Ludwig Bemelmans' La Bonne Table - 1964 First Edition - Vintage Book, Food and Wine, French Cuisine, Vintage Restaurant Menus


Enjoy the food, travel, and social life of a different era in Ludwig Bemelmans' La Bonne Table.

Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans. 1964 first American edition, first printing. Selected and edited by Donald and Eleanor Friede. Simon and Schuster, New York.

His Lifetime Love Affair with the Art of Dining In His Own Words and His Own Pictures, From Behind the Scenes and at Table


"Monsieur Victor was one of the best in his difficult trade. He knew wine and food; he had a perfect memory for names and faces. He also knew who was in Society, who was almost in Society and, what is most important, who was not. With such facts in his head, he guarded the interests of the hotel and of his own pocket.

"During luncheon and dinner Monsieur Victor stands at the head of the wide stairs that lead from the Jade Lounge up into the restaurant. He usually leans on his desk, a maitre d'hotel's desk, with eight drawers, seven of them neatly marked from the top down for the days of the week: Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jendi, Ventredi, Samedi, Dimanche. The eight drawer is for special parties and reservations far ahead, and in the top part of the desk, under a lid that lifts up, are reservations lists and place cards and signs marked "Reserved".


"Here is the best of Bemelmans on the subject he loved best: la bonne table.

"The entrancing words and pictures assembled herein form a record of his lifelong love affair with the art of dining. And the reader is transported to the grand hotels of Europe and America and the great restaurants - from the mythical Hotel Splendide to the Tour d'Argent in Paris, l'Oustreau de Baumaniere in Provence, and Le Pavillon in New York. The memorable dishes, the eccentric geniuses of the kitchen who created them, the opulent patrons who ordered them, the great wines and the occasions they toasted, are evoked in all their rich or subtle or piquant flavor. ...

"All good food was his delight - none was too plebeian, none too haute cuisine. He celebrates sausages, sauerkraut and Bavarian beer; he writes in praise of the caviars he has enjoyed... He recalls the friends he dined with, the chefs who cooked for him, the ways of busboy, waiter, and maitre d'hotel. ...

"Here, truly, is a feast of reading, and lost world of luxury and elegance..."

This is the same Ludwig Bemelmans (1898 - 1962) who was the beloved creator of Madeline and many other delightful children's books: Hansi, The Golden Basket, Quito Express, The Castle Number Nine, Noodle, Fifi, Sunshine, The Happy Place, Rosebud, Parsley, Welcome Home, Marina.
Visit for more first edition children's books.

Condition*: Very Good/Very Good. Dust jacket: Moderate shelf wear; soiling from handling; small area of dampstain visible inside jacket, tail of the spine. Blue cloth quarter bound cover: Light edgewear; light fading at top edge. Light tanning of pages at the margins else clean, undamaged, and complete.

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