A Gilded Age Holiday
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN STYLE BY IMITATING THE OPULENCE OF THE VICTORIAN ERA.
Celebrate Christmas in style by imitating the opulence of the Victorian era.
Enchanted by the magic and beauty of Christmas, the wealthy society matrons of the Gilded Age in the late 1800s hosted parties and dinners that were opulent, grand affairs. Sticklers for details, with the wealth to set lavish tables filled with gleaming gold and silver, the Astors, the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts and their social equals were unrivaled in their soiree extravagance.
A holiday ball or dinner for 1,000 guests could carry a price tag of millions; these events were lavish and decadent, with a footman for every two guests, a menu that would rival any five-star French chef ’s creation and a small orchestra. Each guest was welcomed to a place setting laid with magnificent dishes and glassware, not only costly and beautiful, but perfectly laid out, with the aid of a ruler to make sure that each setting mirrored the next one precisely.
“Christmas is the time to use the most beautiful things you own. Antique linens, dishes, serving pieces and silverware make a delicious holiday meal look even more tempting, and an inviting table tells your guests how happy you are that they are part of your celebration ,” Lid yB a a rs, owner of French garden house Antiques, says.
In the spirit of Gilded Age opulence, consider reviving the custom of a beautifully appointed, formal holiday table. To add enchantment to your own holiday celebration, take inspiration from both of these Gilded Age-style tables set with antiques and personalized with eye-catching touches meant to delight each of your guests. One is an intimate table set in front of the Christmas tree for lunch, the other for a formal holiday dinner.
Christmas is not about perfection; it’s about creating magic that comes from your heart. This is the time when memories are made, old traditions are continued, and new ones are created.
Christmas is not about perfection; creating it’s about magic that comes from your heart.
Left: One table can be set a variety of ways. You can begin the event with luscious handmade menus and gifts placed at each setting. Then you can end the meal with a thoughtfully wrapped gift for each guest. top: Layers of heirloom lace napkins will add a lavish touch to your table. Accented by sterling silver serving pieces, this will be an event worthy of royalty.