This purple transfer ware set by Gien has a quiet elegance. Named Mures (or blackberry) it’s undemanding, prepared to rise to the occasion of a casual outdoor meal, and welcomes its turn at the table during the height of blackberry season.


As I’ve mentioned before, purple is a tricky colour. You think you’ve got the shade straight in your head, then try to match it up with linens or flowers and discover it’s more blue or more red than you thought. I was delighted to find this set of linens at Williams Sonoma a few years ago. Not only did they coordinate perfectly, the were on a deep discount.

With the linens carrying the day for colour, I opted for a burst of white Annabelle hydrangea.  The large lanterns, the wine glasses and the French Bistro tumblers are all from PotteryBarn. The Gien Mures china is now discontinued, sadly,  Boutique Claude Berry is often a good source for discontinued Gien pieces.


As the day faded to evening, we lit the big lanterns and small tea lights an enjoyed a lovely warm evening under the pergola.

On another note, I never knew you were supposed to let huge pillar candles burn for several hours on first lighting to create a large pool of melted wax on the top. Failing to do this causes the candle to burn only a narrow column of wax deep into the pillar on subsequent lightings. This both wastes a ton of wax and the candle gives off poor light (note the candle on the left). Mea culpa.