Page 34. " No Forsyte has given a dinner without providing a saddle of mutton "

There were formal rules for setting the Victorian dining table, for the different wines to be served with each course, and for the type of food to be served. The Victoria and Albert Museum has some exhibits to demonstrate these

Page 50. " The light from the rose-shaded lamp fell on her neck and arms - Soames liked her to dine in a low dress "

 

John Singer Sargent 1884 Oil Painting of a Dinner Party
Creative Commons AttributionJohn Singer Sargent 1884 Oil Painting of a Dinner Party - Credit: freeparking at Flickr

 

Could a man own anything prettier than this dining table with its deep tints, the starry soft-petalled roses, the ruby coloured glass, the quaint silver furnishing; could a man own anything prettier than the woman who sat at it?