Bonjour, mes amies! I am excited to share some pieces from the first china pattern I ever bought shortly after Mr. Ethereal and I were married… plus some exciting news!
Hubby and I moved to Southern California after he graduated from Officers Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. His first duty station was aboard Camp Pendleton, so we drove the 2700 miles from Connecticut to Sacramento, visiting both parents before the big move.
When I was home in our apartment by myself, sometimes I’d take the bus and go into Oceanside, Carlsbad or Vista to eat lunch out and go shopping at the local mall or to go antiquing. One day I found an Ethan Allen furniture store and as I was walking around inside, I turned a corner and there was an entire set (48 pieces!) of Villeroy & Boch Botanica staring back at me! I was ecstatic!!!
This is the same set of which I had collected a very few pieces while I was with my host family in Germany back in 1981. To find that Ethan Allen had brought over this lovely set of tableware, I was sooo happy!
I already owned a creamer & sugar bowl, a salt & pepper (behind the teapot here on the table) which I’d bought with my host mother at a tableware shop in a town along the Rhein River. Petja, my younger brother Gene’s exchange partner who came to our house three years later when Gene went on his own exchange program, later sent me the matching V&B Botanica china trivet.
Today there are only five dinner plates unbroken, all eight salad plates and all the cups and saucers survive. My mother often bought me pieces from a shop out near where she lived in Connecticut after my parents moved there. She would send me pieces for my birthday or Christmas and sent a lovely covered butter dish, which could hold up to a pound of butter (two sticks side-by-side, double stacked tall). Our son was making something on our Big House’s kitchen island one day and pushed things back to make more room and sadly the butter dish crashed off onto the floor…
It had been so lovely with its pinks and purple sweetpeas all over the dish top. I would love to have added it here to this table for you!
The dining room is now an orangery with many of Mr. Ethereal’s mother’s plants inside as well as our mandarin orange tree. It’s fun to set a table in there now with so many plants!
For our European breakfast, I tried to recreate the breakfasts we would have at my host family’s home in Leverkusen. My host father’s grandmother lived with the family and they had a large round breakfast table off the kitchen. Every morning, fresh danishes and bread (bröt) were delivered to the house for the day’s meals.
“Erdbeeren” (or strawberry jam) and lingonberry jam were breakfast staples. Several years ago I found lingonberry jam at Ikea so this last time I picked up another jar.
If you can find some, lingonberry is a really nice, tart jam! It is a good substitute for strawberry, if someone can’t eat seeds in their jams and jellies.
So what is the news?
A week ago, an invitation came to attend my niece’s wedding for this coming July. Her husband-to-be is from Venezuela and they both met as missionaries… They live in Grenoble, France!!!
So, after missing the opportunity as an exchange student as a young 19-year-old, I sure am NOT going to miss out this time! My daughter already has the time off from her work and I will be off for summer, so we will be going together.
So that’s my exciting news, dear friends!
So what can you tell me about going to France? Where do you recommend flying into? Charles De Gaulle airport, there in Paris? How do we get to Grenoble? Bus? Train?? Rent a car?
At least they drive on the same side of the road as we do here in the United States. 😉
And what about Air BnB’s?? How do I find out about this stuff?? After really not traveling for the last 35 years, I am pretty clueless, lol!
I thank you for all the tips in advance, Sweeties!!! <3
11 thoughts on “A European Breakfast”
Thank you, Rita! Should be fun trip. 💕
omgosh that dinnerware is so pretty and the story behind all of it makes it that much more special. Wow you had some fun experiences in your youth! and how exciting is your summer trip plans?!?! I am not sure about airport but I would recommend train rides if you can. Train rides in Europe can be fabulous reminiscent of a bygone era with dinning cars and beautiful scenery passing you by. Can’t wait to hear all about it. XO- MaryJo
Thank you so much, MaryJo! I will look into that. 🥰
Yay! Such exciting news. You will have so much fun. When my daughter and I went to France, we flew into Paris. We them took the train everywhere we wanted to go. Traveling via the train is so easy. I would recommend traveling with a backpack, instead of using a suitcase, as it will make it so much easier to get around.
Sounds good! Thank you for these ideas, Renae!! 💕
Such a pretty table. I too love lingonberry jam and pair it with pork too. 🙂
That sounds really delicious, Laura! Will have to try… Happy January!!! ❄️
What a beautiful set! Love the tablescape. I only risk my wedding china for Valentine’s Day when we have a family tradition of a “fancy dinner.” It has hearts with an infinity scroll, so it fits perfectly. I know my kids would do exactly what your son did by accident lol. I’d love to have you come share on Happiness is Homemade & my newest link party, Crafty Creators (Thurs-Mon) because I think my readers would love this too, We love tablescapes!
Niki ~ Life as a LEO Wife
Thank you so much, Niki! I’ll try and remember to link up tomorrow before school. ♥️ I’ve been working on some Valentines ideas over the weekend… More fun! Happy Tuesday evening to you!! 💕☺️ Hugs, Barb