You know, sometimes the sweetest table settings are more about the place than what’s on the table. Paula wanted to have cake and hot chocolate with Michael for Valentine’s Day. Just the two of them in a “romantical private setting” she told me. I suggested we set up a little table in her bedroom and she loved the idea. After all, what’s better for a private setting with your loved one than your bedroom? While I set about decorating a sweet table, Paula hit the kitchen. She outdid herself with her new favorite cake for Valentine’s Day, her Sugared Rose Parade Layer Cake and she also made an extra big pot of Michael’s favorite hot chocolate, Dreamy Creamy Hot Chocolate. Luckily, I got to take a big piece of cake home and drink some hot chocolate while I was setting the table!
Here are the ingredients I used:
Dishes and Flatware: Paula has a small collection of red willow china that I thought would be perfect to use because of the love story told on the pattern. The story goes something like this:
When China was ruled by emperors, a Chinese mandarin, Tso Ling, lived in the magnificent pagoda under the branches of the apple tree on the right of the bridge, over which droops the famous willow tree, and in front of which is seen the graceful lines of the fence. Tso Ling was Kwang-se’s father. Kwang Se was a beautiful young girl with skin of porcelain and was promised in marriage to a wealthy merchant. She however fell in love with the simple clerk of her father’s a young boy by the name of Chang. Kwang Se and her lover Chang eloped across the sea to a cottage on a small island. The mandarin pursued and caught the lovers, and were about to kill them when the gods turned them into a pair of turtle doves (which are seen gazing at each other at the top of the design on the china). A old poem about the pattern concludes with this verse: “In the oft quoted plate two birds are perceived, High in the heaven above: These are the spirits of Chang and Kwang-se, A twin pair of ever in love”.
I just love this story so much, and I’m hoping Paula can keep Michael still long enough with a big piece of cake that she can tell it to him. I also added some hobnail glass and a few of the sugared rose petals from the cake to finish off the table. Paula wanted to use some pieces of her vintage silver for the flatware. I think it turned out beautiful, with the light shining in so softly.
I guess the moral of this whole story is you don’t have to make a huge fuss for Valentine’s Day. A simple table set in a private place, spending quality time with your loved one can be perfect. I know it will be for Paula and Michael. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.