Props for your Breakfast Tray Fit for A Lady
Lean Luxury shouldn’t and isn’t expensive – it’s more about good taste when selecting props for your breakfast tray fit for a lady. It does take a little time to collect and find the perfect props to make your tray extra special and then perhaps an extra suitcase or two if you happen to be like me and returning home after spending the summer in Provence gleaning.
To help you get started I’ve listed a few cheat items that you can purchase online – but do take the time to explore antique stores, ebay and markets and most important let your friends and family know that you are on the hunt. Some of my favorite china was given to me by my Aunt Caroline Graham – she knows how much I love anything pretty and how I use it everyday. Like the delicate plate and cup and saucer below that she gave me this Christmas. Or the black and white Wedgwood that is possibly my favorite EVER that is shown above. This china, along with the silver egg cups from my friend Caroline Wheeler, a caviar egg by Josiah Citrin at Mélisse and the book by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti called Novel Interiors all came together in a perfect storm two christmases ago and sparked my creative engine into top gear.
Get creative – if you don’t have flowers growing in your backyard plant some or pick a daisy from the sidewalk! If you don’t have a postcard handwrite a favorite quote on a scrap of paper. If you don’t have a linen napkin with a silver napkin ring use a tea towel and make the ring out of a ribbon. Part of the pleasure is in the creating. Enjoy the process of making it pretty.
Just as it takes time for your garden to grow if you decide, like I did, to plant a camellia garden just for precious blooms to grace your breakfast tray – it takes time to gather props for the perfect tray. And that is the point – the cultivation of something special over time, bit by bit, one treasure at a time is key to the process, the journey’s the thing.
I love combing the vide-greniers and brocantes in Provence every summer – so many treasures to be found like these keys. I’ve picked up Christofle silver for less than €20 and my most favorite vintage Limoges rose bud tea/coffee set for just €10. From vintage postcards to keys to fine china, they say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure and I’m thrilled to pick over what the Frenchies jumble.
Closer to home the Rose Bowl is a fun place to forage on the second Sunday of the month for silver trays, silver tea-sets, crystal decanters, napkin rings, egg-cups and so much more. Pom Pom at Home is my go to place to grab exquisite items at their annual warehouse sales – not only for the Belgian linens but the trays, tableware and silver. Thanks for having such exquisite taste Hilde!
Some Ideas and Suggestions for Props for your Breakfast Tray Fit for A Lady:
I have many silver trays like this one I bought from Kathy at Vintageweave specifically for everyday breakfast trays it’s ornate and grande and you can imagine Marie Antoinette ate from it at Le Petit Trianon.
Others I have collected along the way and my favorite round flat tray Pompom at Home is the perfect size for breakfast. A good starter tray is this one from Elegance Silver.
Silver Christening Cup for flowers
I collect these christening silver cups in the market in Provence but you can use a silver mint julep cup as a great substitute.
Fine Porcelain, Bone China, Antique Ironstone
I’m in love with delicate porcelain and bone china when it comes to drinking out of it – this rose cup and saucers with the gold edging were found at the brocant in Lumieres – you can find similar cups and saucers from Bernadaud and a cheaper fix from Royal Dalton. And my ultimate morning coffee/afternoon tea cup is my Roy Kirkham Redoute Rose Fine Bone China cup and saucer – see two pictures below.
For plates I love everything from the simplicity of Sophie Conran’s white range to the black and white of Wedgwood and Burleigh to the beautiful antique ironstone plates I have found over the years in France and also at Kathy’s shop, Vintageweave, like the red one below.
When you present the yogurt in an antique crystal glass and add raspberries to the top it reminds me of Parisienne patisserie – a sweet tooth fix, the dessert for breakfast that’s high in protein and packed full of deliciousness.
This glass is one of my favorite things, given to me by my father and stepmother – they are delicate and old and irreplaceable but I still use them everyday – life’s too short not to use the best crystal.
My whole world changed last week when Liberty of London announced they were selling Soho Home – I mean seriously folks you can now buy all the wonderful home accessories that make the Soho House hotels so fabulous and they will ship to America. Who doesn’t want the silver Treats, Tea and Sugar caddies or the Burleigh calico tea set in black and white? I want the complete set of the heavy Barwell crystal glasses for the beach house – so far I’ve ordered champagne coupes. Sometimes you have to stagger the shopping to help make it seem like you are spending less… I know you understand what I mean.
Whilst we are on the subject of Soho House decor have you watched Ilse Crawford in the Netflix series Abstract – Season 1 epsisode 6? As Minty said it’s like Chef’s Table but for artists and designers rather than chefs.
Linen napkin and a placemat
ALWAYS add a flower or two – it’s one of the key elements to making the perfect tray. I love Camellia’s – this is a Nuccio’s Gem Camellia from my garden (this Fifth Avenue Camellia plant is similar) – I love them so much I planted an entire garden of camellia’s just to have for the winter months.
I now have giant oversized white blooms that are very Alice in Wonderland, I have the perfect white Chanel blooms, deep red Japanese blossoms that look like roses and also the more frothy pale pink fragrant flowers. I also like to use lavender, Madagascan jasmine and my beloved fragrant English David Austin roses in the summer.
Add some whimsy
I love my silver hedgehog – you can find him in the silver christening cup photo above. Or this darling Tiffany pig that Denise hit me up to and I found on Ebay – how can that not make you smile and set you up for a great day?
Salt and Pepper shakers are a great place to start for adding whimsy – like these silver pigs. I love my robin salt and pepper shakers (see Love quote photo below) and all the bird egg cups by Quail, like the blue tit below, which I got from Liberty of London but theyare no longer in stock – try shopping at Quail directly.
Quotation, Poem, Postcard
Add a quote, poem or card. I like to use a cute postcard with something inspirational on it and then I will write a note to someone on the back and mail it off to them. Nothing as good as receiving a postcard via snail mail. The card below says;
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.
My favorite breakfast tray cutlery is the silver set that was given to Minty when she was a baby by the chap who arranged all the travel for La Côte Basque. I absolutely love them. They are perfect for the breakfast tray because they are small but elegant. You can use a dessert knife, fork and spoon set from Christofle if you have big bucks or just look out for smaller silverware on your treasure hunts.
I always bring back a selection of silver spoons and napkin rings from Provence – easy to pack and so useful for Breakfast Trays. Unlike bringing back paper thin vintage glasses – carried in my hand luggage – or the 12 plates that weighed down my suitcase – or the third cake stand that wouldn’t fit so I gave it to Geraldine who uses it in New York and gives me cake plate envy and the utmost pleasure to know it’s in a good home to this day! Let me know your best finds – whether on holiday or online in the comments below and send me pics of your breakfast trays fit for a lady- I can’t wait to see what you create.
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