At a well-chosen dinner party, harmony of tastes and mutual liking among your guests should reign supreme, and where this is the case, all the guests would adjourn at the same moment, the host following last.
The host should not propose adjourning to the drawing-room before, say twenty minutes, unless his guests seemed bored, consulted their watches, yawned, or allowed the conversation to flag, in which case, he should leave the room at once.
The host should ring the bell on leaving the dining-room, which would signify that tea should be brought into the drawing-room, which is not done until the gentlemen leave the dining-room. When the ladies leave the dining-room they go direct to the drawing-room, where coffee is at once brought to them.
|This type of trembleuse cup’s saucer has what is known as a ‘cage.’|
The usual way is for the footman to carry a silver tray or salver, on which are placed small china coffee cups, those of the shape called “Trembleuse” are very much the best, as the saucer is so deep in the centre that the cup fits so far into the socket that no shaking is possible. A small silver, china, or silver gilt spoon is placed on each saucer. On the tray or salver are placed a silver or china jug of cream, the same of hot milk, and a silver or china basin of candied sugar.
Coffee may be poured into the cups before the tray is brought in, which the footman hands to each guest, and they will add sugar and cream according to their tastes; sometimes the butler carries on a salver a silver coffee-pot, and pours out the coffee as each guest takes it; sometimes, particularly in large country houses, each guest pours out their own coffee, the servant holding the tray for them with the cups.
The guests after dinner disperse themselves into groups or ‘tete-a-tete’ couples, and so commune pleasantly. — From “Etiquette: What to Do, and How to Do It,” by Lady Constance Eleanora C. Howard, 1885
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