At 39 years of age and with four practically grown up children, my mum was given the news that baby number 5 was on the way. I don’t think she was particularly thrilled about it, but being the amazing lady that she was (and still is) I grew up in this big, raucous family never feeling anything but wanted and loved. It helped that she had four (mostly willing) babysitters on hand to help whenever she needed to get anything done and so consequently I grew up feeling that I didn’t have one mother/mother figure – I had 5 (Lucky me!). So for all of us, celebrating Mother’s day can (and will) mean something a little different, and my love goes out to all of you – but especially to those who for whatever reason, can’t spend the day in the company of this special someone xxx
When I started thinking about what to do for Mother’s Day I thought how nice it would be to throw a little Afternoon Tea for some of the very special ladies in my life to show my appreciation of them (and I love an excuse to do ‘pretty’ as much as anyone!). I’m lucky in that tiny as it is, my cottage has a separate Dining room, which is perfect for whenever I want to do anything like this.
I wanted the setting for our tea to be Romantic, pretty and feminine, and what better to capture and inspire this at the moment than the timely release of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’. I love the romance of French Country style, and while it may not be perfect for Every day, I knew it would be perfect for this as the story itself originates in 18th Century France. Think Linen, gilding, and of course, Roses.
In keeping with the rest of my Cottage’s character I decided to use Blush pink and faded tones of gold but kept some other elements from the film which included setting a single Rose on one of my little vintage cakes-stands under a glass cloche (this cloche was from TK Maxx and they are usually available year round). I don’t own a bud vase so if you’re the same, just do as I did and borrow a little shot-glass (household of boys…not a problem!) which as it turns out is exactly the right size. I decided I needed a little nod towards some of the characters in the film so introduced a suitably shaped clock for Cogsworth (a BHS buy), candleabra for Lumiere (‘The Range’ do a brilliant selection) and of course, some fine bone-china teacups (I did contemplate it for a second, but couldn’t bring myself to put a chip in one of them for authenticity).If you look on my dresser you’ll see I’ve also added a couple of china teapots (all of these were charity/thrift shop finds).
But probably my favourite piece in this room and the one I think most gives it the essence of the film is this champagne coloured gilded Rococo-esque mirror. It’s one of those pieces I got from a charity shop ages ago (and in a terrible error of judgement, nearly painted) and that I thought I might use ‘one day’. It was in the back in the days of when I was toying with the idea of starting a blog and thought it might come in useful. I think it came from ‘The Range’ originally, but there are lots of similar styles out there, just look for something quite curvy or with a few ornate mouldings here and there – even a white/cream mirror would do (try BM/ Home Bargains for replicas of this shape that won’t break the bank). I finally added a couple of finishing touches in the form of gift boxes from ‘The Card Company’ in Blush and gold, and a letter ‘M’ (company ‘Posh Graffiti’ online do similar, for future reference – although this one was from Emily Readett-Bayley). As so often is the case in my home I used a white cotton Hemstitch tablecloth and a linen runner in a beautifully neutral shade (both from Ikea).
So lovelies, whatever it is you are doing on the day tomorrow, I hope you all have a wonderfully relaxing time, surrounded by the people you enjoy being with the most (and don’t forget the Prosecco :). Till next time…
All my love, V xxx