I’ve let the style ideas section of this blog idle, so this week decided to share something a little creative that’s not going to add calories to anyone… including myself. Now I certainly don’t consider myself an origami master but have a few simple napkin folding sketches tucked into an old folder from the good old photocopying days. Nowadays we have so much choice when buying paper or cloth napkins and many with beautiful patterns, textures and plenty of gorgeous colors. Continue reading
Every time I step out into the garden I cannot help but admire the vibrant colours of Bougainvillea. For special occasions I love to make ice bowls and sometimes decorate them with the colourful papery leaves of Bougainvillea. Serving cold foods in decorated ice bowls adds a sophisticated touch to special occasions and will deliver a few oohs and ahhas from your guests. I was first inspired by the idea of making ice bowls after reading about a restaurant that made them for their dessert trolley, to serve ice cream from, loved the idea and have made ice bowls since.
Ice bowls are easy to make and no special molds are required (although handy if you come across them), all you need is a pair (or pairs) of nesting bowls. Sometimes I make one large ice bowl as a centerpiece for the table and other times I make individual ice bowls for serving, depending on the occasion. As Bougainvillea is non edible I place a smaller glass dish inside the ice bowl, so the food will not come in contact with the leaves… just to be on the safe side. Other times I place the food directly into the ice bowl when using edible decorations. Only limited by your imagination, ice bowls and can be decorated with flowers, herbs, fruits, sweets and whole spices. Wonderful for serving prawns, ice creams, sorbet, chilled soups and fruit. Continue reading
Placing fresh flowers on a table, already set with linens, candles, flatware and glasses, visually brings a beautiful table setting to life; creating a certain mood which complements the dining experience from beginning to end. I’m not talking about elaborate floral masterpieces (leaving those to the experts), just simple floral displays arranged with what ever available flowers or herbs you might have in the garden or buying them instead.
A flower’s appeal is in its contradictions – so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect.- Adabella Radici
Take for example Bougainvillea, a shrub that grows abundantly in Bahrain, I love its vibrant colorful papery flowers. Placed in small glass bottles or vases, Bougainvillea adds a wonderful splash of colour to a table setting and one that I am particularly fond of.
Adding Rosemary to a delicious Home-made Salted Caramel Focaccia is one way of enjoying this versatile culinary herb, but sometimes I use the green needle-like woody sprigs for simple floral displays, along with the perfumed frangipani and jasmine flowers. So simple, but visually very pretty. The more successful gardeners among us will have more flowers to choose from! Glass bottles or small vases with a single flower or small bouquet repeated down the center of a table can look quite stunning.
I am not in favour of vision blocking floral displays when seated at a table, they might look pretty impressive, but try having a conversation through one of them! Large floral displays are best suited to a buffet table setting. Here are a few other ideas for simple floral displays by a Pottery Barns floral stylist which I thought were very doable. So, whether it’s folding the napkins a certain way or placing pretty gift boxes at each place setting, whatever way you choose to set your table… don’t forget some flowers!