Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Provençal Table

If you could drop everything and travel anywhere you wanted right now, where would you go?  Call me crazy, but I've been thinking I'd love to go to the Swiss Alps.  That's right, not a Caribbean cruise or an island getaway.  I'd like to go someplace where the air is fresh and clean (and cool); where all the houses have beautiful flower boxes and you can hear the cowbells ringing across the meadows.  In other words, what I like to call "Heidi Country."

But I'm not going to Switzerland tonight.  I thought I'd go to France instead -- Provence to be exact.  It will probably be every bit as hot and dry as it is in North Carolina right now, but I bet it would be colorful and exciting, never the less.  Cuisine Kathleen, who hosts Let's Dish every Wednesday evening, has given us a challenge to create a travel destination table.  I'm making my table a Provencal table because I have "stuff" from Provence, and I don't have anything from Switzerland or the French Alps. :)

My mother-in-law brought me this tablecloth from one of their trips to France several years ago, and this is the first time I've ever used it.  Our kitchen colors were all too busy before, and the tablecloth wouldn't have looked right.  I'm so glad I can use it now.  She also brought me the blue napkins from France.  I've used them in a few of my previous tablescapes.

I found the yellow salad plates and the serving bowl at Home Goods.  They're "Primagera," made in Portugal.  Flatware is Argent "Sophia" from Le Targét.   ;)

The sunflowers came from our local Whole Foods Market, and the pottery pitcher is actually made by Williamsburg Potteries.  The tumblers are "Picardie," and they're made in France.  They came from Williams-Sonoma many years ago.  The wine stems are part of our wedding crystal -- Gorham "French Cathedral."

I've had the baker's rack that you see in the background for many years, and I do love it. The doors in the bottom have chicken wire, and I think the whole piece has a bit of a French Country look.

Have you read "A Year in Provence," by Peter Mayle?  If you haven't, I highly recommend it.  It's a quick read, and it's laugh-out-loud funny.  

I love these cheerful sunflowers!  Now for the birds-eye view...

And the candlelight shots...

I can't wait to show you our new kitchen, but I don't want to do a full reveal until I choose curtains, and get some things back on the walls.  But here's a tease -- our new chandelier.  I'm loving it! 

My French Country Engagement Calendar stays on the baker's rack.  Ironically, the picture for this week is a former dovecote, which is now part of a hotel in the village of Le Paradou -- in Provence.

For dinner, we're having, what else...quiche.  We love Quiche Lorraine with salad and French bread.  I'll share the recipe for that on Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm.

I also chose France as my getaway destination because Mr. Forest Manor and I are watching the Tour De France on television, like we do every summer.

 I've learned enough about cycling to mostly understand what's going on -- yes folks, amidst all the doping charges, there's actually some cycling going on there too.  But the real reason I watch is for the scenery...and the flags.  You can just call me the flag geek.  :)  I love seeing all the colorful national and regional flags that are flown, carried, and waved every year in the tour.

Thanks for reading my blog; your visits and comments always make my day.  I'm so glad to be joining all the tablescaping folks at Let's Dish, hosted by Cuisine Kathleen and Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

Also linking to Seasonal Sundays, hosted by the Tablescaper.  Thanks to these lovely ladies for hosting each week!
Au Revoir,



  1. OMG Denise, as God is my witness, I JUST BOUGHT THAT BOOK this afternoon at the GW for $1.

    Just today.

    That's such a weird coincidence it gave me goosebumps.

    As for the post, you took us right there, thank you! So pretty and very very Pronvencal!!!!

  2. Pretty table! The south of France is a wonderful destination. I'm ready to go...........Sarah

  3. I love this tablescape, Denise. The tablecloth is beautiful, and the napkins are what I call "French blue" and I love that shade. Nice chandy, too. Looking forward to the reveal. xoxo

  4. Hi Denise! I ADORE your wonderful tablecloth~ the pattern and colors are beautiful! I know you're glad you can use it now it your kitchen and I'm looking forward to your reveal. I love Peter Mayle~ I have a couple of his books, they are laugh out loud funny. Hope you're staying cool, we're looking forward to weekend temps in the 80's instead of triple digits!

  5. What a beautiful tablecloth and I love how the sunflowers just pop right off the picture. Your new chandy is lovely...thank you for sharing and I hope your having a great day!

    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  6. Denise--This is completely lovely! I love Peter Mayle's books as well--I have all three of them, plus one he recommended called The Fat Fallacy about why the French don't diet, eat full fat everything, and yet still stay slim--helped me drop about 25 pounds a while back. I love the scalloped edge on the yellow dishes as well--now I'll have to be on the lookout for something similar. You've also got me thinking of making some quiche now--haven't had it in a while, and yours looks so good. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  7. Denise.. wow.. you captured provence so wonderfully. I can almost smell the Lavande right now. Beautiful tablecloth on which the dishes fit perfectly. Your new lamp is very pretty.. love it. Can't wait to see the reveal. Now, i'm a bit homesick.. have a very blessed week. xo marlis

  8. Denise, you making me want to return to France and take in more than Paris this time. Love reading this. Thanks, Helen

  9. It took me forever, but I'm finally getting caught up on visiting. This is so pretty, Denise, and definitely worth the wait. I've never been to France ('cause of that plane thing and that money thing) but I've always imagined the French countryside to be just beautiful. You've captured my imagination perfectly with the colors and style of this one. I just love the blue and yellow.

    I really can't wait to see the whole kitchen reveal. I'm just like you in that I don't like to show projects because theirs always something more that I think needs to be done. I love your light just like every other peek I've seen.

  10. I love your provencal table -- lovely table cloth and I adore the sunflowers!

  11. Pretty provencal table! I went to the farmers market today to buy sunflowers, but they didn't have any due to our dry summer. Maybe next week :-) I'll just admire yours.

  12. Lovely table , Denise, the cloth is gorgeous! I have some Swiss Cheese and Swiss Miss for a Switzerland table, but that's it!
    Love those pretty sunflowers!
    Thanks for taking us to France and linking to Let's Dish! It was good to see you there!

  13. Love your table....I truly adore the tablecloth!!....Can't wait to see your kitchen reveal! Have a great weekend!

  14. Wonderful table. It brings back special memories of driving through Provencal. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  15. What a pretty table setting Denise, and in such lovely surroundings too. It's a neat idea to travel with food ;o)
    Love the new chadelier too - looking forwardto seeing your reveal.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend :o)
    Rose H

  16. Pretty table Dennise and that quiche Lorraine looks amazing, wish I had a piece, I'm hungry right now!! Loving the new chandy, can't wait for the reveal. I'm late from Destination-Let's Dish, but here I am visiting all of you. Enjoy your weekend.

  17. Dennise I am with you would love to go along on your to trip to the Alps. You did give us a litte taste of being there.

    Cathy <;)

  18. Ooh la la, Denise, I love your frenchy table. The tablecloth is so pretty and I love your new chandelier. The sunflowers make the perfect centerpiece. I have never read that book, but I could use a good laugh.

  19. I love the little trip you've taken us on. Your table is lovely. Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  20. Very pretty! Love the tablecloth!!! And the sunflowers.....beautiful!

  21. Your table and the pictures are beautiful! I do love your new chandelier. It is perfect for your kitchen. Can't wait to see it. Your post made me want to go make the quiche.

    Love you, Mom



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