I love, love, love pretty tableware…
I have many “must-have” weaknesses, I will admit….but one of the biggest is pretty tableware. My path down this collecting road, started with me inheriting a Royal Albert Old Country Roses dinner and tea service from my grandfather . This particular set is very special to me, as it has been used and appreciated since my dear grandfather bought it in 1962, when Royal Albert released this beautiful pattern for the first time. Over the (many) years since, I have added to this set and when my beautiful eldest daughter has settled into her family life, I will pass it along to her…it appeals to be that something so lovely will become an heirloom over many generations.
The problem with having a love of tableware is that one set is, of course, not enough… and eventually housing all of the stuff becomes a problem… I have now also collected 24 place set dinner services for the Lady Carlyle Pattern (which being a pink colourway, will go to my youngest , who is such a “pink” girl 🙂 ), Lady Hamilton, Celebration and Heirloom, in addition to several smaller sets, mostly Royal Albert. I have decided that I need to call it now, and instead of adding different patterns, I just add odd pieces as they become available….
A lot of the sets are no longer produced, so you have to find pieces on ebay and other sites, which in itself can be fun…currently I am looking for the Old Country Roses ramekins…wow, are they hard to find! When we moved to our town , many years ago, I came across an antique shop that had the lovely antique mahogany apothecary cabinet seen in the photos above and below, and knew that this is what I would love to keep my grandfather’s set in. It is such a wonderful cabinet, and has the original makers’ stamp on the back, with “London, 1905” underneath…it is one of my favorite pieces 🙂
Perhaps the only time I really enjoy cooking, is when we are having a dinner party. I always try to set a beautiful table, adding crystal (another weakness…) and silverware, and flowers. We don’t often have dinner parties , but when we do, we make it as enjoyable for our guests as possible 🙂 (Yes, Judith 🙂 , perhaps we will have a big birthday party in March …and yes, of course you will be first on the list of invitees!)
My girls have been around all of this breakable stuff since they were born and have never broken even one item…we use all of the crockery often and somehow, they have a healthy respect and appreciation for everything, being careful not to wreck anything. As I said in a previous post, the only craving I still have to give into, is having a real Christmassy, red, gold and green dinner service….something Victorian and very ornate…any suggestions for a pattern?
I spent the day cleaning up and sorting out all the non dining room stuff that has managed to accumulate on my dining room table…not there yet, but making good progress! I had gone into work really early because I woke up when the power went out at 04h30. Not sure if this is part of the much hated load-shedding by Eskom (our power supplier) or if there was another problem…Eskom is extremely unpopular here is SA at the moment, as we have had enormous increases in the cost of power, and still have outages frequently 🙁 …anyway, I digress…
My favorite silverware pattern has to be Kings, which you can see above. Oooohhh….yummy stuff, and if you can find an old (but well kept) set, it’s just lovely…the silver is often a buttery soft color….Can you tell? I really love old stuff…something with a history that has endured…
What do you love that has been in your family for ages?