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Southern Lady: Gracious Tables: The Perfect Setting for Any Occasion Hardcover – October 9, 2007


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Southern Lady: Gracious Tables: The Perfect Setting for Any Occasion + Simple Stunning Parties at Home: Recipes, Ideas, and Inspirations for Creative Entertaining
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1St Edition edition (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061346675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061346675
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.1 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Phyllis Hoffman is majority owner and president of Hoffman Media, LLC. She serves as the creative engine of the company, producing an ever-widening range of beautiful magazines including Tea Time, Southern Lady, Just CrossStitch, Sew Beautiful, and Taste of the South. She is also a sought-after speaker across the country, a devoted wife and mother, and a church and community leader. Hoffman lives with her family in Birmingham, Alabama.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Estate sales, garage sales and flea markets are absolute treasure troves!
Alycia Nichols
It is full of beautiful photos of all different kinds of table settings along with Ms. Hoffman's very tasteful commentary.
Debbie M.
Love this book would recommend to anyone - and have purchased for gifts to friends for the holidays.
vinnie s

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Debbie M. on November 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Being very familiar with Southern Lady magazine, which Phyllis Hoffman publishes, I expected this book to be gorgeous & I wasn't disappointed. It is full of beautiful photos of all different kinds of table settings along with Ms. Hoffman's very tasteful commentary. If you love 'pretty things' & you appreciate gracious living, you'll love this book. There are a number of recipes also, and having used so many recipes from 'Southern Lady', I trust these are as delicious. If you're a lover of fine dinnerware, silver & glassware, you'll wish you had all the lovely patterns; I know I do! I've already enjoyed this book so very much, and with the timeless elegance & good taste of Ms. Hoffman's ideas, I know I'll continue to do so.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gale on July 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after reading reviews of it on amazon.com and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOOK. It is everything previously said and more. First, her dinnerware is beautiful - from the simple to the extravagant. All of her table arrangements are fresh and new ideas - not the same old stuff seen in other tabletop books I own. And, even though she may use expensive things (not all are), her ideas and design can easily be duplicated with what you may own. I am a dish fanatic not a cook. But, I was even interested in checking out the recipes and the beautifully displayed food. Then, near the end of the book, she has added beautiful and quaint drawings of the different types of dinnerware, explaining what each piece/shape is used for, e.g. cream soup cup and saucer...bouillon cup and saucer...luncheon plate...fruit saucer, etc. The next bonus is a section on artful flowers - again, designs that can easily be imitated/duplicated. Everything in the book has that "welcoming" feeling - even the formal table settings. If you are a dinnerware aficionado, you must have this book. I love it and know I will reference it frequently.
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73 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Austen on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The photos are gorgeous in this book and the ideas you can get from looking at them are abundant. I love beautiful china and have quite a bit. The missing stars in my rating are because, as I read this book, I found that because Phyllis Hoffman and her husband were born to privilege and have continued to live with it she hasn't a clue otherwise. She talks about, and shows pictures of, the very expensive china and silver passed down to her from her family members. She remembers "sitting down with Grandmother Hoffman . . . and sorting through her heirloom silverware collection." She suggests purchasing a special set of "youthful and fun" china reserved only for the breakfast counter - not table - counter. Her accompanying photo is of very expensive designer MacKenzie-Childs dishes. I know, in the resources it's listed as Victoria and Richard Emprise but, that's wrong. Emprise is the new designer line of Victoria & Richard MacKenzie-Childs. The most ridiculous comment in the whole book was this: "Of course you'll want to offer your new neighbors a housewarming gift. A potted plant, a sterling silver picture frame, or a crystal bud vase are always lovely options. A casserole dish from the china pattern in which your entree is served [from when you have them over to dinner - which is a good idea that I agree with] is even more special . . ." Really? Sterling silver, crystal, a casserole from your own china pattern? For complete strangers that just happened to move onto your block? Yes, I was disappointed at how many recipes there were but there is nothing to compare to the disconnect with reality in the text.

My suggestion is to purchase this book if you love pictures of beautiful dishes and ideas for tablescapes - just don't read it. Use your own dishes, from wherever you purchase them and don't feel bad if your family members fail to have "heirloom silver to sort through" - this woman lives in a different world than most people.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Miller on January 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was a beautiful book, my only negative was I thought it would have even more photographs. I am not a "cook", so while the recipes were wonderful (or looked to be) to me this is not why I bought the book. It was a beautiful book though and for anyone who entertains regularly is a must.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alycia Nichols on August 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although not a Southerner by birth, Phyllis Hoffman's magnificent book makes me long for relocation! I make up reasons to entertain because I love it so much and want for guests to feel pampered, special, and "wowed." Hoffman's book is the ultimate guide to doing just that. The photographs are incredibly stunning and there are so many recipes...good ol' Southern fare presented in 5-star style! (I like to spend more time on the table setting than in the kitchen, so prepared foods from Costco are often mixed in with homemade!) I agree that not everyone who reads this book will necessarily have the cache of heirloom china, flatware and stemware at their disposal. Neither did I; however, I am becoming a collector of various patterns purchased from many different places, some expensive and some not (Mikasa outlet store, Macy's, TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning, Pier One, Target). I have a healthy mix of china, stoneware, and melamine dishes that can be beautifully mixed and matched. I scour clearance sales in search of interesting stemware to complement the dishes in my stash. Estate sales, garage sales and flea markets are absolute treasure troves! (Where to put all this stuff? It's tucked in every nook and cranny I can find...even in rollout drawers under beds!!!) Hoffman has me hooked, and I am going to order "Gracious Spaces" and subscribe to Southern Lady magazine this afternoon!!!
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