Learn to set a holiday table that will dazzle the senses

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Riddick’s Folly opens its historic doors for many special events and with the holidays nearly here, they have invited television personality Betty Thomas to present &uot;Holiday Table Decorating,&uot; an event that any hostess could appreciate.

Thomas will visit the Folly on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Thomas is a well-known author, talk show hostess and she’s taught etiquette for 30 years through her businesses, the Raleigh School of Etiquette.


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Holiday Table Decorating is open to all ages, however, children will take part in other activities as moms, and perhaps a few dads, enjoy the seminar.

The program focuses on teaching hostesses how to create beautiful holiday centerpieces for their dining table. Using common supplies and things available in the own back yard – leaves, pumpkins, pinecones, fruit, etc. – the hostess can create a beautiful table centerpiece, napkin rings and other items.

As moms learn to be craftily creative, children will get to brush up on their holiday manners, proper introductions, thank you notes, etc.

A festive table is always made beautiful by gracious settings, and to set a proper table, a hostess must know how to properly fold a napkin and the correct placement of glass and silverware.

&uot;In essence, this is a program on gracious living,&uot; said Rhonda Bowles, a Folly volunteer. &uot;This is a program to instruct in manners and to become comfortable with setting a beautiful table.&uot;

While Thomas is serving as instructor to a group, others will be learning about the glory of fine linen pieces. This course is taught by Virginia Chambers, owner of &uot;Linens and Antiquities,&uot; in Norfolk where she displays and sells antique linens. She is also well versed in a variety of needlework including tatting, lacework, crochet and other needle arts.

She is considered by many to be the &uot;Guru of Stain Removal.&uot; Chambers has been known to be able to get out the most difficult of stains from both old and not so old linen.

Such an elegant affair as Holiday Table Decorating and deportment for children demands that tea and cakes be served in the tradition of the old South, of course.

Designed for men and women alike, the cost of participation in this special event is $15. That cost also involves taking a leisurely stroll through one of Suffolk’s most famous historic site, the Folly. It will be beautifully decorated for the holidays.

For more information on this unique holiday event, call Director Robin Rountree at the Folly at 934-1390.

Riddick’s Folly is registered with the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission and the National Register of Historic Places. During the Civil War, this 20-room home of Greek Revival style served as headquarters for the Union. The house is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday’s, 1pm to 5pm. Tours of the home are free.