Pinterest was the first place I saw these plates. They came up on my feed, of course, given that a combination of tableware, animals and travel (particularly to the UK) are the chief subjects of my browsing.

I loved them! They rang my chimes in all three categories. Apparently, the full series of plates, bowls serving dishes can be found in one of the National Trust of England’s properties, Kingston Lacy.

I did some research and began checking all the usual sources for any trace of more of them. Nada. Zip. No bites.  Ok – file them under keep an eye out, and see if you can get a lead next time you’re in England.

To my utter delight, this one came up on e-Bay and I jumped on it. It’s the real McCoy – a Minton from somewhere between 1873 and 1891. I was VERY excited.

My interest piqued once more, I redoubled my efforts to track down its fellows. To my surprise, falling down an internet rabbit hole revealed that the National Trust had commissioned a set of replicas around 1990. Yes! (Shall we call them repli-plates? hehe).


These three are some of the replicas. They are a bit smaller than the original plates, and the shoulder of the plate is a little more pronounced. I suspect the etchings on the originals are more finely detailed and likely a lighter shade of blue. It’s hard to tell without comparing them to the originals, of course, but I’m judging by the difference between the one Minton and the three National Trusts’. I’ll let everyone know, though, because i’m going to check this out when I’m in England in September. Kingston Lacy is now on the agenda!  Can’t wait.

On to styling the table. Clearly the stars of the show are the frolicking felines. Coordinating with cobalt blue glasses was a natural. I debated going for white Annabelle Hydrangea for the centrepiece, but elected to go with the multicoloured pink, lavender and blue hydrangea that grow so profusely here on the Cape.

These blooms are all from the same couple of bushes. Depending on how acidic or alkaline the soil is, the flowers change colour. I believe more acidic soil produces the blue and more alkaline turns the flowers pink. It’s obviously quite a nuanced experience for the plant, though, as the colour can vary from one flower to the next, even on the same stem.

I broke down and used some floral foam to make the arrangement. The compote is by Mosser, and is an eBay find. The ruffled edge compote is quite shallow, and foam was the only viable option to keep the big mop headed flowers in place.

I set the table and photographed it early in the morning before going on a walk with the dogs. I was pleased with the overall look, but something was bugging me. It felt like something was missing.

The hydrangea were gorgeous, but somehow disconnected from the plates. Then it hit me – I needed to anchor the flowers on the surface of the table, too. The flowers were floating above the action on the table like a balloon. I thought about putting single blooms in the small candle holders, but they’re pretty heavy and would likely topple over.

So I tucked individual blooms into pewter napkin rings. That did the trick.

The cobalt open salt is an e-Bay find. Birds and cats go together!

The cobalt glasses are by Libbey, and also from e-Bay. The candle holders are from a few years ago, when we bought several boxes of them for my daughter Kirsten’s wedding. The Danieli pewter-style flatware is from World Market, and the tablecloth is a HomeGoods purchase. 

Happy Monday, everyone!

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