gracious living: cloth napkins

Remember the days before rushed meals, tv dinners, microwaves, and drive thrus? No, neither do I. But I can imagine. It was a more gracious time, when people had time—made time—to sit down for a leisurely meal with family and friends, to converse, to laugh, to share. Maybe you passed the dishes around the table. Maybe you lingered over dessert or wine, telling just one more story. These days some of us have those meals just one or two times a year. And I, for one, think that's not a good thing.

Part of the specialness and the holiday feel of these brunches and lunches and dinners comes from the dinnerware we use, and also from quality flatware, and from cloth napkins. A cloth napkin has weight, literally and symbolically. Its heft feels good in your lap, it lends style and substance to your table, and it stands for permanence, heritage, timelessness. I say why not use cloth napkins for every meal? Not only is a cloth napkin a key to gracious living, it's practical, long-lasting, not something to be thrown away at the end of a meal. It's eco-friendly that way! And a perfect tradition to start this Earth Day, for every day.

I like linen for the look and the soft, worn feel it gets after many washings. Consider monogramming to add even more style and create a family heirloom in the process.

Another favorite of mine is a block-printed cotton, and not just limited to Provencal style.

And don't forget the cocktail napkins. You'll need those too! Bon appetit!


erica at decorica said...

I agree. Loving #6, that bright blue and white napkin with the wood plate.

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

I just bought some napkins - dove grey with feather embroidered on them..... just divine and really dress up the dinner table.