Did it happen to you when inspired by the travel, you would go back home and host a fete for your friends? I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate summer in a leisurely fashion than to celebrate it Provence style. The kaleidoscope of my travel memories are filled with ancient hilltop villages, lavender fields, monasteries, and seemingly never ending winding roads of the countryside as well as rustic charm of old cafes, brasseries and restaurants. Provence served as an inspiration for the dinner I cooked at my friends’ house in June and table décor resembled that rustic charm I witnessed there.
Mateus is a Scandinavia based dinnerware company which produces their goods in Portugal. They have an interesting methodology of applying coating to the plates by hand which varies the final shades, thus adding special charm and creating an old world feel to the final product.
For our Provence Dinner, I mixed three different collections and two colors– grey and deep purple (my personal favorite). Overlaid textures and design of these specific plates I picked for the dinner have a rustic country feel and worked wonderfully in our Provence inspired setting.
My friend E. who opened her beautiful house for this dinner is an experienced gardener with skills that will make any professional landscaper jealous. Her beautifully manicured, luscious green lawn and neo-Greek style flower urns planted with cascading ivy and other summer blooms adorn the outside patio.
Not surprisingly, E. with great enthusiasm volunteered to create a beautiful herbal centerpiece for our Provence Dinner that evening.
You have to see E. in action; we jumped in her car and drove to one of the best nurseries in the area. Her speed, enthusiasm and decisiveness in choosing the plants took me somewhat by surprise. I just followed, learned, absorbed and enjoyed the process and experience.
By the time I finished prepping our first course E. has masterfully planted clay pots with lavender, basil, thyme, mint and parsley to channel that unmistakably country, relaxed atmosphere of Provence.
For this splendid feast I playfully mismatched the colors, shapes and various collectionsMateus has to offer. The Butterfly Collection depicts the concoction of beautiful summer butterflies sprawling away from the plate’s border. The Lace Collection has a delicate engraved pattern on its dinner plates borders and chargers while their salad/dessert plates are fully covered with the lace design.
That night we served a French classic- Radishes with Chive Butter on a bed of coarse sea salt on a beautiful purple full lace dessert/salad plate.
Oyster bowl in grey and purple colors were paired with The Lace Collection dinner plates in the opposite shade. The plates complimented each other nicely and served as a perfect vessel for our colorful Seafood Bouillabaisse and Lamb Stuffed in a Cabbage Leaf dishes.
Lamb Stuffed in a Cabbage Leaf.
Gorgeous serving platter from The Butterfly Collection served as a perfect vessel for our Tomato Burrata Salad.
The table décor was full of magic- woven runner, light green glass bottles with the wax dripped romantically as a sentimental reminder of so many summer al fresco dinners with the family, the fascination was palpable, one could almost hear the stories from the past; it really enhanced our dinner. Throw in some fluffy moss balls of various shapes and you have a fabulous Provence inspired dinner to host and you don’t even have to travel to France.To recreate this tablescape, you would need:
1. 4 Oyster Bowls The Basic Collection Purple and 4 Oyster Bowls The Basic Collection Grey.
2. 2 dinner plates The Butterfly Collection Grey and 2 dinner plates The Butterfly Collection Purple.
3. 2 dinner plates The Lace Collection Grey and 2 dinner plates The Lace Collection Purple.
4. 8 dessert full lace plates The Lace Collection in Purple.
5. Platter 16.5” The Butterfly Collection Grey.
6. Cake Stand 13” The Butterfly Collection Purple.
Mateus dinnerware can be found on their website, Bloomingdale’s or Gracious Home in the country.