(For the Socially Unfortunate)


Hyacinth Bucket.


PREFACE: How This Book Came About.

CHAPTER ONE:  FIRST THINGS FIRST:  SETTING THE STAGE. An Exclusive Post Code is a Must. A House is Not a Home Unless It Is a Centre of Culture and Taste. Nothing Continental. Decorating Up to and Beyond British Standards. Dressing for the Occasion. The Tasteful Accessories of a Well-laid Table. The Musical Accompaniment. Rehearsals All Important!

CHAPTER TWO:  BREAKFAST FOR THE FAMILY. Normal Everyday Fare Breakfast. Getting It All Done at Once. TheTea.  The Grapefruit Half. The Toast. The Announcement. The Exclusive European High-fibre Breakfast Cereal.  The Perfect Full English Breakfast (for those “Special Occasions”)

CHAPTER THREE:  COFFEE.  Ordinary Coffee for a Neighbour (with or without tinned biscuits). Having Coffee “out”. Aromatic Nut-Roasted Special Coffee with Cotswold Cremes (for times when making the right impression is important.)

CHAPTER FOUR:  LUNCH.  A Simple Lunch for the Family. An Even Simpler Lunch  for a Husband Left ‘on His Own’ – Temporarily! An Elaborate Ladies’ Luncheon with Guest Speaker. Pre-luncheon Cocktails and Canapes at Home When the Actual Luncheon is Scheduled “Out” (and not always at an exclusive restaurant)

CHAPTER FIVE:  TEA.  Making the Perfect Pot of Tea. Casual Tea for a Neighbour.  Tea and Light Refreshments for a Vicar. Formal Afternoon Tea (for Entertaining an Executive’s Wife). A Serious Tea for a Mrs Councillor Nugent. Tea and Nautical Light Refreshments.  Hyacinth Bucket’s Country Crème Tea. Tea at home with Your Husband.

CHAPTER SIX: THE CANDLELIGHT SUPPER. The All-purpose Candlelight Supper. The Candlelight Supper with Guest of Honor: When You've a Major on Your Left; When You've Got the Director of Your Local Amateur Operatics Society on Your Right.

CHAPTER SEVEN:  THE ORDINARY FAMILY SUPPER. The Every Day Supper. The Casual Holiday Supper. Suppers for When You've Time to Prepare. Suppers for When You Don't. The Special Occasion Family Supper. Hyacinth Bucket's Boxing Day Candlelight Supper.

CHAPTER EIGHT:  BETTER-CLASS BARBECUES. The Exclusive Outdoors-Indoors Luxury Barbecue with Finger Buffet.  The Well-Planned Country Cottage Affair.  Merry England Barbecue. Casual Dining Alfresco: The Bon Vivant Buffet with Alfresco Munchiettes.

CHAPTER NINE:  PICNICS.  A “Special Needs” Event Planned with One’s Daddy in Mind. The Waterside Supper with Riparian Entertainments.

CHAPTER TEN.  MOMENTS MISCELLANEOUS AND MUSICAL. The Little Evening Musical Soiree: The Three-Piece Suite Warming Party; SIR EDWARD (!!); A Security and Alarm Warming Party. The Impromptu ‘Midnight Snack’.

A FINAL WORD ON ENTERTAINING. (For the Socially Unfortunate).

I know you're eager to begin!  But first it's important that you read The Preface: How This Book Came About.