Sunflowers are a perennial favourite of mine.They’re a forgiving flower for arrangements – just find a vase that’s heavy enough to cope with their thick stems, trim and drop into the vase. Voila. Arrangement done. I’ve had this cast-iron vase for years, and it serves the purpose admirably.


For a casual, weekday meal of Tagliatelle with Artichokes and Prosciutto, I used antique Minton scalloped-edge bowls from Elise Abrams Antiques and simple Oxford Gold gold-rimmed dinner plates from 


The Honey Tortoise tumblers are from Pier One, and the Morgantown amber-stemmed Depression Glasses are from (these are the water glasses – the wine glasses are very small). The rattan placemats, bakelite-handled cutlery and napkins were acquired years ago from the now-defunct Country Dining Room Antiques. The humble tablecloth is burlap from our local nursery.


The little squirrel salt-cellar and spoon came from Pottery Barn years ago. They often have attractive, whimsical salt cellars, so keep your eyes peeled. They don’t last long.