One of my favorite fantasies is to be a French house wife. You know, live in France, shop the food markets, and cook like a French woman.
I have been this way for years and years after spending time in France, and then working in a French restaurant in New York for six years. So I schooled myself to cook French dishes, to think like a French house wife at the market, and to latch onto what I perceived as a more genteel lifestyle.
So for Christmas Eve dinner, I knew I wanted to do a classic French house wife supper, simple and fresh food, well prepared. I chose to do roast chicken with herbs, a medley of vegetables (baby beets, baby carrots, squash, shallots), and herb roasted potatoes. I asked Jack to make a chutney, and he obliged with one made from black berries, apples, and cherries. The wine choice was a festive sparkling rose.
Dessert (and a baguette for the dinner) was purchased from the local patisserie: A hazelnut Buche de Noel. Added to the dessert table: Miss Elaine's cashew toffee, a cranberry lemon cake in the shape of Christmas trees, Alberto's arroz con leche, a bowl of dark chocolates, and the star of the show, flaming Cafe Brulot.
Setting the table is as much fun as cooking for me. I knew I wanted to do red this year, so I raided the cupboards for all the red ornaments I could find.
I had two yards of a red damask print fabric, that I used for a tablecloth. The print is called Mairselles!
I used a white under plate, and a red dinner plate from a company called Le Cadeaux. It's Melamine, and we sell this line at perch. The plates come in many classic French colors and patterns, and you have to touch them to realize they are not china, and even then you aren't completely sure.
I mixed and matched glassware, one glass for champagne, and one glass for water. I used red linen napkins with tiny a twig wreath as a napkin ring. A place card was tucked into the napkin ring. White ironstone butter pats were used to hold individual servings of sea salt and cracked pepper.
Chairs were mixed and matched too. The dining room is tiny, and the table unopened holds a snug eight.
You can see a couple of videos Alberto made of the night HERE and HERE.
We are totally enjoying the holidays, and I love when Alberto films our good times so we can share them with you.
Other little touches included a paper white narcissus plant on the bar tray, and some baubles added to the chandelier.
The candles were lighted, the music was playing, the dinner was ready, and ding-dong there's the door bell!
Hope you enjoyed this last Visual Vamp Tablescape Thursday. Stop by Susan's Between Naps On The Porch HERE to see what everyone else did to close out 2010.