A Dinner Party in the Garden with Friends

Welcome to the 676th Tablescape Thursday!

What would you do if you lost your phone and internet connection for 3-1/2 months?! I just recently heard from my friend, Norma, who lives in France. Norma wrote, ”

Well, you will not believe this but we have only just got reconnected after three and a half months of being cut off from the outside world! What happened was that a car went off the road at the top of our lane and crashed into a field, taking with it a telegraph pole that took out our phone and internet connection!”

Norma had to completely rely on a cellphone on which she made hundreds of calls trying to get her utilities restored. Apparently, the utility company was not particularly in a hurry since it was only her home that had been affected in the scenic rural area where Norma lives. She was later told that the hold-up had been in getting a new pole made! Is that not wild? I can’t imagine what I would have done during that 3-1/2 months, but I think it may have involved ringing someone’s neck!

Norma loves to entertain and recently had friends over for a lovely luncheon outdoors. They started at the front of her home, having aperitifs at a small table. I love the napkins Norma chose for this gathering, especially after the last few years we’ve all endured! (Carpe Diem = Seize the Day!)

Carpe Diem Napkins

Afterward, the party moved to the back for a lovely dinner. Do you see the festive banner there in the background?
Dining Outside for Summer


I asked Norma about the banner and she said, “I made the banner out of scraps of different patterns of red and white that I already had.”

Red and White Banner


If you’ve been reading BNOTP for very long, you know I’m a huge lover of blue and white decor, but one of my other favorite color combinations is red and white. I almost redecorated my son’s old bedroom (after he graduated college and moved out) in red and white toile before deciding to turn it into my home office. So my eyes really lit up when I saw Norma’s charming red and white table set outdoors in the beautiful French countryside!

Red and White Tablesetting

Notice the wonderful monogrammed napkins! The monogram is also repeated there in the center of the table underneath the beautiful floral centerpiece. Do you see it?
Initially, not realizing the tablecloth was also monogrammed, I asked Norma about the napkins. Norma said, “I bought this set on French eBay many years ago. there are eight napkins and actually, the matching tablecloth has a bigger version of the same monogram but as it is in the center of the cloth, it is hidden under the vase of flowers.”
Red and White Table for a Summers Dinner Party


Norma added, “I could not believe that it had my initials and it only cost six pounds, about nine dollars! It looked as if they had never been used.”

Monogram Napkins, Red and White


Wow, this makes me want to immediately start scouring eBay on the daily for monogrammed table linens! What a find!

Red Floral Centerpiece for a Red, White Table Setting


The flowers are so pretty! I can just imagine how this beautiful setting must have delighted Norma’s friends as they rounded the house and saw the banner and this charming table! When it’s freezing outside this winter, I will revisit this post to remind myself how summer feels and that it will come again one day.

Beautiful Dining Outdoors, Red and White Tablescape


Thanks so much to Norma for sharing this wonderful summer setting! I’m just not ready to say goodbye to summer just yet, although I know fall is fast approaching.

Red and White Table for a Summers Dinner Party


Looking forward to all the wonderful table settings linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Dining Outside for Summer


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  1. I love the bunting! And of course the napkins and tablecloth were an amazing find. What are the odds of finding the initials one needs? I’m glad Norma has internet again and was able to share this lovely table.

  2. I love that red glassware! I have not been able to find a candy apple red like that. I have cranberry, and light cranberry, but nothing like that. It’s beautiful.

    • Really loved the idea of appetizers out front, then moving around back for the main course–how creative! And the bunting is so festive.

  3. Barbara Kelly says

    Is there a reason why the glasses are upside down? Beautiful table setting.

  4. franki Parde says

    How charming is THAT!!! I, too, adore monograms…it doesn’t even have to be mine!! With the “steamy days” subsiding…lunch on the boathouse deck sounds much more appealing! Bon Apetit! franki

  5. This is such a charming outdoor table setting, love the colors! I love in the Phoenix area (where yesterday it 106 degrees mehhhh); eating outside in the summer (even going into fall) here is not a great experience. I’m envious :0).

    But in all fairness, the weather here is GREAT from October through the end of April, and I’m really looking forward to the coming months.

    It’s always lovely hearing from BNOTP fans from all over the world. Susan, thanks for another great Tablescape Thursday!

  6. Adorable tablescape! Looks so nice for an afternoon gathering.

  7. Susan, thanks so much for hosting this charming party each week! I appreciate how much time and effort goes into it, and I wanted you to know how much it’s appreciated! Enjoy the lovely weather

  8. Cyndi Raines says

    Happy for Norma that she is back on line and her table and decorations are lovely. What a great find and monogramed to boot! I have always loved red and white, not only was it our high school colors, but I love the bright pop of red against the white.So sharp! Thanks for sharing and by the way Susan, regarding yesterday’s post and your new painting, so glad it met your expectations and is bringing you happiness, even though it is not your normal style. I think it goes well with your new decor of the shelving units displaying your awesome purse collection. Also, I did view the videos and made comments, check your spam please.

  9. With that monogram match, those French textiles were definitely meant to be Norma’s – love! And even though you may not be ready to kiss summer goodbye, Susan, doesn’t alfresco dining in fall sound absolutely divine?! I am enjoying the transition to cooler temps, for sure, and the table was my first place to change decor. Have a great weekend, and thanks for the gathering.

  10. Wow, so happy that Norma is back on line once again! I was just reading something about the worlds internet could go down and be down for a long time. It was not a good read at all! Then I thought, well maybe I would get something done then. lol I love Norma’s outside table setting. The red and white is perfect for the summer! I love red and white too. That banner is so fun, the table setting looks amazing. I can only imagine rounding to the back and seeing this waiting! Oh Susan, I am so not ready to let go of summer either, and from the looks of it, summer might not be ready to let either as we are supposed to be 88 tomorrow after being in the 70’s and today only 80, but it was so perfect with the nice breeze. But I know fall is in the air and it will be coming soon, so I will soak in the sun and nice temps for as long as I can. lol Hugs, Brenda

  11. Kimberly Nadeau says

    So glad I came across your site! A great big thank you, to you and those who participate in “Tablescape Thursday.” According to my grand-daughter, I now have a new hobby – I plan on hosting a dinner every other week for 2 -4 family members or friends. I have had a terrific time organizing what I already have and shopping for additional items to put together my own tablescapes and menu planning. Thanks again

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