I hope you are all doing okay and surviving these strange and uncertain times. I’ve always lived my life by the mantra of ‘it’s the little things’ – the small moments, seasonal joys and wee observations – that light up my days, and this period of lockdown has only intensified that feeling. The subtle shifts of the seasons on our daily walk, baking sourdough bread from scratch, setting the table specially for dinner: in recent weeks these small daily rituals around the home have taken on even more importance, and I’m embracing them fully.
It’s been wonderful to see so many likeminded creatives on my favourite platform, Instagram, rising to the challenges presented by lockdown and supporting others in creative ways while celebrating such small moments. For instance Issy Croker’s collection of lockdown recipes, Staying In: Recipes and Stories from Isolation starring a host of my favourite kitchen creatives (not to mention Issy’s stunning food photography) and raising money for Chefs in Schools; Charlotte Jacklin selling my all-time favourite Betty Magazine for charity; and Anna Jones’ wonderful newsletter, Goodness when we Need it Most spreading joy in our inboxes (there’s a pop-up to sign up on her website). Others are engaging their audiences with creative challenges and hashtags to build community while redefining the notion of ‘homely’, like Jamie Beck’s #isolationcreation, Sara Tasker’s #15minutemagic, Hannah Bullivant’s #freshnestchallenge and Laura Jackson’s #makeamealofit.
So I thought it was high time I flexed my creative muscles and got involved. You know that saying, you eat with your eyes first? Well I think pretty, atmospheric table settings are just as important as what’s on the plate – and can make it taste all the sweeter. When Denby got in touch about collaborating again, I jumped at the chance to make a meal of it myself and embrace some Spring table dressing to celebrate staying in. Denby’s Regency Green crockery is a staple of my table whatever the season and the quality and finish is second to none. This time, I had a pink vision in mind, inspired by the fading cherry blossom outside that we’re missing this year. After browsing the site I plumped for the dusky pink tones of the Heritage Piazza range: more rustic than the classic Regency Green, it has a blush glaze that adds an instant hit of colour to any dinner table.
I started building my tablescape with a base layer of matching dusky pink in the form of my H&M tablecloth that also starred in my Easter table setting. This time, inspired by the shifting seasons and the abundant lilac and bluebells of May, I decided to add a focal point in shades of purple – enter my Liberty print fabric stash. The homemade runner is another remnant sale find from a trip to Liberty London and I’m in love with its ditsy pink and purple palette. Next, I added my Denby crockery, layering the large dinner plate, small plate and large shallow bowl to create height. I topped each bowl with a seasonal sprig in coordinating dusky shades.
Then I added napkins: I didn’t have enough pink linen so alternated with mint green (from Merci Paris and H&M respectively), topped with mismatched vintage cutlery and tied with sparkly twine. For the centrepiece, I (sustainably) foraged some lilacs, bluebells (non-native variety only – you can tell the difference as the stems are much sturdier), forget-me-nots, hawthorn and clematis in a vintage vase Al got me in Europe. Some smaller blooms went in White Company bud vases on the windowsill. I finished things off with my pink Norden candles in vintage candle holders and John Lewis faux fur throw in the window seat (it was a bit dreich and chilly when I shot these pics at the weekend!). So that’s how I’m styling my Spring table with Denby in shades of pink and purple – I hope it brings you as much joy as it did me. How are you getting creative at home?
Denby Heritage Piazza crockery kindly gifted.