A Charming, Rustic-French Table Setting, Complete With A Beautiful Tarte Soleil Appetizer

Welcome to the 769th Tablescape Thursday! Thanks so much for all your comments on yesterday’s post. I have so much to share about how things went yesterday. Let me just say, I think I see a Speed Queen TR5 or TR7 washer in my future. More about that later–for now, we’ve been invited to a wonderful luncheon in the south of France! ♥

Norma, a lovely BNOTP reader who has become a friend over the years,  lives in a beautiful home in the French countryside. Recently, she hosted friends for a delightful luncheon that she described as “rustic French.” Norma said, “The French luncheon was supposed to be outside, but it was 90 degrees. I have just looked at the forecast for next week and it’s over 90 F most days and next Saturday and Sunday 98 F and 104 F! No eating outside, then!” Wow! That’s way hotter weather than we even normally see here in the southern part of the U.S.!

Norma said, “I did two versions of this table, one with three vases of wildflowers and one with a stuffed chicken. I thought that might be a step too far!” Ha! I love Norma’s sense of humor!

Rustic French Luncheon Table Setting


The stuffed chicken centerpiece does feel very farmhouse-like. I need to ask Norma, where does one find a stuffed chicken in France? 🙂

French Luncheon Table Setting, Rustic Farmhouse Style


I like both versions of Norma’s table, but the pitchers filled with wildflowers are just so charming. Love!

Rustic French Luncheon Tablescape


Norma said, “I made the serviettes and the runner. The metal cockerel was made by a friend’s son.”

Rustic Metal Cockerel


I had to look it up to make sure, but I thought the word, “serviettes” is what we call napkins here, and it is. Turns out, it’s the British word for napkins. I think I like the word serviettes better–just sounds more elegant to my ear.

Buffalo Plaid Serviettes



Beautiful wildflower centerpiece!

Floral Centerpieces in French Pitchers


Norma mentioned that the vintage pitchers have some fun, and let’s just say, “interesting” expressions on them. Per Norma, one pitcher says, ” Women are like matches, when you strike them they lose their heads.” The other two pitchers say, “If it rained kisses one would live outside” and ” Sanctuary is in the heart of a mother.”

Natural Wildflower Centerpiece for Casual French Luncheon


Norma added a few more rustic touches to her French countryside table.

Wildflower Centerpiece, Vintage French Pitcher


Have you ever seen bowls like these? Norma shared that these are actually old French cheese molds. I wonder why they have holes? I guess the cheese needs air or ventilation, or maybe the holes help with removing the cheese from the mold when it’s time to do that.

Vintage Antique French Cheese Molds


Norma has some really wonderful antique French pieces! This multi-tiered, wooden container would have been used for cheese storage. Fascinating!

Rustic Wooden Antique Cheese Storage


Norma made this beautiful appetizer for her rustic French luncheon. Norma said, “This is a very French appetizer called a Tarte Soleil (pronounced ‘so-lay’) or Sun Tart, for obvious reasons! It is very easy to make and can be filled with whatever you fancy. You can also cut and twist the pastry to look like a Christmas Tree and also like a fish.”

Tarte Soleil Appetizer, French Appetizer


Oh my gosh, I have never seen this appetizer before and I love it! It is so pretty! I would love to try making it sometime! Norma took the time to email the instructions on how to make it, including two diagrams showing how she cuts the pastry, so I’ll create a separate recipe post that will be printable in case you would like to try making one. What a stunning appetizer to kick off a party! It would make an incredible centerpiece, wouldn’t it? I’m looking forward to sharing Norma’s recipe for making it in an upcoming post!

Tarte Soleil Appetizer, French Appetizer


Norma, thanks so much for sharing this delightful, French-countryside table setting! I love everything about it, especially the charming wildflower centerpiece! ♥♥♥

Rustic French Luncheon Table Setting


Looking forward to the beautiful tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday! (If you enjoyed this post, subscribe for email updates when a new post is up here: Subscribe for post updates.)

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  1. That tarte looks so yummy! Almost too pretty to eat! Lol

  2. It is so lovely. The red checkered napkin is so charming. Thank you Susan. Love you and your followers styles. I have learned a ton here.

  3. ellen clairmont says

    Love everything about this post. Norma’s beautiful table, her interesting antiques, and that fabulous Tarte Soliel! Can’t wait for the recipe.

  4. Can’t wait to see the recipe for the beautiful appetizer. I’d love to do it in the shape of a tree for Christmas.

  5. What a charming tablescape! I quite like the stuffed chicken version, but both are lovely.

    The holes in the cheese molds are to allow remaining whey to drain out of the cheese.

  6. I’ve always wanted to visit France & now I feel I’ve gotten a sort of taste of it!

  7. I love seeing Norma’s authentic French tablescape, and I DO love the stuffed chicken! That sunflower appetizer is amazing! Thanks so much for hosting; I’m sharing a red and blue transferware patriotic tablescape!

  8. Dear Susan, I love your friends rustic French table setting and all the antiques that we don’t see here. I wonder if “serviettes” is used in most of Europe? When visiting in Germany I was helping set the table and we were naming the pieces in our language and of course serviettes came up. I agree “serviettes” is much more elegant.

  9. Teresa M says

    Many, many years ago when I lived in Canada, a friend talked about her serviettes at an event. It was so out of context, I thought she was referring to the waitress…. Doesn’t serviette sound like a fancy word for waitress? Lesson learned that day so long ago about serviettes and chesterfield. Language is fun. That tarte looks delicious and it’s lunch time aka dinner in the South.

  10. Selma Kessler says

    Susan (and Norma!)

    Thank you both for sharing this beautiful tablescape! I’m looking forward to the Tarte Soliel recipe, too! The French antiques are just WONDERFUL, and I’m betting Norma has a great sense of humor!!

    As for the holes in the cheese molds, I think they are to allow whey to drain evenly. I saw some show on Food Network or Discovery about cheese– I’m definitely not an expert!

    Thanks again for sharing!

  11. Cheryl Frizzell says

    Yes please! Do share the appetizer recipe. Charming and inviting table; thanks for sharing.

  12. What a lovely tablescape.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

  13. Thanks for sharing Norma’s table. Love the chicken. Cant wait to see the pastry results. Give 100 women a table to decorate and watch individual creativity flow. Years ago, I was in a drug store and a young English woman was having the worst time explaining what she needed, so I stepped in to help. She wanted paper serviettes. She motioned to her nose. A box of tissues.

  14. What a fun tart and tabletop! I have seen cheese molds but never that storage piece like Norma has. I thought perhaps it was an egg storage piece.
    We’ve barely had any summer weather at all to speak of, let alone 90° days consistently, but I had thoughts of summer with my table this week, for sure.
    I smell trouble with washing machine replacement. Looking forward to your update.

  15. I love it when Norma shares her tablescaping decor! Norma, I love your buffalo plaid table runner and placemats. Very pretty. There is something so classic and timeless about that pattern. And the vases full of flowers are so pretty (and I bet the scent was lovely.)

    I also love seeing that beautiful sideboard again. You have so many pretty antiques, Norma! That little cheese shelf is adorable. Thank you for sharing this with us and the tarte! I see Susan has posted the recipe. I’m off to print that out. Can’t wait to try making it! Stay cool, Norma. I had no idea France got that hot!

    • Hello Pam
      I have only just found your comment.
      What lovely things to say !
      Good luck with the tart. I am trying the blue cheese and walnut one today for the first time !
      Best wishes from France

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