I love this beautifully romantic sweetheart table set for a Valentines dinner found tonight on the delightful and inspirational Elizabeth Anne Designs.
For me, it is all the gorgeous little details that make this table setting so special, from the flower decoration on the cutlery to the vintage lace design tablecloth (and of course the strawberry tartlet!).
My childhood was spent observing my parents host fabulous dinner parties for their friends and clients and memories of visiting two aunts in particular that used to relish entertaining.
I do remember travelling back to Surrey, from London, always feeling absolutely stuffed with very fond memories of my Aunty Doreen's raspberry mousse :)
On all these occasions, and there were many, lunches at Christmas and Easter as well, my mother and aunts would always have their special table linens, glorious Wedgewood crockery, beautiful silver cutlery, or Denby, in my mother's case as she was not into polishing her silver! It was always an occasion.
The attention to all the details for our occasions was always very apparent in our family.
The Harrods van used to show up delivering the food orders and the kitchen used to be mayhem for about 24 hours. My parents were very hands on though and I do remember my father always taking charge of the starters and my mother never letting him near her dessert creations. Goodness knows who was in charge of the main course, we were always kept at the other side of the house, with my grandfather, watching the Generation game and being fed sandwiches and fruit cake!
Perhaps this is why my little sister is now a food and cookery editor and I make tables look pretty?! Who knows what childhood experiences lead to where :)
I do think for any 'special' occasion, these basic elements can make or break it.
Fine table linens are a must and so often these are overlooked with the classic white table cover...ok smart and classic, but boring, do we ever see these plain white hotel linens on glorious photo shoots or fabulous dinner parties, rarely, and yet we put up with them for our wedding day?
How fabulous to have a white lace table cover over the top or some luxurious colour bought into your wedding or party, perhaps your napkins making a statement.
Why not decorate your napkins, a fresh flower is delightful, or here in this photo shoot, the red flower tied onto the cutlery for me makes this table.
How many weddings have you been too with the preverbial white table cloth and napkins?
They are lovely, but we see these gorgeous tables on some fabulous blogs and they do not have the hotel look, they are creatively dressed with beautiful linens, napkins and details.
Flowers popped into jugs or empty jars are simple but beautiful, that 'just picked out the garden' look which my parents often did and still do now, so do I.
I am always in my garden in the summer collecting bouganvilla, jasmine, and anything else my little girl has decided to pick and popping them into a jar for my terrace table, it is simple but so enjoyable.
Elizabeth, my little girl, has become rather good at raiding people's gardens which is rather worrying, but luckily she has mastered that cat out of Shrek look which normally means we get away with stealing flowers!
Presentation is so important, it can make an occasion a truly special occasion, with a few more details and thought into the table settings and how they look.
If we cannot stretch to crockery or cutlery for most weddings, we can at least stamp our style with the linens and gorgeous table details, your guests will be sitting at them for at least 3 hours so it will not go unnoticed!
I think I should start a let's get tables glam mission!
I have a few weddings this year that are breaking away from convention and ditching the white table linens for much more stylish affairs so very excited about this, I feel like the Ikea advert from a few years back where they are ditching the chintz, bring it back in is what I say, but without the Austrian blinds, were they ever the worst thing invented!?