In this country it is not expected that persons will call after informal hospitalities extended on Sunday. All gatherings on that day ought to be informal. No dinner parties are given on Sunday, or, at least, they are not considered as good form in good society.
FIVE O’CLOCK TEA, COFFEE AND KETTLE-DRUMS.
Five o’clock tea, coffee and kettle-drums have recently been introduced into this country from England. For these invitations are usually issued on the lady’s visiting card, with the words written in the left hand corner.
Five o’clock tea,
Wednesday, October 6.]
Or, if for a kettle-drum:
Wednesday, October 6.]
No answers are expected to these invitations, unless there is an R.S.V.P. on the card. It is optional with those who attend, to leave cards. Those who do not attend, call afterwards. The hostess receives her guests standing, aided by other members of the family or intimate friends. For a kettle-drum there is usually a crowd, and yet but few remain over half an hour—the conventional time allotted—unless they are detained by music or some entertaining conversation. A table set in the dining-room is supplied with tea, coffee, chocolate, sandwiches, buns and cakes, which constitute all that is offered to the guests.
There is less formality at a kettle-drum than at a larger day reception. The time is spent in desultory conversation with friends, in listening to music, or such entertainment as has been provided.
Gentlemen wear the usual morning dress. Ladies wear the demi-toilet, with or without bonnets.
At five o’clock tea (or coffee), the equipage is on a side table, together with plates of thin sandwiches, and of cake. The pouring of the tea and passing of refreshments are usually done by some members of the family or friends, without the assistance of servants, where the number assembled is small; for, as a rule, the people who frequent these social gatherings, care more for social intercourse than for eating and drinking.
MORE FORMAL ENTERTAINMENTS.
Evening parties and balls are of a much more formal character than the entertainments that have been mentioned. They require evening dress. Of late years, however, evening dress is almost as much worn at grand dinners as at balls and evening parties, only the material is not of so diaphanous a character. Lace and muslin are out of place. Invitations to evening parties should be sent from a week to two weeks in advance, and in all cases they should be answered immediately.