I love the simple elegance of beeswax candles and have had my eye on these beauties since last year when I discovered this French brand, Apis Cera, via Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio. It was a pleasure to befriend the owner and I was so pleased to receive two boxes of the Lucienne tapers which come as a set of 9 this past month, just in time for the holiday season (and our Thanksgiving table, see below). The packaging is exquisite but more importantly, the candles are light and lovely, burn beautifully and free of all the pollutants and additives which make up many taper candles. I love that each is rolled by hand with natural ingredients and think that they would make the most wonderful hostess or holiday present this season.
They look beautiful in these crystal candlestick holders and also in silver, and I love the idea of burning this oneon a cold gray morning while you’re working at your desk, and would use these for bath time — the epitome of simple luxury! Below is a picture of the box and tissue, a beautiful presentation.
I wandered into this shop on Martha’s Vineyard that was packed to the brim with piles and piles of quilts, table cloths, napkins, blankets, pillows, robes, nighties, soaps, and lots and lots of European glassware. It was fantastic and an instant favorite! I shared some photographs on my stories and the response was overwhelming. The store does not have a site but you can certainly call in for shipping information, everybody who works with Jane, the store’s owner, is lovely and extremely helpful. I wanted to show you a bit more about what I found there and also say that I have struggled to find anything similar online. We do, however, have an opportunity to list some of these wares on our site, so do let us know if you’re interested!
This is just a tiny glimpse of the shop. There were many patterns that I was drawn to and I found it hard to decide. These napkins and tablecloths are fun, colorful and easy; they can be dressed up or down. I particularly love using busy patterns on the table for breakfasts, which we set out the night before (if we can) when we have guests to stay. They remind me of France, and of summer, and I definitely had intentions of finding things like this for our online store should we decide to launch one! The owner of the shop, Jane, is a delight, so do go in if you’re on Island and send my regards.
I also couldn’t help but fall in love with the many quilts and blankets. The thicker ones seen below are reversible and so offer two patterns per piece. This blue pattern (napkin) below might be my favorite, so subdued and the prettiest shade. It also comes in a blanket.
I love all of the yellows, browns and pinks. Ultimately, after many visits to the store, we settled on this camel which goes well with the colors we have at home but it also fun and unexpected. Xo!
We are just back to the Vineyard after traveling down to New York this past weekend to photograph a huge wedding weekend. It was a beautiful and joyful few days with the most loving (and in love) couple who have become fast friends. I spent most of the day culling and editing, I like to get cracking as quickly as possible, and after a long evening run and a visit to the market, threw together this simple, easy table for our supper.
When we drove on to Martha’s Vineyard at the start of this month, it felt like entering a movie set: sail boats drenched in the last light of day, balmy perfect weather, polished streets and old cars. This time, we arrived to sixty degrees, pouring rain and whipping wind — and I loved it!! We had a cozy stormy night with a hot soup and crusty bread with melted cheese — hit the spot. The market is full of autumnal hues of dark burgundy, dirty pinks and mustard yellows. Dahlias and sunflowers are in full swing.
I have been collecting colored candlesticks since I arrived. I usually favor ivory but I love these salty gray blues which mirror the sea right behind the stone wall at the edge of the garden. This is just a a simple set of five vases with mixed wild flowers, four candle sticks, a handful of votives, white plates and floral napkins — but a moment to pull together and endlessly romantic as the candle light flickers next to the rich, vibrant flowers. Big, squishy pillows make the rustic chairs more tolerable for late evening chats, and there are a few spare wool blankets off to the side as the night air is a bit nippy (and I tend to run cold).
We drank a full-bodied chardonnay and a bottle of light red wine, perfect for the transition into fall, and had leftover soup, garlic bread and a salad full of vegetables from the farms. Xx!
By now you know that I love a pretty table, especially one adorned with lots of flowers and candles. I thought it might be a fun change of pace to talk about how I think about setting the table, and at the bottom, there’s a video of the entire process of getting ready for the evening with friends.
We were so lucky to be able to pick up fresh flowers and produce from the market in St. Tropez on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Peonies were in full swing, which is such a treat. I visit the wholesale florist a lot at home in Charleston but there’s nothing quite like walking into a bustling market. I kept the arrangements very simple (and usually do so). I had some left over chicken wire which I curled up and submerged in the vessels. Chicken wire is a great trick to support each stem (especially as the vase is shallow here and the peony is top-heavy), and to allow space between each flowerhead, thereby using less per-arrangement and also enabling them to stay still! These peonies were this open the day that I bought them and still lasted nearly a week — miraculous! I ended up putting the lavender in the bathrooms rather than on the table. I don’t love to use too many strong scents when setting the table.
I rarely place a napkin on top of a plate in day to day practice but these puppies are so enormous and the monogram suits this fold. These napkins are vintage French linens which have been hand dyed in this amazing French blue… they make my heart sing! The tablecloth is the same, and is a slightly different shade but the thick weight of the linen is so beautiful and it was a pleasure setting the table with them on top of these Chinese plates which I picked up at the brocante. Now to the arrangement of the fork, knife and spoon. Typically I place my spoon outside the knife, even if it’s for dessert but we had English guests and this is how they do it… makes sense as it’s the last to be used!
I love transferring all the drinks (water, wine) that we’re bringing to the table into glass carafes — simple, pretty and an instant upgrade. It’s also helpful if you’re like us and you’re drinking rosé from the box…which is far more normal in France… 🙂
These etched glasses are a favorite, sadly they’re not available anymore but I absolutely love this set and have it at home (in full).
I try to stagger plates/flowers so that the flowers never block a view. I would prefer candlelight in front of each place vs. flowers as it’s more flattering. I try to be aware of the view, and try to think about the table from the guest’s perspective.
Now to getting dressed up for dinner, and to an onslaught of photographs of this dress! I wore a dress and sweater to dinner most nights, and always changed out of my clothes from the day. Some nights were more casual and I particularly love how this one (and it comes in blue, too) can dress up or down and still feels feminine and comfortable. It also breathes so well in the heat. And, cheers to these earrings which I wore a million times….!
Sorry to have missed our collecting post yesterday — we’re planning a double for next week because two topics were getting intertwined and I wanted to make it a longer/more extended/informative post. Will and I went to the Jas Des Robert this last Sunday which is an open air antique market. We arrived all too late with our baby in tow but are planning to return next week to see more because it was amaaaaazing, full of silver and glass, linens and treasures, Will was joking that we’re going to need a shipping container because there were several marble tables which I couldn’t stop chatting about and now I have an idea of picking up lots of linens to sell in the States. We also welcomed a new group of friends late last week and spent the weekend relaxing with them in the rainy weather with two beach days in a row — such a treat!
This table is from a week ago when we had our first set of friends here, all of whom really enjoyed throwing together a beautiful setting for the evening. My friend Anne (Charleston Stems) was here and arranging the most beautiful flowers, and Augusta from Easton Events threw this one together with such ease!
I love these pillows in background which make the bench so cozy, and of course every table we set was littered in candles.
Some of these roses are from my grandmother’s garden which supplies a seemingly endless amount. Of course we have been enjoying all too much rosé and the alka seltzer is really in full force as a part of my daily routine here — worth it! xx
Hi Guys! We have officially arrived in France! We cannot wait to show you all of the beauty around the property and in the nearby towns. We have a group of friends with us and have already stayed up way too late but I wanted to quickly show you this pretty table that we set last night for dinner — we were twelve crammed in by the fire outside and it was lovely! Anne from Charleston Stems and Augusta from Easton Events are both here and so it’s a group who loves to lay the table.
Anne plucked these wild flowers from the property — they are exquisite! And the roses are in full bloom now that the sun is out.