As Labour Day approaches, I’m prey to extremely mixed feelings. It happens every year. 

Sadness as the end of summer approaches and we bid farewell to splashing waves and golden, carefree days bumps up against excitement and eager anticipation for the fall, heralding new beginnings, crisp temperatures and delicious, rich food. Time, slow down, please! Let me savour these moments.

Flowers in the markets reflect the change of season as the palette switches to bronzey golds, deep reds and clear, apple green. Orange isn’t my top fave, but I’ve “grown accustomed to her face”, and include it, too. 

Last year around this time, Gien launched a new pattern called Bagatelle, which, according to the Cambridge Dictionary means something, especially an amount of money, that is small and not important: A thousand pounds is a mere bagatelle to him. Well, it may be unimportant, but I quite like it!

Rich in all the colours of fall as well as a deep, luscious purple, the complex pattern is different on each of the dinner, salad and side plates. Here they all are stacked, so you can see the full monty. Only the side plates have the pattern right through to the centre; the dinner and salad plates confine themselves to the outer rims and shoulders.

The exuberant floral and geometric patterns lend themselves to almost any colour interpretation. 

For this table, I used a combination of chrysanthemums in plain wooden planters for the centrepieces and picked up the purple in the very plain, washed linens from Williams Sonoma several years ago.

Clear Graham water glasses by Juliska added some textural interest while staying out of the colour game.

The galvanized lanterns were from Harvest of Barnstable a couple of years ago.

And the little shell pewter open salts continue the understated metallic of the lanterns, flatware and napkin rings.

The Hammered flatware is from World Market. I note again that the set has a solitary, terrible rating, and I have no idea why. I love it. It has a great “feel” in the hand, it’s a splendid weight and comes out perfectly from the dishwasher. The individual pieces are rated well, though. Weird system they have.

The napkin rings are “spoons” from Pottery Barn a few years ago.

I’m intrigued by the placement of the flowers on the salad plate, as they cascade gently toward the middle, and encourage one to appreciate the delicate petals of the individual sprays.

Then, the dinner plate has a nice blank centre, perfect for serving food without a lot of competing pattern.

Overall, it’s casual but elegant – just what you want for alfresco dining.

We are currently in Yorkshire, just winding up the last few days of our trip to England. We’re off to visit Ripon today, both the town and the Cathedral, which will mark number 27 of the 44 Church of England Cathedrals I’ve visited and photographed.  It’s incredibly amusing to me to note that the list includes two “Royal Peculiars”, Westminster Abbey and St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. I don’t know if I’ll manage to see all of them in my lifetime, but I’m giving it my best shot. 🙂  While on that topic, I managed to re-visit St. Paul’s whilst in London and was dismayed to learn that no photographs were allowed, which explained why I had pictures of only the outside of the Cathedral in my photo archives. It was very early in the day when I visited, and the professional “shushers” as I call them weren’t yet in full force, so I managed to get take a few discrete, illicit shots. I felt like a crack dealer. I’m highly sympathetic to the pushback against eager selfie-takers draping themselves over tombs and taking shot after shot of themselves in a variety of acrobatic poses followed by an endless series of facial expressions, however… Grrrrr… There must be a happy medium between a complete photographic ban and a selfie-free-for-all.

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