Afternoon Tea With Villeroy & Boch

When Villeroy & Boch asked if I'd like to style some of their tableware products for a blog post, I knew immediately what I'd do. I love styling tableware, and I love pink glass too, so it had to be a pink themed afternoon tea setting! And what better excuse than to go out and buy beautiful flowers and posh macarons? I can think of none...

In my mind, if you're going to go to the trouble of doing afternoon tea, you should make sure it's as pretty as possible. And you should ALWAYS include macarons and finger sandwiches.

I selected items from three different collections to style the dining table:

Montauk, is brand new, and has a lovely relief rope motif, and is the prettiest off-white porcelain. The collection includes these oval side plates, which I think are just the perfect mini platter size. Platters are often too big for smaller gatherings, so I end up using plates instead (and then not having enough plates!), but these are spot-on for fruit, and of course, the aforementioned macarons and finger sandwiches. They're also perfect for cold-cuts, olives, pickles and cheeses.

The cups and saucers are so pretty with fresh mint tea, and I've added the Boston pink crystal glass tumblers (filled with fresh lemonade no less), into the mix to stop everything being too matchy, to give setting a more casual look, and of course to add a pop of colour.

These tumblers which also come in several different colours, are really stunning, and are now my new favourite glasses to drink from (water, juice, cocktails...). Watch-out to the first person to break one of them, because I won't be happy! They're heavy based and the textured exterior is just lovely.

And speaking of pink glass, the Coloured DeLight collection has some absolute beauties. My new favourite vase, which also doubles as a hurricane lantern, is the prettiest 'noble rose' colour, and has actually reinvigorated my love of fresh flowers.

I'd been consistently favouring muted greenery over blousy blooms, but this vase was just crying out for the latter! I filled it with pink and white tulips, sweet peas and ranunculus. So pretty! The only problem is that it seems that Cleo the kitten is quite the flower fan too, which I discovered after leaving the vase on the table unattended, only to return to a sheepish looking kitten, and lots of beheaded flowers! So I will have to keep fresh flowers on the bench where she can't get to them for the foreseeable, but I can cope with that, and the vase brightens up any space, and actually looks fab in my otherwise mostly monochrome kitchen.

Another favourite are these gorgeous little tea light holders also from the Coloured DeLight collection, which I have chosen in clear and 'berry fantasy'. A different pink to the vase and the tumblers, but they all look so pretty together. These also make the sweetest little bud-vases, and again the glass is thick and heavy - such great quality, as you would expect from Villeroy & Boch.

I really am quite taken with all these pieces, and in case you're wondering, I most definitely DID eat and drink the props, and the macarons (rose, vanilla and tonka) were delicious, as were the smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. What is it about a sandwich with the crusts cut off that make them so good?! Answers on a postcard. Or in the comments below...

I'd also love to know what your favourite pieces are, and what food just has to be on your fantasy afternoon tea table?

This post is in collaboration with Villeroy & Boch.

Fab Five - Dinner Plates

Dinner plates are on my mind right now as suddenly ALL ours are majorly chipped and we're down to just four, which isn't that sociable for someone who quite likes to host the odd dinner party and have friends for lunch - we really need eight at least.

I find long-term purchases like this quite tricky as I think it's fair to say that plates are something most people only buy a handful of times in their lives, so you know, you need to get it right. Ours were a wedding gift, so they're nearly thirteen years old, and I have no idea where the plates in my life came from before that - probably hand me downs from flat-mates parents I imagine.

But like it or not, tableware says a lot about you. If that statement is true, currently I'm someone who doesn't give a damn about presentation which I'm not particularly happy about, so it needs to change. I might ask for plates from my father in law for Christmas this year instead of the usual Diptyque candle. Don't get me wrong, I adore my Diptyque candles and being kept in constant supply by him (Birthday and Christmas), but you know, needs must.

ANYWAY, I digress. Have you guessed yet that plates are the subject of today's Fab Five?

Here they are...

Palm, Chinoiserie, Earthenware, Marble and Glazed Dinner Plates. French For Pineapple Blog

You know I love a bit of a tropical palm print, and this is a classic.

I'm always drawn to Chinoiserie prints, and I love the way the black gives it a gothic edge.

You can't go wrong with simple white, and the chunky earthenware with distressed glaze stops it from being dull.

How stunning is this marble design?! Ugh, I die.

Not normally my thing, but I kept returning to look at this beautiful offering from Denby, with the speckled glaze and ochre inner trim, these are timeless.