Now that spring has finally arrived, I can cover a seasonally-appropriate book I have been waiting to share. I wanted to be sure the epic winter could officially be put behind us before delving into all things al fresco. Michael Devine's beautiful book with Rizzoli, An Invitation To The Garden: Seasonal Entertaining Outdoors, showcases easy to recreate out-of-doors entertaining, shot in Devine's charming Upstate New York garden. Throughout the seasons, he utilizes a sweet little bagatelle structure in the back of his garden to create festive occasions, setting tables with masses of fresh blooms and pretty antique decorative accessories. His love for flowers carries over into his eponymous line of printed textiles (shared before here), and a new collection of tabletop designs, created with Marie Daage, the exquisite French porcelain dinnerware designer. Inspired by his textile prints, food and flowers, here is a look at how to create an elegant, intimate setting al fresco, complete with 50 seasonal recipes.
One of my favorite set tables includes one of my favorite prints, Garden Folly, done with masses of just-cut Lilacs and blanc de chine figurines with purple painted Daage china
This could go Nordic glam winter or cool summery crisp whites. The soaring silver candelabras with equally dramatic long candles and gold starbust mirror set the stage for a swank evening.
Some summer afternoons require just appreciating the lush green locale, why not set the table surrounded by climbing vines and loads of freshly cut wildflowers?
FROM TEXTILES TO THE TABLE:
The inspiration: from textile to tabletop, the Thomas print was the impetus for a porcelain pattern with Marie Daage of France. When asked about the collaboration with one of the best hand-painted china designers, Devine replied: "I have always had a passion for beautiful dinnerware and have been a big fan of Marie Daage for a long time. So the opportunity to work with her on my first collection of dinnerware was a dream come true. I really love patterns with some movement in them and I feel that the Thomas and Charlotte patterns offer a great deal of visual interest. Especially since they are hand-painted and each piece is unique." You can find the assortment of designs on his website.
The pattern, hand-painted in France on Limoges porcelain, is edged in 24 karat gold
Available in Celeste Bleu, Cyclamen, Pearl and Leaf Green, some pieces resemble a loose faux bois and others, a color wash
A simple yet beautiful mug with little ornamentation
Charlotte, named for Charlotte Moss, is the newest addition to the collection. Showing a close-up detail of a blooming flower, the plates come in 4 colors