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3.7 out of 5 stars6
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 October 1999
This book contains nothing you did not really know already, but the information, tips and recipes are presented so elegantly, so clearly and so mouthwateringly that you will be pleased you bought this work. It is at the same time practical and inspiring: the photography is stunning, but the recipes are not difficult, nor necessarily expensive or time-consuming. This underlines Burrell's priciple that a lot can be achieved by keeping the basics simple, yet taking great care in the presentation without being fussy or over the top. The little asides on Royal customs and preferences serve as no more than a tasteful garnish, giving the book that little extra sparkle -- and let's face it, for most of us it is the closest we'll ever get to dining with Royalty! I would not hesitate to recommend it as a gift for a hostess, or the difficult-to-buy-for 'person who has everything'. (In which case I would swallow a remark about the annoying mistake in the section on choosing wines where the word 'palette' is used where 'palate' seems to be meant. What a pity in a book that has been put together with so much attention to detail.)
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on 30 October 1999
Snippets of Royal history with bits of inside info. on the "establishment", along with delicious but simple recipes - You will want try them all. And you don`t have to be a florist to make any of his flower arrangements. A book for anyone and everyone.
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on 16 October 1999
I have known how to entertain but have not always known the right procedure for certain situations and this book certainly puts a host and guest at ease. Everyone should have a copy. The recipes are mouth watering and practical.
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on 2 October 2006
This book is a little of everything and not much of anything. Above all, it is a recipe book (you will find 8 recipes for bug-shaped foods to be served at children's parties - gummy candy creepy-crawlies in jellies, anyone?). The author also explains how to arrange flowers (and what to do if they droop), make centerpieces, fold napkins, remove various kinds of stains (dog puddles!), provides information on wedding superstitions and names of wedding anniversaries, aphrodisiac foods, as well as flowers and their meanings. There are snippets of information on various royal mansions, selected royal family customs, and some memories of the late Princess Diana . The information on etiquette is scarce and fragmentary. This book is by no means an exhaustive source of knowledge of the finer points of etiquette/table manners, although the author does provide some tips on how to eat 'difficult foods,'serve wine and compose wedding invitations, along with very basic information on 'general civilization' (don't smoke around non-smokers, pick your teeth or talk with your mouth full). If you have your own back yard and live in a cold climate, you may appreciate Paul Burrell's tip on the effects of hanging your table linen out in heavy frost overnight.

Some of the information the author provides will strike you as odd: "I have served brandy in glasses as large as goldfish bowls - these are excellent for the brandy (...)" Are they? "At the end of the meal, ladies may want to apply a little powder or lipstick. It is appropriate to do this at the table (...)" Is it??? Paul Burrell mentions a reception where champagne was served in tiny bottles, with a straw - he believes this to be "a novel and very stylish way to serve the drink, and so simply executed". Oh, well...

I have not learned much from this book and found it lacking in focus.

If you are interested in table manners, I recommend the exquisite "The Art of the Table" by Suzanne von Drachenfels.
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on 9 February 2013
I bought this by mistake, never realised the two books are the same. So I shall have to think about what to do with it! Probably try to sell.
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on 12 September 2015
V Good
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