It’s been a year of ups and downs. A bit like a Covid remake of the shower scene from Psycho, on repeat. I’m all for switching off the screen and turning our attention elsewhere. So let’s end on an up note with a stylishly sophisticated table.

Glittery gold, cool aqua and lots of rustic accents came together surprisingly.

In Entertablement—The Four Seasons, I created neutral and “signature colour” tables for each season. Aqua was an intriguing challenge, and besides, my daughter-in-law, Annie, loves it. So when all was done and dusted, she was the happy recipient of these aqua dot plates (Pier 1). Aren’t they fun?

The four-season aqua adventure was easy at first. I’d breezed through spring with my trusty Merletto Aqua by Arte Italica, a Toulouse tureen from Fitz & Floyd, and accenting the table with soft pink napkins and apple blossoms from a generous neighbour’s tree. Springlike indeed.

Summer featured Botanica by Anthropologie and a to-die-for Blackberry Jam Cake. 

I must make that cake again—it was scrumptious. The body of the cake is similar to an apple or spice cake; it contains blackberry jam for a wonderfully rich flavour, which is amplified by a layer of jam in the centre and frosted with an old-fashioned caramel icing,

Autumn brought us (and Annie!) a pretty and inexpensive dinnerware set by Pioneer Woman,  Farmhouse Lace, which comes in various colours. The Willow salad plate is also by Pioneer Woman. 

I made pumpkin granola to go with that setting.

That left me pondering what to do for winter. So far, the aqua theme had yielded casual, everyday settings, so I was a bit startled when it veered to glitzy with the discovery of Aqua Dot by Pier 1. I’m not usually a glitter fan and wasn’t sure how I’d style the plates, but Pier one also had the sparkly runner… I began to see possibilities. I went home and dug out my ruffled edge gilded chargers and topped them with gilded and ruffled dinner plates from Williams Sonoma.

Michael Arum napkin rings added another touch of gold, and a collection of antique, needle-etched water glasses and Venetian goblets and tumblers with turquoise rigaree added to the aqua. So now, what to do with the centre of what was becoming a festive table?

The antique turquoise twist candlesticks were a natural fit. 

The glass trees (also Pier 1) came in several shades of green and turquoise. Ok – that works.

The rustic houses surprised me. I wanted something to ground the trees, and a selection of houses seemed to do the trick. 


Once the silvery tones of the rustic houses joined in, I added the tall, glass hurricane style candlesticks and filled them with silvery balls. That led to the choice of pewter flatware.


All decked out and ready to party. 

That’s a wrap for 2021!

I have all kinds of exciting things planned for the blog for 2022. One of the benefits of the slower pace of the last couple of years was the chance to do a lot of cooking and table setting; they’re “in the can”. Having completed the Autumn and Winter issues, I’ll finish up a year of  Entertablement Seasonal Quarterly Series with Spring and Summer, and then evaluate whether or not to continue. They’re a ton of work, which I enjoy, up to a point. Balancing the rhythm of blogging with a quarterly production of 100+ pages is challenging. We shall have to see. The world is picking itself up, and my “work work” is gathering momentum. And then there’s travel! Finishing my Cathedral Quest is on the docket for this year. Thank you in advance, Glenn, for all the driving. The remaining Cathedrals are all over the map – literally from Truro to Liverpool to Newcastle. This project is using up a lot of marital points. And then,  I recently discovered the Ten Treasure Houses of England. It turns out I’ve seen and photographed six of them. That leaves only Beaulieu House (New Forest), Hatfield House (north of London) and Holkham Hall (Norfolk). Woburn Abbey is closed until 2024, so I’m off the hook with that one for a bit.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season and wish all of my readers a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.