It’s not done…

’til it’s OVERDONE!!!

I’ve been back to East Tennessee to do an event with my dear friend.  The event was called “Festival of Tables” and it was the first time the organization had done an event of this type. Tables were assigned to a designer and a hostess and tickets were sold to come view the tablescapes and then have dinner seated at the tables. I must say the tables were lovely and a good time was had by all.

We did two tables…A Glimpse of Downton and Fit for a King…both “done to death”.


Glimpses of Downton was a melange of Aubergine Damask and Silk adorned with flora and fauna fitting the Post Edwardian grand lifestyle of Earl and Countess Crawley.


The centerpiece was built on a antique bronze ormolu compote with marble pedestal. We used roses, celosia (cockscomb), mini callas, rosehips, orchids, crab apple and fresh pomegranates. Around the base we did a wreath of fruit and vegetables that accentuated the color scheme…eggplant, peppers, grapes and plums added a rich texture to the design.

P1020914We had a lot of fun with the candlelier.  We strung Bing Cherries to represent crystal roping and used Bosc Pears and Eggplants studded with citrus to create large scale “crystals”.

P1020915We created more interest in the place settings by giving dimension to the plates. Beginning with a silver charger we then added a wreath of evergreen accented with roses and cymbidium orchids. The actual setting was a Sevres Old Paris Porcelain dinner plate and floral luncheon plate. The silver was Reed and Barton’s Francis I. In terms of unabashed, ornate opulence, Francis I is unsurpassed! Each setting was topped with a gift for the guest to take home as a memory of a wonderful evening of indulgence. The ladies received pearl bracelets and the gentlemen were given cuff links.


“Fit for a King” had the guests thinking we had robbed the Tower of London.  Thankfully, the event planners had security guards hovering with watchful eyes. This centerpiece was created in a Silver Punch Bowl with a magnificent 18th Century Matthew Boulton Candelabra towering above it in search of the full moon that represented the Lunar Society that Boulton and his counterparts Darwin, Wedgewood and Priestley were so well known for.  We used Cymbidium Orchids, Enchantment Lilies, Oncidium Orchids, Roses, Red Currants and Green Millet.


We used the Della Robbia style to give a bountiful skirt to the centerpiece and accompanying silver pieces.


We had three mint condition holloware pieces.  These 1850’s OES tureens with lids gave the table an air of royalty as did an especially stunning Cruet Set with cut crystal jars and mustard pots.  The actual setting for this table was Haviland, Limoges France, Schleiger 278 with Kirk & Sons Repousse Silver and Royal Brierley Stemware.  We used the cream soup bowl with double ears as the focal and presented “pearl soup”.  The guests at this table were all ladies so they got to take their “soup” home in the accompanying gift box topped with the a hand-crafted silk ribbon rose and rhinestone brooch.

There were over thirty tables and each had their own special personality.

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The table settings were equally as diverse and interesting.

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I’m not sure why but other than Texas, Tennessee has to be the state that it takes the longest to travel across.  I broke up the trip going and coming by visiting chosen family in Nashville.  I wanted to make sure you knew about Lockland Table in East Nashville.  Run, don’t walk…and call in advance for reservation or be prepared to sit at the beverage or chefs bar.  We sat at the chef’s bar and had a perfectly delicious evening.


Pizza Station


Tanglewood Farms (NC) Roast Chicken with Pepper Jam

Falls Mill Pimento Cheese Grit Cake and Collards


Oven Roasted Okra with Spicey Comeback


Hot Black Skillet Cornbread…NO SUGAR!!!

Brick Oven Pizza with Tennshootoe (Tennessee Prosciutto), Creme Fraiche and Arugula

All the houses were lovely and a really good time…


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