Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Intimate Fireside Dinner

There's a brief interlude of time after the bustle of summer subsides, a new season takes over, and it's not yet "The Holidays." Don't blink too long, because that moment has arrived. Maybe you get a leg up on housework, planning, rest. It's time for just a little deep breathing, and if you're lucky, a wee more family time.

A nice dinner at home for two might be in order, or maybe long past due. We've been on the hamster wheel for two months running. Something cozy by the fire has big appeal.

The centerpiece for our special night isn't in the center at all, but on the hearth. And I've taken a couple of sprigs of millet from it for our settings. The deep colored fluffy stalks accent the dark tones of my harvest themed Staffordshire plates, and dress up the simple muslin towels we're using as napkins. I love a generous swath of absorbent cotton that'll cover your whole lap. It's probably a holdover from the days when dinners were active, probably a little too loud, and often messy with a table full of busy children. But not tonight!

I go crazy for English country style for a little while when the weather gets chill. This china makes me imagine myself standing next to a little thatched cottage in a country village somewhere, with everything that goes with it, like in the movie The Holiday (Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet).

There are only four plates, but I'm heavy into mixing and matching, especially transferware. For a lot of years our Thanksgivings had a different setting at each place, and you could choose your favorite. The practice works well for large gatherings, and you never have to worry about incomplete sets. This would be a great one to include in the mix.

I have lately been keeping my eye out for vintage glassware, and these are my two most recent finds. I love mixing glass as well. It's often recommended that if you mix place settings the glassware should all match to unify the table. I break that rule too. I do like the glass to all be the same color, however.

My tablecloth is a perfectly square thick and luscious vintage French matelasse. It has the homespun quality and earthy tone I'm going for.

I found a set of six newish bowls at the thrift store that I think may originate from Williams Sonoma (don't quote me). They just say "made in England" on the bottom.

A single votive in the center will work when the lights get dimmed.

Two of a small group of vintage Spode bread and butter plates get pressed into service too.

Flatware is vintage Wallace, an unknown pattern to me, with a fabulous patina.

Matches, and one of my indispensible magnifyers.
Attack! Bon appetit, bonne soiree, and Ciao! for now!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


I'm joining Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday,
 and Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday 


  1. Hi Jacqueline, Loving that warm glow, great ambience :-)) Love all your transferware, you got me checking it out whenever I shop! The millet is striking on the napkins, great contrast!! I hope you enjoy your firelight, so cozy:-))

  2. Gorgeous and oh so romantic! I love to mix and match as well and have been on a vintage wine glasses kick~searching my favorite thrift stores for exquisite individual goblets..put together they're so pretty!
    You did a wonderful job!!

  3. Love the serene and calm setting you have created with the softer colours of fall. The dishes are lovely and I like how you accented them with the stalk tucked in the napkin. You made me smile when you said you and hubby had been on "the hamster wheel" lately! So have we - thinking I should set a fireside table for two sometime soon!


  4. The warmth of the brown pattern is just perfect. It does bring an intimate feel.

  5. A very pretty intimate setting-enjoy:@)

  6. This china pattern is just beautiful!! Actually, the whole table is gorgeous.

  7. Another wonderful show and tell ~ love everything about it, including that you were taking time for just the two of you. Hope you get to squeeze in a few more. (:

  8. Your color palette is lovely as is the whole table! Your "hamster wheel" comment hits home! Great table for a fireside dinner.

  9. Hi there ~ everything looks just absolutely beautiful~Your setting is serene and warm and I love the mix of the different pieces~ all together they are perfect. :)

  10. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

  11. Lovely table. The china is beautiful. I love the cloth.

  12. This is just lovely. Your china is stunning and the soft colors are just beautiful. Beautiful room. Hugs, Marty

  13. This is so beautiful and very inspiring!

  14. Jacqueline, the table is adorable... that transferware and the cloth steal the show, but the goblets... oh, the goblets are wonderful, too. What a great corner for a fall meal. Perfection.

    Happy Tablescape Thursday...


    Sheila :-)

  15. I love the glow of your transferware and linens. Pure romance!

  16. Hi, Jacqueline. This is a stunning post! I love how you did fall in light colors, letting the brown on the transferware and the millet be the counterpoint. Millet!! Who knew!! You never disappoint.
    Linda @ A Toile Tale

  17. Your colors, your style always appeal to me. You combine simplicity with elegance. The transferware is lovely. Glad you had a chance for a relaxing night.

  18. Loving the Tones & the Relaxing feel ~ A Perfect Post.....

  19. Perfection, Jacqueline. I think my most favorite setting for dinner or either fireside or alfresco. Not cool enough here for a fire just yet, but alfresco dining is at its best for us this time of year.
    Love the harvest plates! Well, actually I love all the details of this tablescape. Elegant simplicity at its best! ~ Sarah

  20. What a blissful treat to be able to set by the fire and enjoy such a wonderful dining spot. It's just gorgeous, Girl! You know how I love brown transfer, and I love how you mix it all up. Looks so cozy and comfy! Thanks for joining in on VIF!
    big hugs,


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