The Salonniere's 10 Best Entertaining Books of all Time!

Honored to be featured on the Salonniere's 10 Best Entertaining Books of all Time! Check out the list below.

A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.

Howdy, darlin’. If you’re like us, you can find all the entertaining information that’s out there – including more than 15,000 books just on hosting parties – a bit overwhelming. In fact, that’s why we founded The Salonniere a year ago – to make entertaining breezier by wrangling up the best tips from the world’s top entertaining experts and putting them all in one frolicsome little place. Today, we’re serving up the 10 best entertaining books ever written, tomes that are as helpful and relevant today as they were on the day they were published. Stirrup a few Cowboy Martinis, and join us as we meander through the 10 classics that should be in every modern-day salonniere’s library.

Entertaining is Fun: How to be a Popular Hostess by Dorothy Draper (1941)

Dorothy Draper (1889-1969), one of the grand dames of modern interior design, was also known as one of the most stylish salonnieres of her day. This charming and collectible classic is filled with fun ideas for hosting fabulously chic dinner parties and holiday meals.

Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining (2004)

Lilly Pulitzer (1931-2013) was as well-known for her Palm Beach parties as she was for her preppy frocks. With sections devoted to Mellow Yellow MorningsThink Pink Afternoons and True Blue EveningsEssentially Lilly helps readers plan colorful events from sunrise to sunset in the designer’s signature “affluence at ease” style.

The Art of the Party by Renny Reynolds (2003)

In this gorgeous, photo-filled coffee table tome, Renny Reynolds, one of the greatest event planners of all time, shares his best entertaining secrets as well as ideas for glamorous color schemes, table settings and floral arrangements.

Hostess by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume (1961)

This classic treasure – written by Constance Spry (1886-1960), a florist and the founder of a domestic science school – is a charming read with advice ranging from how to be a good listener to the ladylike eating of an artichoke.

Entertaining by Martha Stewart (1982)

Filled with hundreds of gorgeous photographs, original recipes and innovative ideas, this is the book that launched Martha’s empire and revolutionized the way people though about entertaining at home.

In The Kennedy Style by Letitia Baldrige (1999)

Penned by Jacqueline Kennedy’s social secretary, Letitia Baldrige (1926-2012), this beautiful book captures the elegance, grace and exceptional taste that became synonymous with Jackie’s reign as First Lady of the United States. Seldom-seen photographs and Letitia’s behind-the-scenes recollections bring their glittering parties to life.

Lulu Powers Food to Flowers by Lulu Powers (2010)

This fun and approachable book written by L.A.’s top caterer and event planner has it all: delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes, fabulously creative party decor and floral ideas, and an insider’s tips on how to make your parties stand out. Lulu’s creative cocktail recipes, which she playfully calls “sneakies,” are a highlight.

Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten (2001)

In this entertaining classic, Ina Garten, the founder of the specialty food store Barefoot Contessa, shares the secrets she gleaned from years as a caterer and dedicated party giver. Her tips are inspiring, fun and pragmatic, including how to organize your parties like a caterer and assemble food rather than cooking everything.

Effortless Elegance with Colin Cowie by Colin Cowie (1996)

In this helpful guide, Colin Cowie, known as the party planner to the stars, offers readers ideas, recipes and menus to take the stress out of entertaining. One of our favorite menus in the book, “Dinner When Time Is Short,” takes just one hour, including shopping and preparation.

Dinner is Served by Arthur Inch and Arlene Hirst (2003) 

Co-written by a tabletop editor and a butler with more than 50 years of experience serving British nobles, this helpful book provides everything one needs to know about hosting a formal dinner party, from how to set the table and what china to use to how to be a gracious host. It also throws in some fun and interesting history of fine dining as well.

Welcome photo: Elizabeth Taylor

Welcome quote: Mae West