Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shakespeare and Royal Doulton China

Hello everyone.  Today I'm linking to Tablescape Thursdays hosted by Susan at Between Naps On The Porch.  Hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day.  For my post this week, I'm using the pictures from a tablescape I did last year for Valentine's Day.  The pictures were taken with our first digital camera, but they still turned out pretty good.  So...what do Shakespeare, a play about star-crossed lovers and Royal Doulton china have in common?  Just one word -- Juliet.  "Juliet" is the name of the Royal Doulton pattern that I chose for our wedding china over 24 years ago.

Lately, I've seen a lot of china, in person and in pictures, and I've often thought that every dish, cup, bowl, serving piece, handle and lid are like small works of art.  And I know that there are plenty of patterns that are older, more valuable and collectible, and some would say prettier; but after all this time, I still love my Juliet pattern.  I love the delicate cream color of the china, the gold trim, the beautiful pink and yellow cabbage roses and the smaller, dainty flowers surrounding them.  And beneath the cabbage roses, what appears to be a "Juliet Cap", like the character wore in the movie.  While the pattern is mostly floral, there is a soft blue band around the border that I think gives it a certain elegance and symmetry.

When I was arranging these dishes last year, it made me think about Romeo and Juliet, for the first time in many years.  I believe I first studied the play when I was a sophomore in high school.  At that age, reading a 400 year-old play written in old, or Elizabethan English (and difficult to understand), just wasn't very interesting.  But then our English teacher showed us the movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli, and it just brought the whole story to life.  Zeffirelli did a beautiful and tasteful version of the movie, and he did something that hadn't really been done before -- he used a teenage actor and actress to play the parts of Romeo and Juliet, just as Shakespeare created them in his play.  As I got older, I found a new appreciation of Shakespeare's work, and though I only watched the Romeo and Juliet movie maybe one more time many years ago, I still found it very moving (and very entertaining).  After writing this post, I've decided to put the DVD on my gift list for Christmas.

If you haven't seen this movie and you get the chance, it's worth seeing.  It was filmed on location in Italy, with lush scenery and gorgeous period costumes.  The beautiful Olivia Hussey played the part of Juliet; at just 15 years old, she was the youngest woman ever to play this role professionally.  She simply was, and always will be, THE Juliet for my generation.  And Leonard Whiting was a very handsome Romeo; don't mean to exclude him, but my dishes are called "Juliet" (sorry Romeo).  So on Valentine's Day, I guess I couldn't resist a reference to one of the most famous love stories of all time.

About the tablescape:  I bought the roses at our local Fresh Market and arranged them in a cut glass crystal vase that I received several years ago as a Christmas gift.  I'm definitely not an expert at flower arranging (after we took the pictures I noticed the one rose on the right that wanted to stick out).

 I tried to get a shade of pink roses that would closely match my pink damask napkins and the china.

Folding the napkins in the heart shape was not really difficult; I can post a tutorial if anyone is interested.

 The small oval sweet meat dish holding pink, white and red candy hearts was given to me as a gift by my sister many years ago.

According to the website for Replacements, Ltd., these bowls are difficult to find at the moment and they are actively looking for them.  Who knew??  Thanks Sis!!  The conversation hearts in the glass candy dish add a whimsical touch, and we're never too old for conversation hearts, right?

The lighting is not quite as good in these pictures as last week because we had a different camera last year when I did this tablescape.  Also, I had the not-so-pretty glass globes on our chandelier.  I have since changed those for ivory silk shades, which look much better and give off a better light.  So here are the pictures -- hope you enjoy them!   Mr. Forest Manor's leg ended up in the first one.  Whoops!

I couldn't resist this heart wreath.

Now for our favorite part -- the candlelight shots.

"O she doth teach the torches to burn bright!"  What a beautiful phrase echoing down the centuries -- probably my favorite line in the entire play.

Thanks again, Susan, for hosting Tablescape Thursday!  I look forward to seeing everyone's tables, and thank you all for your kind comments last week!  Have a great weekend! 


"O she doth teach the torches to burn bright!", Romeo and Juliet: ACT 1, Scene 5

China - Royal Doulton "Juliet"
Crystal stemware - Gorham "French Cathedral"
Flatware - Oneida "Tennyson"
Candle Tapers - Colonial candles
Place Mats - Bed, Bath and Beyond
Pink Napkins - Bed, Bath and Beyond
Candlesticks - Gifted to me many years ago
Crystal vase - Christmas gift several years ago
Salt and Pepper Shakers - Wedding gift
Pink Heart Wreath - Michael's last year
Yellow Bird Votive Holders - Michael's last year
Glass lidded candy dish - Won in a raffle


  1. The table is lovely, and I would love to know how to do the heart napkins. I honed right in on that beautiful pink heart wreath, too.

    And I agree about the movie. It is THE Romeo and Juliet for our generation. In my head, I always see those two when I think of them.

  2. This is so pretty and I LOVE how you folded the napkins in a heart shape (would love to learn how), that makes it so Valentine-ish! The roses make a lovely centerpiece and your china pattern is gorgeous!


  3. What a sweet and romantic table! I love the napkin fold, and that wreath on your china cabinet looks sensational!

  4. Everything is so beautiful and I love the sweet pinks. Those napkins shaped as hearts are so cute.

  5. Oh, the whole table is so elegant! I do love your Juliet china -- such a lovely pattern! And your pink roses are the perfect shade with those pretty napkins!

  6. Very pretty table...I love your dishes...what a nice link with the movie and your wedding china pattern. I remember seeing that movie and loving it too! I'm sure that you had a wonderful dinner at your lovely table

  7. Hi lovely lady. I love your Tablescapes you did a lovely job puting it all together sweet lady,and your china is Beautiful with your napkins so sweet. I also do Tablescapes but not tonight~~I'm having a [Give-A-Way] on my Blog come see and have so fun ~~~I'm your newests follower on your Blog.
    I hope to see you tonight on my Blog.

  8. Beautiful soft pink table...romantic, too!

  9. The tablescape is beautiful! You do a really great job with the narrative too. Makes me proud.


  10. What a beautiful candy dish! Your sister is the best!!

  11. Lovely and romantic table! Love the heart napkins! What an inspired idea. Thank you for stopping by my page and for sharing your lovely Juliet table! ~CJ

  12. That is a gorgeous table and I can see why you would pick that china! It is beautiful and so delicate. THe heart napkins are too cute, and the wreath is just the right touch! I think your flower arranging is beautiful too!! I agree with you about replacements!! Every now and then something comes along but they are quite expensive!

  13. Hi lovely lady.
    I love your dishes sweet lady, you know me with dishes~~~ I see you match your pink roses with your sweet Napkins good job~~~ I see Im your follower two times so sorry. The 1st time coming on your Blog it did not take will it did this time two times !!!!

  14. I just followed you! I'm so excited because I love your post and I want to thank you for visiting me along with those sweet and lovely comments! Yes, I was so happy with my gift and of course the tbcloth. Back to you my darling. You're table is absolutely stunning, I love it! The centerpiece with the roses, the gorgeous Juliet china, pretty flatware, pretty glasses, I love the whole's so romantic, so fit for the Juliet of "our" time...the pretty Olivia, is Argentinian, as I'm a S.American from N.Y., I'm proud of her and when I was young boys used to think I was that look with the long strait brown hair...haha.. Thank you for the lovely story and for sharing such an amzing table.


  15. It's me again....when is your 24th. Anniversary? Let me know so I can send you greetings. By the way, I love your wreath too!


  16. Denise, I love your Juliet china!! It's gorgeous. Truly a treasure. Your table setting is lovely too. I love your flowers. perfect with the china and the napkins. I would never have noticed the slightly protruding rose at all had you not mentioned it. I hadn't thought of R&J in a long, long time. thanks for the reawakened memories. Yep, 10th grade english!!! Thanks for dropping in with your kind comments.

  17. What a lovely table setting and those roses! They don't even look real they are so perfect. Thanks for all your kind words when you stopped by my blog.



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