At the Mill Valley Wedding Fair yesterday, I met dozens of lovestruck brides to be, shopping for inspiration for their special day ahead. Whether they were young, toned and athletic, or already showing gray, these future brides shared a desire to create a collective experience of their love at the upcoming ceremonies.
This made me think how so much of relationship love centers on the nurturing experience of day to day ritual. Eating becomes a bonding experience, and a pleasure one when good food is shared on a set table. In modern life we often forgo this formality except when the special occasions of life remind us to stride forward with more grace. For example, to set a table with welcoming appeal for wedding guests.
I am a bit jealous of these ladies but there is a lesson here. As St. Valentine's Day approaches, think about how to greet your intimate partner, whether you are both hetero or "other", with the endearing invitation of a set table. This becomes your stage for the treats you plan to offer on your menu for this special dinner date. Table linens from France, with all their color and cheer, say "je t'aime cheri," in a way that words alone cannot communicate. Add flowers, candles, napkins and silver, and your evening will become very special indeed. And by the way, why wait for St. Valentine's Day night? Try it whenever your love life needs a little extra spice. Pourquoi pas? Try it.
Life in the south of France, where these table linens originated, moves with a slowed, deliberate pace. Mealtimes with family are cherished. Husbands sit with their wives, children with their parents, and friends with their friends, family, and extended cousins. This occurs week in and week out, and more so on Sundays and holidays.
Putting special linens on your own table makes a statement, that for you, too, meal times are special. It is harder for your loved ones and special friends to say no, when the table is so appealing, the invitation so nurturing, and yes, final;ly, everyone needs to eat.
Owner and founder Kathleen Nemetz and her daughter Morgana Sidhom are Americans who lived in France and experienced the warm hospitality of many French tables, when invited to share food and conversation with neighbors and friends in this way. We are delighted to bring these relatively inexpensive table arts to you, dear client, through this website. Hopefully you will share our passion for using these linens to reinforce or reestablish rituals of family and friend mealtimes together.
Morgana was born in Les Lilas outside of Paris and developed her palate for French foods early on, in the public schools. Even small children were seated at tables with linens, and taught table manners as they passed their menu items. There were always selections of France's varieties of cheeses, vegetables of every color, and dishes representing the many ethnic groups living in France. Children developed their palates as they tasted. They sat with classmates and everyone was expected to taste.
Many of the linen designs originate in towns around the Provencal region of France. We will post descriptions of these towns and the designs they are known for in the near future. A bientôt! Meals are meant to share, and with these linens you will be in the best of company.
Morgana was born in Les Lilas, France, and is now living in San Diego, California. Her mother lives in San Rafael, CA.