Receive Guests Properly
One of the habits that made a big impression on me in Paris was how both Madame Chic and Madame Bohemienne loved to entertain guests. They had dinner parties at least once a week. The style of their parties varied- Madame Chic held more formal affairs and Madame Bohemienne's were more casual and spontaneous, but what they held in common were how welcome you felt as a guest. They never apologized for the state of their dress or their home or their cooking. You were always offered a refreshment, or aperitif, immediately upon arrival and were generally made to feel very comfortable. I believe it is because they had people over so often and so regularly that being a hostess was just like second nature for them.
Most people have a story, whether good or bad, about a time they were a guest in someone's home. When we have guests over we want them to feel welcome right away. This week's video shares my basic guidelines for receiving guests properly.
1. Get accustomed to using your best- If you use your best on a daily basis, it won't feel awkward to do so when company comes over.
2. Shed your insecurities and don't apologize- While it's important to get your home ready for guests, don't obsess about the details. Let their knock on the door be a signal for you to drop any insecurities that you may have about the state of your home or whether or not they will like your cooking. Don't apologize for yourself, your skills or your home. Your guests are most likely just happy to have been invited over!
3. Designate a space for their belongings- Let your guests know where they can place their handbag, coat and umbrella, or place their belongings there for them.
4. Always offer a drink to your guests upon their arrival- It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing your friends, but don't forget to offer them something to drink when they arrive. They might be really thirsty or would really appreciate a strong cup of coffee.
5. Provide food if your guests are visiting during a mealtime- If you are inviting people over during a mealtime (noon or 7pm, for example) you must provide them with a meal.
Check out this week's video for a more comprehensive discussion on the subject. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel (and subscribe!) www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur
At Home With Madame Chic is going into its second printing with Simon & Schuster! Thank you readers for embracing this book on how we can live better at home.
Pink Julep is bringing At Home With Madame Chic along with her on a journey.
I will appear on Nippon Television's The Most Useful School in the World, Saturday, May 23rd at 7pm in Japan.
Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Make connecting with people face to face (rather than screen to screen) a priority again. Invite a neighbor or one of your friends over for a cup of tea this week.
Comment of the Week
Madame Chic reader, Shannon, has tried the ten-item wardrobe and says:
Now in the morning when I slide open the closet door there is a sense of giddiness and excitement instead of dread or stress. What favorite outfit should I wear today? It doesn’t bother me to don the same dress twice or on one occasion three times a week because I love it so much. I have also built up my accessories to the point where I can easily change the look of dress with a belt, scarf or cardigan and it feels new. I’ve narrowed down my colors so that most things coordinate. Thanks again for the inspiration. It’s been a great life change!
Shannon, I am so happy you are reaping the benefits of the ten-item wardrobe. I hope it continues to positively influence your everyday life going forward!
Before we go, I would just like to say Happy Mother's Day to all of the Daily Connoisseur moms out there. I am so fortunate to have such a lovely mother who raised me well. All mothers deserve the highest accolades and respect for doing the best and the hardest job on earth. I hope you had a great weekend.
This week I would love to hear about your stories as a hostess or a guest. Do you have any horror stories to share? Any wonderful experiences that left an impression on you? Let us know in the comments and you could be picked as the comment of the week!
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