Back in the day, strawberries were seasonal. For those of us growing up in the Frozen Northern Tundra known as Canada, that meant the last two weeks of June and the first week in July (maybe) were spent in delightful gluttony of all things strawberry: plain with a dusting of sugar or a splash of cream, decadent atop rich shortcake oozing with whipped cream, chilled inside pie, or frozen in a shake or ice cream cone.
Now we get strawberries all year round, and they the gamut from succulent, juicy berries to tasteless rocks. You never know quite what you’re getting until you get home and do the taste test (unless you’re bold enough to conduct your taste test in the grocery store before making the purchase).
But strawberries that are actually in season? You’re guaranteed to get strawberries that taste like strawberries. They’re divine. Mmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm.
In delirious possession of a quart basket of the little jewels, I conjured up some shortcake with frozen biscuit dough I had leftover from making a cobbler and added a swirl of whipped cream. Very happy campers in our house that day.
Earlier this year, I’d been happily contemplating the upcoming strawberry season and went hunting for strawberry themed tableware. A few items swam onto my radar, among them some striking napkins from April Cornell –appropriately named Strawberry Fields – on sale, no less.
The deep blue background and brilliant green crocheted edging really caught my eye. When you think “strawberry”, you think pink (or red), not often navy. But here we are!
Some vintage strawberry napkin rings from Etsy added the needed red accent.
Since the napkins were the stars of the table, I worked backwards from there. More often the plates are the jumping-off point, but this time they played a supporting role.
The dinner plates are Aerin Scalloped in green from Williams Sonoma; the salad plates are vintage Gien that I came across on eBay a few years ago. I love them, but they have an annoyingly blue undertone that renders the green “off” more often than I’d like; it’s jarring, rather than blending.
The gingham cutlery is another eBay find; only four place settings, unfortunately. The placemats are from HomeGoods.
Antique No-Name wheel cut goblets from Elise Abrams Antiques had another outing.
A bit more red was needed to balance out the table, so I hauled out the large Reina lantern procured from Pier 1 a few years ago, and still available.
A Navy and Green Strawberry Table. Whodda thunk?
We’ve passed the middle of July now, and alarmingly, the Back To School ads have begun. Yikes! I’m eager to savour every minute of the summer season, filling the memory bank with long walks on the beach at low tide, the waves swirling over my bare feet and beach picnics of lobster rolls and tangy coleslaw (and the occasional french fry). 🙂
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
Strawberries were a very short season in Scotland, and we used to gather in our dormitory to snarf them with copious amounts of clotted cream, in celebration of the end of the term and the start of summer. They were memorable, as were the fragola di bosco I had one magical summer decades ago in Rome. My host, a well-known fruit-growing magnate, impressed upon me that they were grown at Castello Gandolfo. I will never forget those perfumed tiny bursts of flavour!
While I do admire the Gian plates, I find them not green enough for the leaves in the serviettes and not blue enough for the place mats and the blue of the serviettes. I’m trying to learn how to put colours together…maybe, as you say, I’m over-thinking things. However, the glasses win my heart, with their biscuits and faceted stems.
Hydrangeas have gone absolutely mad…both mopheads and paniculata. I rescued the latter growing prostrate under some ugly bushes. I cut the culprits back, wired it upright, and it is now covered in buds. It’s too old to be Limelight, so we’ll see…
It’s a never-ending treasure hunt here!
Our hydrangea are going mad, too, Beatrice. A riot of blooms in all manner of blues, purples, pinks and whites. The new ones I planted are holding their own despite the heat; Glenn has done yeoman work with extra watering.
Seems we all have lovely memories of childhood feasts of strawberries. I have no idea if they were as scrumptious as we remember them, but let’s just go with it!
Love this tablescape! Definitely one of my favorites!
Thank you for sharing your creativity! I get so many great ideas from you. (On the other hand, you’ve cost me a lot of money!!)
Why is it that the thing I’m drawn to is the one thing you didn’t mention the source? I love those blue placemats! Most I’ve seen are so plain, but yours have some detail.
We love strawberries, too, and are trying to grow them, but critters get more than we do. I wish I could find a wild patch, as the wild ones are much sweeter. When I find strawberries in the store and they actually have flavor, I freeze them. If you let them thaw just a bit and then pop them in a blender with a little honey, you can make a quick, healthy sorbet.
Sorry, I forgot to mention the placemats. They were from Homegoods – two packs of 4 for about $4 each. It’s always hit and miss with Homegoods, but keep an eye out if you have one nearby. They have them quite frequently and in different colours.
Great idea on freezing the strawberries for sorbet. I imagine they’d make a great sauce for waffles or pancakes, too.
If you only knew how much you’ve helped me (and how much you’ve cost me!). Your comment about the blue in the Gien plates interested me because most of my green tableware leans towards the blue side – I really LOVE bluish greens – but I have a few salad plates which are yellow-greenish, I’ve been looking for a dinner plate to go with them, and the Aerin you found is perfect! Plus, it’s on sale! I bought 8 of them. I hope you get ‘credit’ for the find.
Regarding this table, I have no problem with the combination you used. I think a tablescape needs a little tension to create interest and there would be none if everything was matchy-matchy.
Thank you for sharing your creativity and for providing both the names of everything you use, and links to them as well!
Greens are tricky, and I may be overly sensitive to what I perceive as clashing. After all, nature provides all manner of greens, and we never think about blue spruce visually fighting with maple trees, for instance. In a more concentrated setting like a table, though, I think it looks better to flow along the blue line or the yellow one while using what stuff ya got! I didn’t mind the Gien blue/green with the Aerin scalloped plate and the more vivid apple green of the napkins, but it’s strictly a matter of taste. That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla, as a friend of mine says. 🙂
Thanks so much for your encouraging comments. This is strictly a hobby for me. After 30 years in the finance business, I “retired” in 2011, only to start another business with a wonderful partner doing executive coaching and leadership development. That keeps me busier than I anticipated. lol. So I’m in the fortunate position of not having to use affiliate links, etc. to support the website.
I’ve always been afraid of turning this into a business because I get the distinct sense it would lose all the fun. This way, if my schedule gets too busy to blog (work-work, kids, grandkids, pets, travel, life…) I’m not letting anyone down. It provides a framework and a lot of learning in a creative outlet, and I’m not having to answer to advertisers or providers of products – no slag on the people who do – they have my deepest respect for their creativity and professionalism. It’s just not the choice I made.
Have a good weekend!
Oh, you would indeed be letting us down! I look forward to your tables to inspire me in mine. You are one of only a few bloggers I have found to follow (but most only occasionally, and I don’t bother contributing). All the rest are so intent on their business that it feels contrived and forced, and their themes tend toward kitsch. Their photos are washed/softened and shopped, their tables use the same elements over and over, and they are always pushing “product.” One in particular is constantly “purchasing” stuff and more stuff. I think she thinks the word sounds grander than just plain ole buying…lol. Hyacinth, anyone? Anyway, it’s obvious you do this for the sheer fun, your settings are classic and beautiful, and the love certainly shows. Thank you.
It’s been years since I thought about Hyacinth “Boo-Kay”. Thanks for the laugh. I used to describe my family as Monty Python meets Fawlty Towers; my mother had an air of Hyacinth. Typical English eccentrics. 🙂
Blogging for a living is a tough business, I think. Navigating the competition and all the social media elements that go with it. Oy. It makes my hair hurt thinking about it. The upside is they can do it from home, so the time previously spent commuting is now used at a computer screen. Lots of young mothers seem to go that route with Mommy blogs, and then there are the fossils like me who do it for fun, or as a second career. Room for everyone!
Thanks for your very kind words and encouragement. It means a lot.