Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Joyeux Noel: A French Bistro-Inspired Tablescape

For me, this year has been all about the French bistro. It started in the spring with a lunch at Bouchon Bistro in Napa, and continued throughout the year, most recently with a dinner at Petite Jacqueline, a charming little restaurant in Portland, Maine. What I'm loving about bistros is the combination of casual elements with refined presentation and service - this is what inspired my tablescape for our "Joyeux Noel" celebration.
I decided to stick to a simple, natural palette of green and white. I love dish towels as napkins -you can find these herringbone cotton dish towels on Amazon. I tucked a sage leaf into each napkin ring - this is what I mean by casual elements presented beautifully. The napkin rings, a gift from a friend who knows me well, are vintage and say "Madame" and "Monsieur" - perfect for our French theme.
Food shown here: Baguette from Almondine Bakery. Their mini baguettes were such a hit at Friendsgiving that I wanted to give the full size a try. It was just as good. | Homemade herb butter - it's easier to make butter than you'd think! I may have to show you sometime. | Maldon Sea Salt | St. Helena Olive Oil Company's White Truffle Salt
It was snowing outside, which coupled with French Christmas music (my latest obsession) made our celebration feel super cozy. On the downside, the overcast sky didn't lend the best light for photos. That's our Christmas tree you can see through the window - we decided to get a normal sized tree for the terrace instead of a tiny tree indoors. Here you can see I've added the pickled beets I made at Haven's Kitchen, pickled carrots and onions from my mother's garden, fresh sliced radishes, and rosé to the table. Yes, rosé tastes just as good in the winter!
Flowers: While shopping for holiday party attire that would make Megan proud at Club Monaco's flagship store in the Flatiron District of NYC, I discovered the most beautiful stand of floral bouquets for sale in the adjoining Strand Bookstore. (Leave it to me to abandon clothes shopping in favor of party supplies). The florals are designed by by Polux Fleuriste and are presented in a gorgeous hat box. I will definitely be returning for another!
Tableware: Salad plates: Hudson Park | Wine glasses: Luigi Bormioli | Flatware: Reed & Barton *I don't recommend this set - the pieces aren't holding up well | French water glasses: Ikea (not available online) | Butter dish: Crate & Barrel (on sale!) | Carafe: Crate & Barrel (similar) | Bread Plates: Fishs Eddy (not available online) | Salt cellar: Vintage | Sea salt jar: Weck | Pepper grinder: Fletchers' Mill (similar)