Pink and purple was my favourite colour combination when I was about six, which I think is pretty common. I like to think I’ve moved on to more sophisticated combinations since then, but maybe not!
Luscious snapdragons, dainty tulips, purple transferware and some shockingly vibrant silk napkins. It’s eye-popping at least!
The most delicate items on the entire table are the glass bird napkin rings. I picked them up at Pottery Barn about a decade ago. I love them dearly, but they’re not something to be tossed lightly into a drawer.
There are four different birds, sitting in various positions across the glass ring enclosing the napkin. The glass leaves at the base support the ring and keep it upright.
The napkins have been around even longer. I often use them at Christmas, or for a fairly formal dinner. One memorable meal, we had some relatives visiting from out of town, one of whom worked as a waitress at a family dining establishment. Striving to be helpful, she got up from the table and began to gather the plates, tossing the silk napkins onto the remains of the food on the plate, and then stacking the plates one on top of the other.
Her eyes briefly bulging, my daughter Lauren, who is the soul of diplomacy (she doesn’t get this from me), quickly rose and took the plates from her, saying “We like our guests to enjoy their meal in peace; please let me do that. Would you like some more wine?” Needless to say, those napkins took some extended TLC to recover. But they lived to tell the tale!
I couldn’t resist the exuberant snapdragons from a local fruit and flower stand. They’re such a fun flower, don’t you think?
My grandfather used to grow snapdragons, and as a child, I loved to delicately probe the hooded depths of the blooms as they nodded gracefully in the breeze.
They come in such a gorgeous range of colours, from pale to bright pink, through to shades of coral and yellow.
The plates are Romantic England Purple by Meakin. I’ve used them a few times in table settings, most recently here.
At the time of writing that post, we had not yet visited Haddon Hall, which is depicted on the dinner plate. We have since then and loved it; it’s a really beautiful house.
Still on the list is Penshurst Place, in Kent, which is on the dessert plates. Originally one of King Henry VIII’s many homes, it has been in the Sidney family since the mid-16th century. Kent is one of the home counties and is known for its remarkably beautiful gardens. Sissinghurst, where we were lucky enough to rent a cottage for a week, is one of them. Must get Penhurst Place onto the itinerary for our next trip!
The glasses are a thrift store find from a few years ago. I think I got 11 glasses for under $20.
This set of bird salt and pepper shakers has been around forever, too. Originally from Blantyre, a country house hotel in the Berkshires where we were staying, I’ve since discovered they’re officially called the Kirkland Warbler by Michael Michaud.
They’re available at Amazon now, though I’ve seen them in the past at Wayfair at a much better price. Macy’s has a gold version right now, on sale from what seems to be an eye-popping original price.
The small purple compotes holding the grapes and strawberries are pressed glass. Can’t remember where they came from, but they’re modern. They’re probably a Pier 1 or HomeSense find.
A somewhat garish, but cheery and fun table for a cold January day.
Stay warm, y’all! Rumour has it the polar vortex is on the move. We’re in for an icy blast and a dump of snow this week up in the Frozen North.
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
Absolutely gorgeous!! Where did the chargers come from?
Thank you, Allyson! The chargers were from Pottery Barn about five years ago.
Helen, I still love purple and pink, and I really like the jewel tones of this table. I especially like the glassware you got at an amazing price at a thrift store, and the purple transferware plates – and of course, the flowers. Enjoy this loveliness inside while things are cold and shivery outside.
Thanks, Joy. It looks even colder and shiverier today. Brrrrr.
I’ve just recently discovered your blog and can not wait to explore the older posts. Today’s table setting is simply jaw-dropping. So beautiful! I especially love the one photo of the wine glass with a glimpse of the transferware plate next to it. Wow!
Welcome, Jane! I’m so glad you found the blog. Enjoy wandering around and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Best, Helen.
Dear Ms. Kain,
My entire life had been wasted avoiding the color purple until your William Sonoma Vegetable Garden/Fostoria Amethyst Glasses opened my eyes to the glories of a table set with this, my newest obsession. And now this beautiful – in no way garish setting- reignites the passion. How wonderful to sit for a meal, at this gray and dismal time of year, to such an exuberant, cheerful and festive table for good conversation and companionship.
How different Meakin’s Romantic England looks from its outing in 2016- I never would have ascribed chameleon-like as one of the attributes of this china pattern. I think it is less a function of the pattern and more a function of your ability to pull out just the right touches which bring a new vision to what my daughter would call “dead granny” transferware. The vibrant napkins with the colorful snapdragon floral arrangement and the pewter chargers – just Wow! I particularly like the way your sparkling napkin rings and the warbler salt and pepper look as if they have just flown in to perch on the foliage plate border
Thank you once again for sharing your amazing talent and your amazing collection with us
Thank you so much, Ms. Speicher! I too was surprised at what a different face Romantic England presented in this table vs the last one. The purple does seem very willing to come out and play, given the right accoutrements. You’ve hit the nail on the head with “chameleon-like”. Who knew?
I also laughed out loud at your daughter’s “dead granny” transferware expression. Sadly, it sums up perfectly how many view vintage china. But we tableware fans are changing the face of china aging! We accept the challenge, and we can do it!
Enjoy your day, and I hope you’re staying warm.
With kind regards,
With granddaughter’s 4 and 6, I see lots of purple and pink together and find the combination very soothing. Your table setting is beautiful from the flowers to the rich table napkins and wine glasses. You have such a flair for making everything flow together so beautifully. Enjoy the snow. We’re off to the beach to cool down
I would imagine you do see an awful lot of pink and purple with the granddaughters; we do too, especially that particularly lurid pink that is so popular. It always reminds me of the line from Steel Magnolias in response to “my colours are Blush and Bashful” – “Her colours are pink and pink. It looks like the sanctuary was hosed down with Pepto Bismol.”
Enjoy the beach!
Your mention of Penshurst Place has prompted me to comment. I visited this beautiful garden and grand estate many years ago, along with Sissinghurst and many others. Penshurst remains in the top 5 of my very favorite English gardens; I have vivid memories of being moved to tears and almost overwhelmed by the beautiful borders, the lavender and roses, the setting! I know it has changed quite a bit since; I’m happy to remember Penshurst as I experienced it that glorious summer day.
I love your blog, and follow some of your Pinterest boards. (I have a Penshurst Place board you might enjoy perusing , @ five feet ten…sorry don’t know how to link a board in comments). Thanks, will have to hunt down that china now☺
Thank you so much for this! I shall definitely get Penshurst on the list for next time!
So glad you like the blog. I’m on my way to check out your Pinterest board now. Thanks again!
Ah, purple transferware. I love it, and dream of finding some at a price I can afford/justify to myself. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy looking at yours!
Joy, you might want keep an eye out on eBay. If you find a couple of patterns you like, you can build a search on eBay and it will alert you when something comes on the market. Good luck!
Cheerful snapdragons! You made me smile today. Beautiful
They’re always uplifting, aren’t they? You can see why kids love them.