Regardless of bouquets that are offered when you are invited, there are those that can be made even to decorate your house or apartment. The choice of bouquet depends of where they will be placed:

The entry requires an elegant bouquet, but small size and not too fragant.

The living room can be decorated with a decorative bouquet in harmony with the decor of the room; not put them between the guests.

In the bedroom, there is nothing more delightful to go pick up some flowers in to the garden; you should select those who have a soft aroma.

In the kitchen, we install more rustic bouquets, sometimes mixed with vegetable and fruit, in a redecorated commercial container.

To brighten up a table; the floral decoration can only be a centerpiece arranged in vase adorned with a round bouquet.

Beware with the huge bouquets between the guests and with strong smelling of flowers; might hiding the aroma of dishes!

Pictures from Pinterest.

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How to place the condiments on the table?

In the middle Ages, spices were locked in wooden boxes. These precautions are justified by the importance of these products, their high prices and the fear of poisoning whose practice was widespread.

These fears are justified, and later they will fade, the spices are placed on the table in a small jewel box or earthenware in which the most diverse spices were offered to the sight of all the guests. The cupboard in the kitchen became very fashionable. Other condiments that could be found on the table: oil, vinegar and “mout ardent“. The consistency of the latter gave a variety of containers: from the sauce cup for the most liquid sauces to the ceramic cup for the thicker one.

The Oil and vinegar, each had their bottle, but in a delightful style. Both decanters were joined to each other to form the “guédoufles”. The bottle was with a shape of two bellies . The craftsmen created a range of models, from the most modest to the most ornate.

Currently we can find them as a piece collectibles. We put the salt and pepper on the table, mustard sometimes in the tables of restaurants, more rarely at the table in the house. The seasoning was a part of the process in the preparation of meals; nowadays, spices take more place on the tables. Generally, the cups of mustard and condiments are offered by the merchants to their clients as a gourmet delight.

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Pictures from verreancien.com

The Tip

The tip continues to give in some cases in France, even when the service is included in the bill, such as the restaurant or at the hairdresser. This means that we are satisfied with the service offered. This practice has developed in the 19th century, to reward a café restaurant service. In France is called “Pourboire” as its name suggests, a drink was offered in appreciation of the service done.

Over time, this habit has diversified and the “tip” or “Le pourboire” is the best way to express gratitud for the service, as is the case with taxi drivers, waiters or the tourist guides.

For the restaurant services, the amount of the tip is estimated around 15% of the note. It is better rewarded when a real service was rendered: very fast service, table well placed…

Who to tip?

Professional movers; after checking that they did not damaged your furniture.

The waiters and the valets, even if the service has already been included in the bill.

Taxi drivers, who were particularly attentive during the service.

Doormen and porters at the hotel. Haircut and the barber if he is not the boss.

Never give a tip to a doctor or a hostess. If you need to express your gratitude to them, a small gift may be more appropriate.

Luxury-Limousine-Service-1 Bulter with Call Bell

The Traditional Valentine’s Day in France

Love is often festival in our calendar, so on February 14 every year lovers of all ages celebrate their happiness by exchanging cards and gifts, a dinner in head-to- head, home or restaurant.

For a soft and serene atmosphere at home, think about the smallest details of candlesticks for a soft and romantic light; flowers on the table;  in our previous article you will find the best tips for give unforgettable flowers, but also a good meal cooked with your care.

But the majority of women prefer to go to the restaurant that day.

In France, couples mark this day by sending a traditional card, but they can also make a small gift for the occasion, flowers are the most classic and always appreciated gesture but also chocolates, perfume or jewelry.

The main color of the feast of Saint Valentine’s Day is traditionally red, but pink and white also have an important place.

- The red symbolizes the dedication and loyalty, but also passion.

- The white color of purity par excellence.

- Pink is a soft color. Since 1920 it is also the color of girls.

Another very strong symbol of Valentine’s Day is the rose, this flower represents love, especially if you offer or receive a red rose mean passion.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Marhaba.com

How to give flowers in France?

Traditionally we give flowers in all major circumstances of life: birth, baptism, engagement, marriage, death … Send flowers to someone is to honor him, thank him, marking his attention.

The tribute of flowers is also for the deceased and it takes a special character when they are used for decorating a church.

The best is be delivered by a florist and send it with a card the same day of the invitation. You can bring by yourself, if your appointment is more intimate. Flowers can also be delivered after the event or the following day; this is according to the host presence at home. We offer roses in odd numbers.

Do not give red roses to a little girl (red color is the color of passion). Some flowers do not be offered as the chrysanthemum because they are related to day of death.

Do not bring flowers if a person invites you to its home for the first time. If necessary, send the flowers the next day.

Avoid offering fragrant flowers to a patient.

A unique set up of the table and the decoration with flowers is recommended when you celebrate an important event. We flourish the guest room during the weekend and not bring flowers for the people who live in the countryside.

Everything is in the way to give the bouquet of flowers. In order not to offend the sensibilities of other guests who would come empty-handed, we will deposit the bouquet on a table in the entrance of the house and thank the host for the invitation discreetly.

When you’re abroad, get informed before offer flowers to your host, in order to know if the traditions are the same as in France.

Pictures from Wikihow and Pinterest.

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It is the “Crêpe” time!

February 2 is the Candlemas! Every year, the tradition is full of cooking delicious crêpes to enjoy with family and friends, but where this tradition is originated?

“La Chandeleur” is celebrated 40 days after Christmas. Its name comes from the word “candle”. Originally, at the time of the Romans, it was a festival in honor of the god Pan. In 472, Pope Gélase decided to Christianize the festival that will celebrate the presentation of Jesus in the temple. According to the tradition, each believer must retrieve a candle in the church and bring it at home, being careful to keep it always lit. This blessed flame is supposed to protects of lightning if it is turned on during the storm.

After time, another tradition was born in France in “La Chandeleur”  this is the crêpes time!. Crêpes with sugar, vanilla, crêpes with chocolate … And especially people enjoy throwing the crêpes into the air!

Moreover, by making crêpes, we had to respect another custom with a gold coin. Indeed, farmers were throwing the crêpes into the air with the right hand while holding a gold coin in the left hand. After a ritual in family the coin was conserved until the next year to give it to a beggar.

If all these rites were respected, the family was assured money throughout the year. Today, candlelight processions and other rites no longer exist, but we maintain the tradition of the crêpes and this is right because they are delicious!

The person who turns his crêpe with style, which does not let fall to the ground or do not catch in the form of some pathetic crumpled appearance; this person shall have the happiness until the next “La Chandeleur”!

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