28-3. Ladies Bridge Lunch: Changing Styles in the 50s

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An article in Good Housekeeping in 1953 suggested that lunch was no longer the dominant venue for ladies-only bridge events. Anytime in day or evening was appropriate by the 50s, even breakfast. A simple “coffee bridge” at 10:30 in the morning of doughnuts and coffee.

The “dessert bridge” became popular. It was a step away from full ladies luncheons (a step down one could say), perhaps begun during wartime rationing as an alternative to a full luncheon. Eat on your own ration book, come for dessert. Magazines suggested a range of options light refreshments and diet plates for when your club meets to an elegant international dessert bridge of Viennese strudel, English trifle, Scotch shortbread accompanied by Italian and Viennese coffee.

Molded salads and desserts survived the War as did chicken salad, creamy entrees (like chicken divan).

A Good Housekeeping magazine article of 1956, promised a Luncheon for the Girls with “cards clutched to bosoms” that would please the calorie counters: bouillon on the rocks with a twist (with or without vodka I assume) to precede a lobster salad served in rock lobster shells.

Finally, the pre-War days when women dressed up, complete with hats, to attend bridge luncheons (keeping their hats on) seemed to disappear during the war. At least I don’t believe I ever came across ladies playing bridge with hats on in post-War magazine photos.

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