|Chinese hand embroidered and appliqué serviette, Villeroy & Boch dinner service - my private collection|
My friend Wanda from Canada visited Hotel des Indes in The Hague on her trip to Holland. When she showed me the picture of her visit and the table setting I gasped: 'Hotel des Indes?!! No linen on the table?!!' No, just this bare table - glasses and all put straight on. It could have been any quick hamburger restaurant's table, or a brown café. Really bad and unbelievable. Being chauvinistic and wanting to be proud of Holland and its culture, this was a very poor show and a sign of how one has left certain habits and culture, even in this very known luxury hotel. The cost of personnel and laundry maybe being the quick and easy way?
Banana leaf place mats, colourful table runners, hand embroidered table linens, damask, it is all part of whatever mood I am in to surprise my husband and my guests. It is fun and a challenge to do this, together with flowers, ivy and other things from the garden.
Now, I did something strange at IKEA's last Thursday. Having the spring fever I just had to get myself something new and decided (with my collection in mind) to get a yard of material for a new table runner on our modern Italian dinner table. The most boring stripe, very plain, very precautious. More is less, is the expression, but I just did not understand my choice once at home.
A few try outs with my various plates did however trigger my creativity and once I get going on it no doubt it will end up with either nice colourful and floral ends on both sides, maybe added by nice full length trimmings. The 'blues' were the best match, not the floral plates.
Royal Pip plates - last year's birthday gift from a friend
usually used as under plates, best used on white linens
The website has a new feature. You can glimpse through photo albums and get an idea on how and when things were used. The era and the families surely come to life.
Our guide explained the story on the 'Chine de commande' and how complete the dinner set still is. The family would sing hymns and say prayers before their meals together with their servants.
The huge table linen holds a pretty and busy pattern.
Belle's brother, Willem René van Tuyll van Serooskerken, baron de l'empire, in his green outfit, smiles at you when you pass the corridor and go down the stairs. The story goes that he rented out the castle and sold its furniture. Maybe he did not enjoy festive moments at the dining table, living elsewhere?
Happy Sunday dinner, bon appétit!