Entertaining doyenne Phyllis Hoffman shows how to prepare a stunning table for any occasion.So many of the events of our lives, from the formal to the informal, are celebrated by gathering around a table. Whatever the occasion--whether it's a holiday dinner, Sunday brunch, or a casual lunch with friends--the table is the place where we relax and enjoy each other's company while savoring a great meal.No one knows how to dress a table with elegance and flair better than Phyllis Hoffman, publisher of Southern Lady magazine, the quintessential resource for entertaining the gracious Southern way. Now, Hoffman draws upon her years of expertise to create Southern Lady Gracious Tables, the definitive guide to creating gorgeous "tablescapes" for every occasion.Starting with the basics, Hoffman presents a series of breathtaking spreads for a whole range of occasions, from formal settings to casual get-togethers, and describes how to achieve each look, right down to the recipes--55 in total--for her mouthwatering specialties. Enjoy a lovely outdoor lunch of tasty Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and Green Chile Cream Sauce, or finish off a dinner party with delectable Praline Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce.Hoffman then builds a "wardrobe for the table," navigating through the complex world of dinnerware, fine linens, and serving pieces. Each and every element of the table--from fruit saucer to lemon fork to water goblet--is covered in a friendly, helpful way.Finally, there's advice on adding that all-important personal touch, with instructions on how to craft flowers, family heirlooms, collectibles, and other unexpected treasures into the perfect centerpiece, place marker, or accent. All along, her advice includes refreshingly simple techniques for presentation and encourages the reader's own creativity in playing with colors, patterns, and styles.Complemented by lush photography and told in Hoffman's accessible, encouraging, and deliciously Southern voice, Southern Lady Gracious Tables is a must-have for every aspiring hostess, south or north of the Mason Dixon. The perfect gift for any woman who loves to entertain, it has all the tools, tips, and inspiration you need to elevate the ordinary to the unforgettable.