Inspired settings such as a 100 year old farmhouse surrounded by rolling hills & rows of vines and a weathered table under an old olive tree-incredibly beautiful indeed.
And you can find inspiration for a setting everywhere. A simple drive through the countryside, a quiet lake, table in the garden or that little quiet corner at home. All perfect for setting up and enjoying- Today its about 5 ways you can use what inspires you- to create a beautiful table.
I seemed to be noticing ‘inspired’ places to create a gathering even more than usual when I was writing my new book. And everywhere became an opportunity to pause and enjoy a few moments. Just ask my husband about how many times I had him pull the car over so we could enjoy the view for and a cup of coffee while on the road. And in the book- some of the settings are right here at my own home – and there are some that happened ‘in the moment ‘.
The farmhouse at Hammersky Vineyards stopped me in my tracks. As did the barn. And the vineyards. Basically- the whole entire setting. We planned to stay in the farmhouse and photograph a gathering in the barn- and when we got there we found so.many.more. places we could set up and enjoy. It was beyond beautiful and around every corner- and row of grapes- there was inspiration.
The farmhouse is one you have seen here a couple times now- we have been back several times during the year last year to work on various projects with them. The most recent was decorating the farmhouse for Christmas with Balsam Hill. It is a 100+ year old farmhouse that has been updated but retains all that original charm.
Just across the lawn from the farmhouse is a big beautiful barn where they hold events and a pea gravel patio covered in twinkle lights. You know I was already feeling pretty giddy when I saw all of those layers of ambiance and beauty in one place.
This setting was not included in the book- it is kind of like a behind the scenes type of peek. With all that beautiful backdrop all around me, I had to ask my husband to run to the store to get another memory card for my camera while I worked away. While we set up, things like buckets of flowers, extra plates and linens and more landed on the pea gravel area. And in those ‘beautiful mess’ views- more inspiration happened. I will share more of those pea gravel table behind the scenes peeks soon.
5 few tips for creating an inspired table
- Start with your inspiration- your backdrop Find a spot to set up your table. Of course it is easy when you vines all around like this beautiful location- but if you look around you will find something that inspires you. A tree covered in blossoms. The ivy vining on the fence. Or a little open spot in the center of the garden for example. Use that inspiration to set the mood.
- Use what you have on hand. For this setting that meant clipping some of those grapevines and leaves to use in the bouquets and on the table. You can clip ivy, climbing roses and even wildflowers. If the table is inspired by the setting- incorporate that inspiration into your table decor.
- Bring out simple nibbles. We didn’t want to spend all day putting together a big dinner- we wanted to sit and enjoy that beautiful view and watch the sun as it set. So we kept it simple. Cheese and crackers, focaccia bread, olives and veggies.
- Don’t set a formal table. Part of the beauty of this little vintage table under the olive tree- is that it lends itself to those stacks of plates, gathered up wine glasses and a more casual evening. Casual get-togethers (even just with family) are always the ones that are the most fun because you don’t have to do a lot of work ahead of time to prepare a meticulous table.
- Add the ambiance. This table didn’t require any additional ambiance. The sun setting across the vineyard gave us that warm glow and did that so perfectly. But you can always light candles or string a few lights over head for a bit more.
Vintage Table by the vineyard
We found an old wood table and chairs under an olive tree while we were exploring the vineyard. This table was full of old charm and character so we left it bare to enjoy that patina. Then we covered it in plates of olives, cheeses and tomato topped focaccia bread and the most beautiful rosy- toned wine.
Simple nibbles are so easy to put together- and will leave you with more time to sit and enjoy.
Cheese Platter- we used 4 different types of cheese- from wedges to slices. Think: blue cheese, an aged cheddar like Dubliner (so good!) a soft feta rolled in cranberries and good old slices of everyday delicious cheeses – brie, cheddar, spicy pepper, etc.
Focaccia Bread– a fresh focaccia bread top the bread with a pesto sauce, crumbled feta and sliced cherry tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil. Bake just a bit to warm it up
Olives– just mixed in a small bowl and a sprig of tomatoes on the vine does the trick.
Stuffed Mushrooms– mushrooms filled with mozzarella and tomato- warm to melt the cheese
Of course, the piece de resistance was not the delicious food- it was the view we were soaking up while enjoying it. Absolutely incredible. We sat and watched the sun dance across the vineyard and were in awe of the beauty.
This winery is one of the locations included in my new book- French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings. (currently sale priced at $31) Though these settings didn’t make the cut into the pages of the book- I am so excited for you to see which settings we did include.
Stay tuned for a look at another behind the scenes sneak peek & story about something crazy that happened while we were wrapping to head home.
Happy Monday all.