Set a Fabulous Palm Beach Style Al Fresco table!

Hi there!  I hope this finds you taking some time to relish the joys of summer.  Last weekend, here in the Mid-Atlantic, we were blessed with a mid-summer cool weekend.  Morning temps in the high 60’s with a delightful breeze and temps peaking in the low 80’s.  Well, during our Westie’s morning walk, Mr. Single and I planned to make the most of these circumstances (glorious weather and a weekend) and throw a brunch party for some of our friends – Al Fresco of course!

I’ll share the menu in subsequent posts, but I wanted to start off with the table setting.  All of these pieces have been collected over the years.  It’s so much fun to start building your tablescape and as you build it – you remember a piece you picked up at an auction a few years back that you can use and  BAM – your guests feel so special!

NOTE:  I rarely use plastic, melamine or paper plates when dining al fresco.  Especially for groups under 12.  For large groups or when you have little ones visiting – it’s perfectly fine to set your table with non-breakables.

I’ll break my tablescape down for you:

The Placemats:

  • Woven reeds – perfect for Al Fresco dining.  Picked them up at Wegmans a few years back.

The Chargers:

  • They are glass and what incredible color!  Purchased a set of 12 at an auction last year.
  • The perfect color for summer!

The Dinner Plates:

  • Villeroy and Boch:  Viex Luxemburg
  • My love affair with Blue & White began in high school when we moved to Belgium and I saw my first Vieux Luxemburg piece.  It’s Villeroy’s original and oldest pattern dating back to the 1700’s.
  • My parents started my collection when we were in Belgium (I had 12 of everything!) and over the years I’ve added more serving pieces and accessories.

The First Course Plates:

  • Royal Worcester: Bone china Pattern: 546206 Wiley Blue Green Oriental Floral
  • Acquired a stack of these plates from the estate of a very prominent Georgetown, DC hostess. The story I got was that for most of her parties, she bought new dishes!
  • Love the shape and of course the colors and pattern!


The Salad/Fruit Plates:

  • Val St. Lambert Crystal (Belgium)
  • Picked up 6 of these at an antique mall in one town and then 2 months later found the other 6 in a consignment shop in Florida.
  • So versatile – crystal goes with every color and the shape is perfect to hug the place setting
  • I’ve used them for salad, fruit and even for shrimp shells when serving shrimp cocktail or scampi.

Serving pieces:

  • Cabbage wear – I’ve become obsessed with collecting it.
  • It was THE thing to collect in Palm Beach in the 1960s.  A woman by the name of Dodie Thayer started the craze – look her up.  She hand made all of her pieces.  The prices for her pieces now going into the $1000’s!
  • These are majolica pieces I picked up at a booth at the Stormville Antique Market in NY.  I just LOVE the covered dish!  It was the perfect vessel for my homemade scallion cream cheese 😊

Décor Pieces:

  • Blue and White pieces I have collected from auctions and estate sales.

Flowers:  Trader Joe’s!

Set a beautiful table soon – whether for a 10 person dinner party, lunch for 4 or a cozy meal for 2.  It’s a great way to surround yourself with things you love!

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