I’m off to give a presentation this afternoon (my other life…), but I thought you might like to know how things are shaping up for the Great Dinner tomorrow.
We have set out the plates, bowls and glassware in the order in which it will be needed tomorrow,
The soup cups…
The soup bowl for the pea risotto and crab cake:
The lime sorbet intermezzo will be in a champagne cup. I’m going to use a Royal Staffordshire gold & white saucer to go under it:
The main course of rack of lamb with roasted vegetables in parmesan baskets:
And the Better Than Crack Parfaits (which I’ve made and are residing in the fridge). They will go into the same champagne cups as the sorbet. I have many of these for whatever reason, so enough to go around for both courses with no washing up between. I’ll put those onto the cobalt soup cup saucers, which in turn will go onto the gold edged white Spode plate you see in the upper right.
I’ve mostly set the table and I thought you might like a sneak peak. The service plate will remain in place for the first three courses, then be removed when the main course is served.
There are still a few touches to put into place.
Our guests Kathi and Ron have arrived and are happily helping out. Thank heaven for Kathi’s calligraphy skills for the place cards.
All right – gotta run or I’ll be late. See everyone soon.
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
Looks fabulous! Can only imagine the excitement when the costumed guests start arriving. Wishing you a wonderful evening and looking forward to the pics. Cheers
Thanks Lynda! We are all very much looking forward to it!
Oh my! These dishes are more beautiful in the close ups. Your table will be stunning. And the menu looks most appetizing. Crab, lamb – my favorite proteins. Good thing I’m not close to your refrigerator, You would be missing one (or two) parfaits. I can attest, because I made your recipe, that these are indeed quite addictive.
Did I miss the decision on the theme? What color is your gown? What wines will you be serving with what courses?
This is exciting! I do believe that no one could make a better effort, Best of luck, you deserve to dine at Highclere.
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you so much. I’m about to post a blog with some pictures of the event last evening.
Everyone had wonderful time, and there was nary a crumb of dessert (or much else, for that matter) remaining.
As to theme, we went with “Highclere’s Role in Canada’s History” – you will be able to read more about it on the blog, but the short version is that the fourth Earl of Carnarvon was Secretary of State for the Colonies at the time that Canada requested permission to become the first Dominion of the United Empire (in fact, he presented the British North America Act to Parliament). Several of our Fathers of Confederation, John A. Macdonald (our first Prime Minister), George Etienne Cartier and Alexander Galt visited Highclere to confer with the fourth Earl in the months leading up to the creation of Canada as a Dominion on July 1, 1867. It’s a very exciting connection, and one which the current Countess is exploring as mentioned in the book At Home At Highclere, and in the Community section of her blog.
I’ve got a few pictures of the wines shown with the glasses, and I’ve linked them to the courses in the blog.
My gown was a cocktail length black beaded “flapper” dress with a deep purple coloured fabric beneath the beading.
There will be professional photos coming in the next few days, but I thought everyone might like to see what we were able to snap last night, in between serving, etc.
Thank you again, and sorry for the delay in responding.
Oh Helen, your table looks amazing! I really like the crisp white placemats on your dark table. And your centerpieces in the footed silver with the ornate candlesticks is so elegant. Everything looks just perfect. Good luck tonight and have fun. I will be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed that you win but even if you don’t win I would imagine that it is an experience that you and your guests will always remember.
I’m about to post a blog on it – the pictures are what we were able to snap on iPhones, etc. between serving, but they do give an idea. There will be professional shots coming out in the next few days.
We did have a wonderful time, and as you say, that’s the whole point, not whether or not we win. It was a fabulous excuse for a great party!
I’m glad you liked the placemats against the dark wood. I went back and forth on whether or not to use a tablecloth, which is historically more correct, however, I opted for the aesthetic.
Helen, I’m following along with all your ideas and preps and am excitedly awaiting the recap of this evening’s festivities! Your lovely home and incredible collection are the perfect ingredients for this dinner party. So many of us will be thinking of you tonight and imagining, while drooling, the delicious feast and the fun you are having. You may be wishing Mr. Carson or Mrs. Hughes would suddenly appear in your kitchen but we have faith in you! Enjoy!! Linda
About to post a blog, so please enjoy!
Your comments were so heartening as I went into the preparation – thank you very much. I felt like you and other readers were right there with me, chopping, stirring and primping. It was a lovely feeling.
We did have one waitstaff, who came with the photography people. He was a big help, and everyone else helped out too, as you’ll see from the pictures.
What is the name of the Cobalt Blue, gold & white dish set please? Are they antiques?
There are a few different patterns going on, several of them antique.
The soup cups and saucers are modern – Lancaster Cobalt by Spode.
The two dinner plates are antique Royal Doulton, from the 1890s.
The soup plate is antique Minton.
I’m going to post a blog soon, and it may help clarify. Later this week, I’ll get professional shots and post those – they did a number of close ups of the tableware, so that may help, too.
This is my first visit and I am blown away by the beauty of your dishes! I have been looking back at some previous tables and you really do have the most beautiful collection. So glad I found you and I am looking forward to reviewing the old and perusing the new in the future.
Thank you so much for joining in the fun! I’m always delighted to welcome a new reader to the blog, and am very glad you’ve enjoyed some of the past posts. It’s a very odd hobby I have, and it’s great to have fellow travellers on the journey.