Thursday, September 19, 2019

Welcome Fall Tablescape

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"I can smell the autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves." Ann Drake

I am looking forward to real fall weather because we are still in the high nineties. To jumpstart fall decorating join me and a myriad of tablescapers sponsored by our talented leader, Chloe Crabtree @ Celebrate and Decorate for a welcome fall tablescape blog hop. There are no real pumpkins anywhere in our area yet so, to begin the fall mood, velvet pumpkins are the best way to decorate.

To begin my tablescape, I placed a  ruffled burlap runner on top of a matelasse cloth. Deer antler sheds, silk fall leaves, and mercury glass votives are at each end of the table runner. Candlelight always adds a special ambience.
Fresh yellow roses in mercury glass votives and dried bittersweet are interspersed among the various colored pumpkins.
  The table runner is filled with velvet pumpkins of various shades of green velvet, a butternut squash shade and a darker russet shade along with burlap fabric pumpkin all in different sizes. 
The velvet and burlap pumpkins were sourced locally at " Initially Yours." Love our local shops!
Dried limelights add softness and another shade of lighter green for contrast.
"Autumn that year painted the countryside in vivid shades of scarlet, saffron, and russet, and the days were clear and crisp under the harvest skies." Sharon Kay Penman

I loved using the vintage floral napkins with mini grapevine wreath napkin rings and vintage nubby striped placemats. Is this a blast from the past or what? Orange, green, and gold were very popular in the seventies!

I was so happy how well my vintage game set china with its dressy gold border and shiny gold chargers worked with this table as did the amber Fostoria swirl glasses and gold flatware. I like rustic and glam elements together! 
It is hard to believe I have been participating in Chloe's tablescape blog hops since 2016! It is even harder to believe this is my 10th year of blogging. 

You could add pilgrims and this table would also work for Thanksgiving.


🍁It has been a great week of inspiration for fall tables and there is more to come. Please enjoy viewing the tablescapes listed below. I am always impressed with the variety of styles and creativity.



Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Paris is Always a Good Idea!

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This is Part Two of my 2018 Paris posts.  Warning!! Picture overload! Read Part 1 about Notre Dame before the fire here. In late April 2018, my husband and I enjoyed a cruise on the Danube River then onto France for three days in the Loire Valley( Gardens in France blog post here) and another three days in Paris(Paris is Always a Good Idea).

We left Amboise in the Loire Valley early morning thinking we would have most of the day in Paris but little did we know that the train workers were on a slow down. We had to wait for several very stressful hours in the train station in Tours hoping that we would even get on a train to Paris that day. 

 Thankfully because of a House Beautiful magazine I was reading a lady who was an American spoke to me at the train station and we exchanged valuable information about the train situation. We finally arrived in Paris that afternoon and checked in our hotel in the Montparnasse area.
This is the lobby in Hotel Sainte-Beuve.


Our room had a picturesque and spacious balcony.









 After getting settled in our hotel we went exploring. We easily spotted Cafe La Rotonde's outside eating area as we began walking. We decided to stop and have an appetizer of Escargot that would be a quick and good late lunch. 




This lovely flower shop definitely called me inside.


As we kept on walking the familiar Les Deux Magots is a favorite place to people watch and enjoy an aperitif. 

The hotel had a very nice breakfast the next morning.  The previous day had been warm and I wore a short-sleeved shirt but this next day was cooler and I wore a sweater and scarf. 

Our day started out with Laduree, an elegant pastry and tea room on the Champs Elysees. They are the premier source of macaroons in Paris and sell 15,000 a day. 

We were seated upstairs at the very same table where we had sat on a previous visit. The beautiful gilded furnishings and lavishly painted ceilings create an elegant atmosphere.
Why I didn't ask the waiter to make our picture I don't know because Mike is looking bored!





Our desserts and cappuccinos were very good. And look at the gorgeous pink roses on the mantel above our heads!

 It is hard to choose between so many beautiful desserts.  Laduree's packaging is so pretty and a gift from Laduree is something to be desired.

From here we walked on down to the Arc de Triomphe. I wish we had walked to the top on our first trip to Paris years ago. I can only imagine the spectacular scenery from the top. I missed the boat though because I know I could not walk that many steps now.

It was on this spot that my husband, the wannabe french speaker, had his proudest moment in Paris. A Frenchman seeing that he had a map asked him if the adjacent street was the way to the Eiffel Tower. He replied, "No monsieur, c'est lá ba,-No sir, its over there". And then counted the number of street crossings to get to the Avenue Kleber, "Un, Deux, Trois! 


As you walk on any street you hear different languages being spoken. The atmosphere is always exciting. The street flower markets are enthralling! 

Then we rode the batobus down to the Eiffel Tower which is a hop on and hop off boat on the Seine. There are so many beautiful bridges and I challenge myself to remember the names but with anything you have to use it to remember it.

 The Pont Alexander 111 is one of the most ornate and extravagant bridges in the city. It was built for the 1900 World Exhibition.
It connects the Champs Elysees with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower.
This is a typical cloudy day in Paris. This is the same day I made the pics from the Seine of Notre Dame in the Remembering Notre Dame Before the Fire post as well as some I made after we got off the batobus.
That night we had dinner at  Cafe La Rotonde which was close to our hotel. Its website defines it as a "brasserie" and a restaurant. It has been around since 1911. The food was exceptional and we highly recommend it. It is located at the corner of Boulevard du Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail.
My husband had the Dover Sole which he went on and on about. I wish I had snapped a picture when they brought it out whole for him to view before they filleted it.


My steak was absolutely perfection. 
My steak frites, as they call them, were the best I have ever had! 






Strolling through the Tuilleries Gardens in May was a visual delight. Of course, I began dreaming of alliums in my garden looking like this. I planted bulbs right on time in my garden and they came up about 3 inches and died. It was an extremely dry time and even with extra watering, they did not make it. Maybe next year!

I adore the statuary, the fountains and the flowers in the Tuilleries Garden every season that I have been. 
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel Louvre entrance. I found it very interesting to read that the four horses that pull a chariot on top of the arch are a copy of the quadriga at St. Marks Cathedral, Venice. Originally, the real thing was used at this site but was afterward returned to Italy.



The Chinese-American architect that drew up this design is said to have thrown caution to the wind but the absurdity of his design fit perfectly. This pyramid of steel and glass was built in 1989 and is instantly recognizable around the world. 



It turned cold the following day as you can see jackets were needed.

One of the delights in Paris are the coffee breaks and a hot drink was welcome on a cool day. In France and Italy, locals don't drink cream in their coffee after 11:00. I think this was around11:30 a.m. according to my camera but they knew we were Americans.

You know a restaurant is good when you eat there two nights in a row. We had dinner again at Cafe La Rotonde and it was fabulous again the second night. I won't show you pics of all the dishes again but I had a veal chop with mashed potatoes and Mike had the duck. But the highlight of the evening was the "Mille Feuille." This is the dessert I had heard so much about from the book, "A Gentleman in Moscow." It did not disappoint.

Our three-day trip was very nice. Because we have seen most of the places that you must see in Paris we could relax and just "be there" and not have a schedule. 

Other Paris posts here and here.

Paris is Always a Good Idea! We love Paris. Thanks for joining me. Please tell me your favorite thing about Paris.

Please check back next week for the Welcome Fall Tablescape Blog Hop. There are many talented tablescapers you won't want to miss. My table is Thursday.