This tablescape is a lunch to honor someone who retired with a subsequent move to the beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I did a similar tablescape in 2007 and will show photos of that lunch at the end of this post.
This beach theme is carried out with seashore elements: natural white coral, shell encrusted chargers, fish net, sea glass napkin rings, water-y blues and more.
The service plates were hand painted at the Royal Worcester factory in England in 1936 by Harry [Tim] Ayrton, a factory painter. They are date coded on the reverse. Ayrton spent his adult life painting porcelain at the factory. He is best known for his fruit still life paintings on plates, cups and vases. I am fortunate to own 16 of these fish plates in mint condition. Each one is signed and marked on the back with the species of fish he has painted on the front. Below are a few of the different fish.
Spanish Hog fish.
I had the napkins custom embroidered onto white Hotel napkins by Williams-Sonoma with shells and seaweed wreaths. The Pier 1 flatware has turquoise acrylic handles.
I started this tablescape with a tablecloth made of 8 ounce beige canvas that comes nine feet wide. The rough texture represents beach sand. The round shell-encrusted chargers I am using as placemats. I love the pale color of all the shells. They were purchased at Pottery Barn in 2007 and no longer available. I have seen other companies make these but with colored shells. To further the beach theme, I am using fish net as a runner. The beach glass and wire napkin rings are also from Pottery Barn.
This blue charger is by Anna Weatherley produced in Hungary.
For the appetizer course, I am using my Hammersley English fish plates with the wide gold rims.
These also have different species on each plate.
Vibrant coral colored fins on this one.
And a wider angle view of the end of the table.
Novelty items are usually not my thing, but when I saw these plates with a beach chair designed by Lin Sislar at Bed, Bath & Beyond, they were so on target that I had to get them. I am using these as the lunch plate for the meal. Life couldn't be much better than sitting in that beach chair in the sand listening to the Seagulls, watching the Sandpipers flit around and hearing the waves splash. I love spending as much time on the beach as I possibly can.
Two tumblers are used instead of stemware.
Guests can choose if they want ice tea, water or another beverage. The shorter tumbler on the right is hand-made mouth-blown glass made by Saul Alcaraz at Santa Barbara Art Glassblowing Studio in California. These are iridescent with art glass inserts. Saul also makes them in other colors. Just love these. Much more attractive in person as you can see the art of each one. Here is the link. Saul Alcaraz
The underplates for the dessert stems are these shell plates from Williams-Sonoma designed by Marc Lacaze. There are several different shell styles in the set.
These clear turquoise stems will hold the dessert which is a light pound cake with fresh berries and whipped cream.
This is the table-end view showing the dessert set up.
This tablescape is a scaled-down version of one I did for the retirement of my Vice President in May of 2007 for 18 guests in our office conference room. The table is 25 feet long, so it required much more decor in the center of the table. I have used two painted iron birds from my porch at home as well as large glass iced wine bottle buckets made into mini aquariums containing real fish. I used all the large coral pieces I own as well as my entire shell collection to fill the table.
The 25 foot table. You will recognize many of the same elements used in my current tablescape. Below is a close up of the fish in the wine coolers.
And a close up of the place setting.
I also brought in some art work for the conference room wall that was done by a Canadian artist of a beach chair and boat.
Personally, I would love to retire to a residence on the beach. I love walking up and down the sand at the water's edge.
I am participating in Tablescape Thursday this week on the blog Between Naps on the Porch.
To see all the entries, after 9:00PM Eastern on Wednesday, go here:
All the best to you,