Who would know better than Amita Sathe Bambawale about the importance of having a beautifully decorated dinner table at parties since entertaining guests and hospitality forms an integral part of her duties as a diplomatic spouse. To put it all down in a wonderfully illustrated book Dinner Décor: A How-to Guide for Fabulous Centerpieces with practical and inexpensive suggestions on how to turn every party into a celebration and a feast for the senses, which guests will remember for years, is indeed an invaluable gift to those who entertain regularly.
Even for those of us who barely get time to prepare a simple meal or are used to eating take-outs sitting in front of the television and have limited budgets, this book has a lot of relevance. It has some highly doable ideas on how to make our dining table, even a small one, an inviting place with beautiful centrepieces and table ornamentation. It shows how simple household objects can be used as vases and containers for flowers. Not exotic flowers from the florist but flowers from your garden if you have one. Or in the absence of flowers the use of fruits and other natural material to liven up your table. It is replete with table décor ideas for Indian festivals and foreign festivals like Easter, Christmas, Valentine & Halloween and other special occasions.
Dinner Décor was launched recently at a well-attended function at The Leela Palace Chanakyapuri where Amita Sathe Bambawale spoke about how the book was conceptualized in Bhutan where her husband Gautam Bambawale was posted as Ambassador. Each time they entertained, her ingenious theme based centerpieces on her specially decorated dining table garnered high praise from her guests, members of the Bhutanese Royal Family and her friends who saw pictures that she posted on her Facebook album titled “Four Seasons Dinner Decor”. Encouraged by this Amita decided to come out with this book which cracks the code to creating a great centerpiece without breaking the bank and sometimes even using junk keeping in mind her mantra of “Reduce Reuse & Recycle”
Especially helpful is the Pictorial Dictionary at the end which has a close up of all the props and artifacts used in the book. While you need not rush out to buy what you see here, yet it would help to use more or less the same dimensions, colours, shape and material to get a similar overall effect. There is also a list of Golden Rules to be followed & Cardinal Sins of Dinner Décor to be avoided while setting a table.
While we all agree that great food is very important for the success of a dinner but having a beautifully decorated table is equally important for special occasions and festivals and Dinner Décor is just the right book to help you achieve that. It is practical and inventive with ideas for every occasion and taste with some beautiful images for inspiration.
Dinner Decor : A How-to Guide for Fabulous Centerpieces (Rs 1999) Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt Ltd
Also available as an e Book