The holiday season can be complete sensory overload, with sights and sounds and unlimited parties. So there’s nothing like waking up on a quiet Christmas morning to a table set for a refined French country breakfast. The very sight of the pastoral calm relaxes me amidst the hyperactivity of the season.
While I don’t leave the bling completely behind, my tablescape is dominated by a mix of vintage china. The red and white transferware plates are endemic to Christmas, but when mixed with the feminine florals, they take on a more country French tone. (Imagine how completely different the look would be mixed with a tartan plaid.) The dinner plate is vintage Limoges, the tea cup Royal Albert American Beauty.
Some day I’ll tell the story of how I came to collect mixed china patterns. Sure, I’ve always loved various pretty patterns, but when you’re given a set of Limoges that has been in the family for years, you’d feel like a traitor buying something new.
I love to focus on the napkin presentation and here I made sure to go with my most delicate white embroidered linens. The napkin rings I crafted from some dried berries, greenery and mini pinecones.
A few scattered holiday orbs supply all the glimmer necessary. The creamer was found in an antique shop and sits well with the French country atmosphere.
I fully intended to buy croissants for the serving tray, but when I fell upon these adorable knitted cupcake ornaments, they charmed their way onto the platter. The rustic wire plate rack is from Home Goods.
So how exactly did I wind up with this eclectic melange of china? To me the pieces work beautifully together but only because the berry red ties them together. I also like the mix of scales from the tiny leafy border to the voluptuous full-bloomed roses.
Tucked on the side of the table is a varied group of pine cones, another nod to the peaceful pace of a country French Christmas morning breakfast, with a touch of glimmer hinting at the holiday.
My favorite French juice glasses are also present… “un verre de l’amitié” (a glass for a friend).
A simple white ironstone pitcher carries the juice to the table.
Ever present on my tables is a mix of candlesticks to suit the occasion. The little brass ones were purchased from Tina at The Enchanted Home and my Italian Renaissance church candlestick from Florence shows up on almost all of my tables.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve earned the story of my china quest, so here it is. Before my dining room was complete with sideboards and other storage, I used to keep my china in those little quilted holders in our semi-finished attic. I had a full set of the delicate Limoges pattern you see on the dinner plate. It’s lovely as an accent, but I always found it a little bland when displayed in full on the table. Still, it was my husband’s grandmother’s china and how could I buy something else to replace it? So, I dutifully used it for years. Then one year, as I was making the pilgrimage down from the attic carrying service for twelve, I fell down the second flight and while I was grateful my bones were in tact, the china didn’t fare so well. I lost all but one of the salad plates and was left with an odd number of the dinner size. The very next day I started my collection of Royal Albert American Beauty, and have since been freed to add in all sorts of odd and wonderful pieces. And now the remaining pieces of the heirloom set were given new life when mixed in with the other more bolder pieces.
This post is part of the Blogger Christmas Series, a series of holiday group posts running for the next few weeks. The other wonderful blog posts are linked below. Please take your time and visit them at your leisure.
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