A Gathering of Friends

Welcome to the 233rd Tablescape Thursday!

Recently I was invited to a dinner party at the home of my friend, Ginger.  I didn’t have my camera with me but I snapped a few pics with my cellphone. Fortunately, I have a new cell phone and wow, cellphone cameras have come a long way!  My other phone was just over 2 years old and though it had a pretty good camera, I do not think it could have handled the low lighting near as well as the new phone.  All the pics in this post were taken with a Samsung Galaxy S3 in the available light.

Each dinner guest bought along a dish to share that evening.  Two of the guests (Dennis and Doug,) brought Oysters Rockefeller.  Have you ever eaten Oysters Rockefeller?  It was delicious!  The oysters were cut up into small bite-sized pieces and we all ooohed and aaahed over how awesome it was.  Maybe I can get Dennis to share the recipe…should I ask?

Ginger placed the Oysters Rockefeller on the cutest, leaf-shaped plates.   The small green plates were hand-made in a limited quantity by an artist who lives in Florida.  She has been collecting them over the years, a few at the time on each of her trips back down to the area.

Candlelight Dinner Party

When the guests entered the dining room, we were all delighted to find a little gift waiting at our place.  Ginger was serving Mint Juleps, another first for me that evening.  I’ve read about Mint Juleps but never had one.  Can you believe that? Someone is gonna revoke my G.R.I.T.S. card after reading this!   So that’s the drink you’ll see just above my plate in some of the pics.

Candlelight Dinner Party

Don’t you love the pretty wrapping!

Candlelight Dinner Party

Ginger had just finished lighting the candles as we began opening our gifts.  She had hand-selected a book for each guest, one that suited their interests or hobbies.

Candlelight Dinner Party

My gift was a wonderful book called, Great Settings.  Inside we found a handwritten note from Ginger.  Such a beautiful gift and I’ll always keep my note inside my book as a reminder of the evening.

Candlelight Dinner Party

Pretty napkin rings…a beautiful table setting!

Beautiful Napkin Rings

I didn’t take a lot of photos that evening, but I couldn’t resist a few candid shots since I was seated at the end of the table.

Candlelight Dinner Party

Remember the Devil’s Food Toffee Trifle I made recently?  (Recipe can be found here:  Yummy Devil’s Food Toffee Trifle)

Devil's Food Toffee Trifle

It was one of our desserts that evening.  We also had chocolate-covered strawberries!

Candlelight Dinner

Ginger served a yummy chocolate liqueur toward the end of the dinner.  I wasn’t in “blog” mode at the party so I totally forgot to snap a photo of the actual dinner/entree.  Ginger served Beef Tenderloin and Brussel sprouts straight from her garden.  Wish I had thought to take a picture of the platter as it was brought around.  It was beautifully presented with lots of green vegetables.

Candlelight Dinner Party

The centerpiece was roses and the soft, soft pink color of the roses, along with the candlelight, gave the table a dreamy, enchanting feel.  It was a wonderful night shared with friends.

Candlelight Dinner


Looking forward to all the tablescapes for this Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday

Please Read:
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  1. What a fun evening with friends! Your hostess did a wonderful job of making it special with the gifts and mint juleps! I agree –camera phones have come a long way. I took all the photos for my table this week with mine, as I was traveling and didn’t have my regular camera. Thanks for hosting the party!

  2. Oh, the fun it is to have dinner and visit with friends! What a lovely friend you have to gift you such a nice book! I am sure all of the food was delicious, but I would have dived right into that trifle!! Thanks for sharing such a nice evening and for hosting!

    • Diane you are right all my guest brought food that was delicious and it’s a great way to share the party. However, having extra servings (left overs the next day) of the fabulous trifle Susan made was pure heaven!

  3. What a sweet friend to think of such a wonderful idea of hand-picked books! I love that idea! The food and atmosphere sound (and look) amazing! Thanks for sharing it!

    • Lynn,
      Susan & I are sort of new friends. We meet at Ann’s home for a dinner back in October and instantly had so much in common…..she really inspires me as I believe she does all her readers. Thanks for leaving a personal note.

  4. A beautiful candlelit evening. Love the little touches of soft green with the pink roses and candlelight. Thanks for hosting us…always such a fun trip. Cherry Kay

  5. What a nice evening you had! Thanks for sharing. I’d love for you to come link up at my Homemaking Linkup if you’ve not already.

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

  6. Cherry Goodson says

    Susan, how beautiful. Don’t you love being invited to a friends house? Such a blessing. I am also envious as I see the taper candles burning. I have spent weeks trying to find a celadon or mint green taper for a spring display. Since I live in the Dallas area that sounds simple. Far from it. Why don’t retailers carry colored tapers anymore? I checked the internet and found one, but was $10. to ship it. Don’t think so. Anyway, thanks for sharing your beautiful evening with friends.

    • Cherry, it was a wonderful evening! Check Colonial Candle online. I know they carry the tapers in lots of different colors, but not sure what the shipping would be. They are hard to find in stores these days.

    • Hi Cherry,
      As Susan said Colonial Candles are great. The candles on the table are by them as are most of the taper candles I use. However the green ones I use more sparingly are made by Root Candles. They have rich wonderful colors, plus they are quality candles, long burning, & no drip. The company’s been around since 1869 so they are older than Colonial Candles which started in 1905, but not nearly as large or well known. Root makes a dark olive which is the color I really like and also a willow color that is softer than the Colonial Candle willow. I can buy them at Fresh Market & other shops in town. They offer free shipping on orders over $65.00
      The 4 tapers shown in my wall sconces are made by Natural Light Candle Company. They were a gift from a friend that knows how much I love candles & I do think they are quite special! They are artisan designed, hand made in Bali from palm wax. The very unique color of green is made from natural plant dyes plus they are rolled in tropical leaves to create a very natural texture which you might not be able to see in the photos. Maybe Susan can send another photo if your interested.
      Last, but not least the votive candles…. from Ikea. They are most reasonable in cost. Come in two sizes both packed in bulk of 36 with 3 shades of green (or 3 shades of other colors red, blues, I also like the beige to brown). These are spread all over the table in reusable glasses and add more ambiance than you can get from tapers alone.

  7. The whole evening sounded very special. You are a lucky guest! That Samsung is the one I want to upgrade to. You helped confirm its usefulness!

  8. OOOOh, I’m telling! That GRITS card is certainly in danger now. he he. I think this was a fabulous dinner party. So rarely do we get to see the guests enjoying themselves at the beautiful tables. Those sweet leaf plates are wonderful. Thanks for sharing and hosting all of us.. xo marlis

    • πŸ™‚ They were yummy…made with bourbon, mint and a simple syrup that was made with brown sugar so it didn’t change the color of the drink. Thanks, Marlis!

    • I agree Marlis. I was just telling Susan what a nice job she did with the candid photo’s and how it seams like you are there. It was such a fun evening, I can’t wait to do it again!

  9. teresa halliday says

    What a delightful evening it must have been!! Yes, please post the oysters rockefeller recipe. It is one of my husband’s favorite things that he used to get in our favorite Chicago restaurant. I’ve never made them, but might try if it’s not TOO hard. Just wondering if you’ve ever seen the British ITV series “Come Dine With Me”? It’s a great show where 5 complete strangers each have a dinner party for the others. Maybe you can see it on line. It’s terrific and I wish they’d do an American one…would be fun to see!

  10. Lovely dinner party. i see your friend also loves to set a beautiful table. The details are charming. The gift of a personalized book is refreshing and a treasure to keep.

  11. I enjoyed the dinner party through your eyes and words. A beautiful evening. What was the green heart on the plate in the next to last photo?

    • I think it was just for decoration…a sweet touch. Oh, also the party was the day after Valentine’s Day.

    • Nancy to totally answer your question ……
      The green (my favorite color) heart is a stone paper weight from Pier One. I’ve had it for several years on my desk but enjoy using things from around the house on the table. It helps make the event personal or sets a theme or mood. For example I recently used spools of white ribbon, netting, pearls and empty flower vases for a luncheon where the goal was planning flowers for a large wedding.
      Thank you for your nice comments. I am glad you enjoyed the photos.

  12. I’ve come to the conclusion you have the bestest friends EVER!

    I agree about the Samsung. I have the same phone. Last weekend when we went to the cabin I realized I left my ‘good’ camera at home (I put that in quotes because it is only a point and shoot) so I took pictures with a Sony cyber shot that I’ve had for years and my phone. The ones taken with the phone were the ones I ended up using.

    P.S. the next time you make that dessert, if you don’t save me some I will hunt you down and beat you with my stand mixer! That looks sooooooo good!

  13. What a wonderful evening! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  14. Oh, Susan,
    Ginger created a really cozy and charming ambience for you…
    Everything looks sooo Downton Abbey-ish… β™₯ I love the soft green + soft pink combination spreading love and a “springy” atmosphere around the room… Sooo beautiful… Love, love, love it!
    I like friends who give books as a gift and Ginger even wrapped them very beautifully for all of you!
    I love the very nice wallpaper in her dining room… Susan, I can see you had a wonderful evening with your friends, but… what do you mean, you weren’t in “blog” mode at the party?! LOL
    ~Hugs to you~

    • Cecilia,
      I am a huge Downton Abby fan, and that is just about the nicest compliment I have ever had!! In fact reading your comment gave me a major Helen Hunt moment……..think 1997 “As Good as it Gets” you know when Jack Nicholson said, “You make me want to be a better man” …….well, I really wish I could be a better hostess, but I just don’t know what happened to all my staff lol! It is truly a joy for me to spend the time thinking about, planning for and then actually having friends to dinner and I am delighted you enjoyed it, too.
      Now about that wallpaper. Sometimes the best ideas come from a dash of inspiration and a measure of desperation. My 1900’s home purchased in 2004 fresh after divorce came with old plaster walls AND 1970 avocado green velvet flocked, textured wallpaper! Are you old enough to remember that look? Well, with just buying the house I was short on funds to strip, patch & replace so instead I opted to paint. Glidden Surrey Beige from Home Depo above the chair rail & Glidden’s Calm Matter over textured (like a grass cloth) wallpaper below the chair rail.
      Surprisingly it turned out wonderful. I get numerous comments from people that actually see it in person and have NO idea what I did and then don’t believe it when I tell them.
      You are very observant Cecilia, and most gracious with all your nice comments. Thank you…Ginger

      • Oh, Ginger,
        you are a sweetheart!
        But there’s no need to thank me for telling the truth: your home is beautiful, and so are you!
        ~Hugs to you~

  15. Beautiful table and love the soft effect of the (available) lighting…The oysters Rockefeller presentation is very nice…Love the free-hand shaped green plates.
    I have a copy of another book by the same authors as the one you received…The Perfect Setting (still available at Amazon). Need to look up this newer one!

  16. Ps….I just looked up the info on the book you received and find that it was published before the one I have…Had never seen it before and must have!

  17. Susan, all I can say is WOW! What a beautiful table and a perfect hostess. Her settings are beautiful and I would have loved to have been one of her guests. I don’t think I have ever had oysters Rockerfeller, but the presentation was lovely and no I’ve never had a Mint Julep either. So I won’t be one voting to kick you out of G.R.I.T.S. πŸ™‚

    • I’m far from perfect, but perfectly delighted by your kind comments!! Thank you Margo, and you really should try a Mint Julep. Also, watch for the oysters recipe ……Dennis has promised to share.

  18. Susan, this is how we all should be living. Oh, and that book, that is so thoughtful, and lets you know she really knows you.

    Thank you for letting me join in.

  19. Susan,
    What an elegant dinner party, dear friend!!!
    Your phone did a fabulous job filling in for your camera!
    Such a sweet hostess to use books as placecards and party favors!
    Thanks for shring your evening through photos with us!
    Inspiration abounds at TT…thanks for hosting each week!!!

  20. Ginger really knows how to throw a party!!! I love it!!! I have never had Oysters Rockefeller, either, but I’d be willing to try it if at a dinner party….and if it was presented as beautifully as this!!! Everything was just beautiful, and I think it was so thoughtful of your hostess to actually think about what book each guest would enjoy and present it as a favor!!! I love Ginger!!!!!!!!!

  21. Looks like a night filled with fun and great memories…ahhhhhhh mint juleps..now you can have them while you watch the Kentucky Derby…PLEASE tell me watch the Derby…if this yr. would be a first for that too…I HIGHLY recommend it..as well as the Preakness..( not far from my neck of the woods)… & The Belmont Stakes..you will not be disappointed…well…unless you don’t care for horses…they are at the top of my list of farm animals..with the black face sheep a VeRy cLose second….Thanks for the peek into a night in your life….Wende

    • Wende, I’ve never watched but I’ve always been intrigued by it…I should watch. My son lives very close to Kentucky now so he is learning all about those things. I need to be invited…then I’ll go see and AND go to the KD while there. Now wouldn’t that be an exciting blog post! πŸ™‚

      • INDEED..be sure to pack a ginormous hat too…you don’t want to look like a tourist…LOL…that would be a fun trip and a great story to post…with A LOT of pix =^)

        • πŸ™‚ Love those big hats!

          • I have a friend that has a horse farm in Georgetown KY…she delivers the babies and raises them for around 4-5 months before sending them home…if you’re on facebook..search December Farm…she has great video’s too…a filly & colt so far…the filly is a riot already at 4-5 days old…

  22. Thank you so much for sharing this, I have been thinking about a dinner party and this posts provided several great ideas. I especially love the idea at a book specifically picked out for each guest!

  23. Susan, sure looked like a fun evening and the tablescape was lovely, too …thank you for hosting!

  24. Susan, dinner with friends is my favorite way to spend an evening. Ginger set a beautiful table, and the thoughtful gift selected for each guest was a lovely thought. I have the book, and it is full of inspiration. Thanks for sharing the evening and thanks for hosting!

    • Sarah, I didn’t get a chance to read the book before I gifted it so I am glad you concur it is a good one. In fact, I might just have to borrow it for future inspiration. I’m so delighted you enjoyed the photos. Thank you for your nice comments.

  25. I am sure you all enjoyed a wonderful evening-the dessert looks so good! The book looks good too.

    Thank you for hosting,

  26. It looks like you had a great dinner.

    The soft colour theme make the whole ambiance so calm and relieving.


  27. You have the most amazing friends. You’re Blessed. As they are! πŸ™‚
    Ginger has a lovely name and a beautiful soul. Really going to adopt the book/place holder (the name written in the gift) for some special occasion. How thoughtful and kind!
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you Teresa……it has been such a joy for me to read all these comments and yours is truly stellar! I do consider myself an old soul…..I am as equally feed by flowers as I am by fine food, although neither will satisfy me more than the encouragement of a kindness….and kind words…..You are so generous, Thank you
      again Teresa, I think you are amazing!!!!

  28. Your camera took amazing pics! Wow! The table was beautiful and such wonderful gifts for the guests. This has made me want to give a dinner party so much. I wish I lived nearer to you. I think we would enjoy being friends because so much of what you like and what interests you is right down my alley! I am so glad that you had a lovely evening and shared it with us…..your loyal followers!

    • Linda…..”just do it!” Give that dinner party!! Dennis encouraged me to start having parties again and I am so glad he did. I realize now when you vibrate to the tune in your heart you attract others that like to sing that same song. The saying “If you serve food….they will come” really is true and does work, so host a dinner party soon!!

  29. How I would love to have the recipe for the oyster Rockefeller. A lovely dinner indeed with a beautiful setting and delicious food!… Christine

  30. Hi lovely lady.
    WOW!. this is just the prettiest tablescape I love everything on it . Your friend is Amazing putting this dinner party together for you all.
    XXOO Diane

  31. That was better than dinner at a five star restaurant! And a wonderful gift to boot! Very very impressive.

  32. What a wonderful way to spend an evening! Great food a beautiful setting and good friends. Oh and yes, please do ask for the oyster recipe!

  33. The photos are beautiful! The more I hear about the Samsung phone, the more I think it might be the phone of choice! What a lovely event and an amazing hostess. We’ve got a neighborhood event coming up and I’m feeling a trifle copycat coming on!

  34. Wow, Susan, what a dear and thoughtful friend you have! Not to mention, she sets a lovely table just like you do! Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your evening with your quite clear cell phone pictures. And thanks for the party!

  35. What a clever idea to give books depending on their interests…love that idea and the table is just so warm and welcoming…with the candles lit, it looks like it is gonna be a warm and wonderful evening with friends..

  36. What a thoughtful friend you have. I liked the simplicity of the gift wrapping.
    The candlelight atmosphere was lovely as were those heart dishes and I thought I saw a heart shaped doily too.
    Susan, I thought all you Southerners sat on your porches sipping mint juleps, whiling the afternoon away!!! πŸ™‚
    Thank you for hosting!

    • Thank you for your comments Megan. The wrapping paper was actually brown mailing paper, tied with green tinted raffia and the names were written in a darker green marker. I had everything at the handy which made it easy and economical.

  37. Yes, please share the Oyster Rockefeller recipe — I love them (and Clams Casino). I like the idea of the oysters being cut into little pieces…that’s new to me…seems a nice way to eat them.

    Also, how lovely to have a gift at each placesetting, especially a book. Who doesn’t adore a beautiful book. I always ask for one from my son at Christmastime. Easy for him as I’m pretty hard to buy for. This year: “White House Pets,” a lovely coffee table book.

    The dinner party sounds so wonderful and inspires me to get off my tushie and get some entertaining done. There is nothing as gratifying as a dinner party with two or three couples who we love.

    Lovely post, Susan. As usual.

  38. We love oysers rockefeller — I hope you’ll post the recipe! Looks like a most delightful gathering.

    • Watch for that recipe Martha……I will get it from Dennis even if I have to track him down, I know where he lives and where he works!!
      It was by far the best oysters rockefeller I have ever had!

  39. In as few words as possible …. “an evening of perfection”. Sincerely -Brenda-

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