Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Temptation

So, this morning while I was online finishing up my holiday shopping and minding my own business, I got an email from Guest Apartment Services informing me that the availability dates for the 2 bedroom Magnolia apartment for January/February 2011 that I inquired about 6 months ago were still open and if I were still interested, it was not too late to book. Well, since we are focused on buying a vacation home, there is no vacation(at least not to Europe) in my near future...but this is too much temptation! Those marketers really targeted my weakness. I will remain focused,I will remain focused.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TV Dinner In The Family Room

This weeks holiday table setting for 4 was arranged in our family/Television room.
The 70" round table topper is by Spode. The pleated twill khaki colored table cloth is from Ballard Designs.
It's photo shoots like this that make me wish flat screen televisions were as portable as a framed picture so they could be easily moved.

Paisley dinner napkin by Ralph Lauren. Accent plate by Royal Stafford.
Usually, there is an over sized ottoman where the table is placed which also acts as our coffee table for the sectional sofa which is still in the room but out of camera range.
The cut crystal stemware are by Zawiercie in Poland.
Dinner plate by 222 Fifth(Chain link platinum pattern). The lightweight faux stone handle flatware were purchased from HomeGoods. Unfortunately, I don't recall the manufacturer or pattern name.

Below are pictures of the same room and table but without the Christmas decorations. I actually appreciated the cleaner lines but just thought it looked more springtime than winter holiday.

Finally, a video clip highlighting all of the tablescapes I created for the 2010 year which I featured on Susan's Tablescape Thursdays.

Please visit Susan's blog for more creative and unique table settings. Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lord Meacham & Lady Delores

Happy Tablescape Thursday and Happy Holidays to all!! Thank you for visiting my contribution to this weeks Tablescape Thursday, hosted by the talented Susan of the blog Between Naps On The Porch.

This post is dedicated to Delores of Vignette Design and Scot of The Adventures of Tartanscot who were the direct inspirations behind my theme.

They were the two people I thought about the entire time I put this vignette together. Both Delores and Scot have a wonderful fascination with Tartan plaids and have shared many creative ways of incorporating the patterns into their designs.

They are perfect examples of how wonderful blogs offer design inspirations. I had a lot of fun with this project. It propelled me into the holiday decorating spirit.

Dinner plate-Noritake
Salad Plate-Ralph Lauren
Napkins-Ralph Lauren
All stemware-Waterford
Flatware- vintage silver plated set from Partner Dan's paternal grandmother which was her personal favorite. (note: Dan's mother would like the record to show that his MATERNAL grandmother's favorite flatware is sterling)
Table runners-Burlap & Tartan plaid fabric

Visit Meacham's blog to see the beautiful submissions, including Delores' fabulous inspiration tablescape.

Thank you for stopping by and again, please visit Between Naps On The Porch for more creative and unique tablescapes.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Bracebridge Dinner At Yosemite

Can you imagine celebrating a Christmas feast in a hall with soaring 50 foot ceilings framed by enormous windows looking out across the snow capped mountains of Yosemite? Well, don't stop there, add to the picture hundreds formally dressed fellow diners and the heraldic music of a live symphony, the voices of a cast of a hundred performers in period costume, course after course of fabulous food and then your imagination might just capture the essence of this California tradition.

At least, that is how the Bracebridge Dinner was described to us at a recent dinner party. Of course, we are completely captured by the idea of being a part of the event and have added it to our "to do" list.

The dinner has been held every year since 1927 at the beautiful Ahwahnee hotel. Originally, the only way to get a ticket was to enter your name into a lottery.

Fortunately, it is now available to all on a first come first serve basis. The inspiration for the dinner was Washington Irving's Sketch Book that described Squire Bracebridge and English Christmas traditions of the 17th Century.

(attendees from past celebrations)

The meal is presented as a feast in the Squire's manor hall and the performers are all member's of the Squire's staff or guest list who host the diners throughout the 3 1/2 hour dinner. Ansel Adam's played the Lord of Misrule at the very first Bracebridge Dinner! Visit for more information. Happy Holidays

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Le O Cinq Neuf Suite

Happy holidays!
This fall table setting for 4 was arranged in suite 905 at the Ritz Carlton hotel in San Francisco, California.

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday here with Papa and Little Daniel. It's the first Thanksgiving we've spent away from both of our families in a very long time.

Although we enjoy spending the holidays with our extended families, this year, we wanted to celebrate with just the two of us and our little guy.
However, instead of slaving over the stove, we decided to pamper ourselves and let someone else prepare the Turkey. Who better to ask than a world renown chef?
In this case, Chef Ron Siegel .

We actually had the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings for lunch instead of dinner. The hotel offered a delicious buffet from 11am-5pm. Our reservations were at 12pm.

This setting was arranged for our evening room service dinner.

I know, you're probably wondering, "What nut packs table accessories and linens to take to a hotel?" Uh, that would be me.

Since I knew ahead of time that we would be spending one night ordering room service, I thought it would be a great opportunity to set a table and turn an ordinary room service meal into an extraordinary and intimate post-Thanksgiving celebration for 3. I created the 4th place setting for the shrimp cocktail appetizer.

The table cloth is burlap. I layered the table using a chocolate brown runner, then I added a cream plaid fabric to lighten up the table's color palette.

I also brought the chargers,napkins and candlestick holders from home. If you want to make the most out of your holiday travels with your loved ones, it makes sense to make every moment memorable. It's a reflection of how much you thought about your loved ones and the importance of capturing those moments eloquently. So, for me its well worth the effort.

I purchased the flowers for my arrangement from the locally famous Cable Car flower stand in front of Neiman Marcus in Union Square.

The hotel is located 3 short blocks from the square which made for a convenient stroll.

Our post Thanksgiving dinner arrived with a delicious bottle of Duck Horn.

Here is The Little American at the dessert station at the hotel's Thanksgiving buffet. Please visit his blog at The Little American's Travel in the coming days to read about his holiday trip to the Ritz Carlton. Below is a short trailer of that trip:

As always, thank you for stopping by visiting. For more unique and creative table settings, please visit Susan at Between Naps On The Porch. Finally, stay tuned for my next Tablescape Thursdays contribution as I share with you our upcoming December 4th Christmas dinner for six. Happy Holidays!