Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dish Season

I have to admit that I haven't thought very much about laying a pretty table over the summer. But the minute we stop running around, and especially when the weather changes, my heart turns toward homey things and the comforts of gathering with friends and family around a hearty dinner table.

I especially like simple and informal dining with the emphasis on a good visit rather than a lot of preparation and clean up after. We have all been so busy this summer! So one pot dishes or a savory soup with a nice crusty bread to go with it make up my favorite kinds of meals.

I have reached for the dressier dishes this time rather than our standard plain but pleasing sturdy ironstone soup bowls. I just wanted to get out my transferware again for the first time this season.

I'm using some of my heavier textured linens that have been set aside for awhile. A nice big drop cloth cotton tablecloth underneath, a nubby thick runner down the middle, and my favorite striped napkins that are so large and absorbent and practical (from a few past seasons ago from Potterybarn). They don't even need to be ironed.

The mark on these dishes says "Fenton Faience from Surrey, England." I haven't had them for all that long, and just about had a fit when I found a set of them a few years ago.

I also wanted to show you the beautiful hand thrown beakers we got from Wolff Pottery in Bantam, CT over the summer. (I have been binge watching Poldark from PBS on Netflix lately, and the pub scenes are full of these handsome tumblers in many different styles. The third season starts up in October.) The pretty cards are from a museum shop. They make nice favors or place cards to dress up an otherwise fairly plain table. 

The ironstone tureen was the first of only a few that I have collected.

I also keep a small collection of brown transferware biscuit jars. They make good sugar bowls or flower vases. Sometimes just for decoration on the table.

The matching teacups are bigger than usual and also nice for a big cup of coffee.

The summer runaround isn't quite finished for us, but I'm already starting to feel more settled!

 The lovely postcard illustrations are from Model Book of Calligraphy. Inscribed by Georg Bocksay, 1561-62. Illuminated by Joris Hoefnagel for Emperor Rudolf II, c. 1590-96. (Getty Museum.)

When I pulled out my bowls, I was surprised to find an odd match in the mix. But that's how nicely the different patterns can blend together!

The large plates underneath are vintage American Traditional Ironstone by Cannonsburg Pottery Co. I think that I love embossed white china more than anything.

Are you gearing up for the changes ahead too?

Welcome back to dish season!


Join me at


  1. I've finally collected enough different brown transferware soup bowls to set a full table, and I have my great grandmother's sterling soup spoons to accompany them. Thanks for the inspiration --- I must do this soon!! Sally

  2. That tureen is gorgeous and it looks fabulous with the transferware. What a wonderful combo.

    I know what you mean about soup. I have one more batch of gazpacho left in me for summer while the tomatoes are perfect, and then it's on to heavier fall soups. It warms the whole house and the whole heart!

  3. I love your use of such soft, delicate colors. Everything always looks so lovely!

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  5. I do love a good soup bowl although I'd call them porridge bowls because that's what my Grandpa always used his for.

  6. So pretty, Jacqueline. I had my first experience with ironstone this summer, and I'm hooked. It's such easy-care stuff! Your transferware is gorgeous, especially with your linens and pub tureens. We are hooked on Poldark, too. Can hardly wait for next season. :-)

  7. Not gearing up quite yet, as we have another round of hot weather coming. Love your transferware and soup tureen.

  8. Oh Jacqueline! I know what you mean about wanting to sit around a cozy table for a warm meal with friends! And your table is absolutely lovely:) I'm a tureen collector myself. Your transferware is gorgeous......would love it if you could join us over at Vintage Charm!
    xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

  9. Simply lovely, Jacqueline. I know, I'm pretty sick of plastic party ware and paper plates all summer. Time to put the "Oomph" on. Grins, Sandi

  10. Anything I don't have to iron but is still pretty is tops on my list!!! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your summer. I've always loved soup tureens and your collection is enviable. I could just kick myself a hundred times over for leaving behind a gorgeous white cabbage tureen while visiting Chicago. Live and learn! Great to visit your blog again!

  11. I've rearranged dishes all day. I was looking for warmth and simplicity. Thanks for sharing your lovely pieces.

  12. A beautiful table, Jacqueline, and perfect for these late summer into fall days. Everything just says, 'Cozy'! I am so looking forward to butternut squash soup and home-made biscuits, but it is still so hot here. I love the sturdy linens and wonderful pottery. They go so perfectly with the pretty brown transferware. Happy September! xx K

  13. I always love looking at your beautiful dishes.

    I'm not ready for fall decor with our beautiful September beach days, but I am slowly removing beachy items to create a backdrop for the fall decor that will be added in October.

  14. I have been watching Death Comes to Pemberley, I have just gotten through one episode so far, not sure if I have decided about it. I have been looking at Poldark. May have to watch it. Your teacups are lovely! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  15. I so love your table, Jacqueline, and all the beautiful dishes. Everything about it is just so inviting. Soup and bread is my favorite meal as well, and once fall is here in earnest, every Sunday will find me in the kitchen making a big pot of something to eat throughout the week. And baking bread every few weeks, too. I love the nubby napkins and the runner... and those cups are gorgeous! Take care.


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