Delighting In The Details

Setting a table like this one doesn’t have to be a complicated task at all.

Start with a little advance work. When hosting brunch, the window of morning prep time can sometimes be pretty slim.  There are a few time consuming details which can sneak up on a hostess, if not carefully considered. To avoid a last minute time crunch, I like to check a few items off the list several days ahead. This allows time for  special details and finishing touches-not to mention time to enjoy hosting!

Pressing linens is one.  I try to keep my ironing current, but well, there’s life-So even if it’s just touching up crisp corners, or smoothing out a fold line, I make sure to get this done a couple of days ahead. My Mimi taught me the art of  pressing properly, and it can be fun to do, but not if you’re in a hurry I love a crisp, white hemstitched linen napkin, and getting these just right can take some time.  Once the iron is hot, I try to get any and all ironing done at once, including guest towels, bar linens, cocktail napkins. 

Usually,  I will decide on a color scheme for my linens once I have chosen the flowers. So, if brunch is on a Sunday, I aim to have my flowers chosen by Friday afternoon.

If you are using silver flatware and serving pieces, check to be sure those items are polished, and in good condition a few days ahead. I like to take inventory as I pull pieces out of cabinets and storage, one at a time. For instance, as I count out the place settings, I take a good look at my china and crystal, examining for chips or fractures. This gives me a chance to make sure I have enough for the brunch I am planning, and provides time for me to replace any broken or missing pieces. If I plan to use napkin rings, place card holders, or chargers, I go ahead and pull those out too, counting to be sure I’m covered for the number of guests I’m expecting. I go through this process a couple of days ahead of time, so If  anything requires clean up or replacement, I’m not rushed.

Once everything is out of the cabinets, and ready to go, setting the table can be like painting a picture-layering one piece over the next.  For this table, I used a charger, a dinner plate, and a salad plate. Southern hostesses love a monogram, and I’m no exception. My favorite table linens are white hem stitched napkins with an ecru family monogram. For this table, I folded the napkin in the center of each place setting. You can play with the layers-adding, and taking away, as you like.  This table scape was created for an Easter Brunch, so I chose to include a crystal cross, surrounded by a scatter of bud vases, each holding two or three delicate stems of tulips.

Spring time celebrations invite bright, lively patterns to the table. I absolutely love mixing patterns like Rosenthal’s Russian Dreams, and Le Jardin by Versace.

  • Consider a scatter of clear bud vases, and a selection of delicate blooms to keep it light and airy. These dainty tulips dip and twirl like tiny dancers across this spring table. The month of April brings so many blooms from which to choose. So pick your favorite, and let there be brunch!

I aim to be completely finished setting the table by the night before.  With this out of the way, the bulk of available time in the morning can be used for food preparation.  As brunch items are best served hot-out-of -the-oven, don’t fret if guests have arrived while you are still cooking. Just be sure to have mimosas and coffee service ready,  so guests are able to enjoy while you complete the finishing touches!

Bon appetite and happy hosting!



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