As we settle in for a major winter blast in New England, it’s heartening to review some pictures I took last spring of a garden-themed table setting.


The plates have multiple colours, but it was the amethyst that really jumped out – perfect for lilacs and some amethyst Venetian goblets.


These are cabinet plates, so called because you don’t use them to eat from. They are on the table when guests sit down to “delight the eye”, and are removed as the first course is served. As such, they serve no useful purpose for the meal itself. They’re just puuuurty.

There are twelve hand painted plates in total, featuring different gardens of England. The “blank”, as the plain plates are called before they’re painted, are by Royal Doulton and have a gilded edge.


I dressed the table very plainly and let the plates do the talking. The runner and napkins are from either Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma, and are a fairly hefty “washed” linen that never really looks crisp no matter what you do. It has a very soft hand, which is delightful, but doesn’t look as freshly ironed and polished as one might like.


I picked up the pewter open salts and tiny spoons years ago and can’t remember the source. They’re beautifully crafted as sea shells and fit in anywhere. 


I  acquired the amethyst Venetian glass open salts shown above at a later date. 

The lilacs were scrumptious; they’re one of my very favourite flowers, with a heady scent that is unmistakably spring. They don’t last, though. You get ’em while you can, and better be quick about it.  I think we were preparing to leave for home the day I set this table, and I’d dashed out to cut the lilacs from the garden and put the table together, which is probably why it’s a fairly sparse selection of pictures.  Ah well, can’t win them all. We can enjoy the table as is.

The plates, the amethyst open salts,  the amethyst Venetian and gold-swirled Venetian goblets are all from Elise Abrams Antiques.

I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.