Book Review: Charlotte Moss Entertains

"Hospitality begins at home. Once you’ve got that down, then the parties can begin.”

pink flowers
Image from Charlotte Moss Entertains

If you’ve ever picked up a home décor magazine, chances are, you know the work of Charlotte Moss. But what you may not know is that the well-known decorator and tastemaker is also an avid entertainer whose parties are as innovative and extraordinary as her interiors.

“Creating table schemes is not very different from the decorating that I do every day,” Moss says. “As a designer, I believe that we should make every effort to make our surroundings beautiful and memorable. This is particularly true when setting the table.”

Charlotte Moss Entertains cover
Image from Charlotte Moss Entertains

In her tenth book, Charlotte Moss Entertains: Celebrations and Everyday Occasions, Moss provides poignant tips on how to choose music and menus, master a seating arrangement, and create an element of surprise that will keep every guest anticipating an invitation to future fetes. She also gives readers exclusive access to her “invitation-only” events, including the annual Christmas buffet at her Manhattan pied-à-terre, a harvest dinner honoring friend and designer Nina Campbell, and the summertime “Caftan Caucus” at her East Hampton estate, a benefit gala for the New York City Ballet. These gatherings and many others comprise the 288-page volume, packed with photos of elaborate event décor with close-ups of bespoke linens, china, tableware, floral arrangements, and a treasure trove of tiny details that make a big impression on even the most discerning guest.

pink and wicker table setting
Image from Charlotte Moss Entertains
garden with pink roses
Image from Charlotte Moss Entertains

But despite her penchant for grandeur, Moss also appreciates the simplicity and intimacy of an everyday occasion, like a weeknight family supper. She strives to inspire readers to celebrate it with the same fervor they would a special milestone. “I hear about families never eating at the table together, about devices being permitted on the table, about how conversation is minimal, and even how utensils are used sparingly,” Moss says. “The dinner table is the single place in the house where we can gather for nourishment, conversation, and companionship. It’s where we celebrate special occasions and continue cherished traditions. Hospitality begins at home. Once you’ve got that down, then the parties can begin.”

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