I’m a self-professed less is more kind of gal when it comes to consumerism. My closet isn’t overflowing and the stream of Amazon packages are kept to a fair minimum. What does give me a swipe-of-the-plastic thrill is splurging on delicious foods and beautiful tabletop. I never feel guilty about collecting more cocktail napkins or glassware because they always fit (much more forgiving than, say, bikinis) and I’ll use them year after year.
What a treat I have for you today, dear readers. We are joined by Charleston-based food stylist, recipe developer, and author of The Duke’s Mayonnaise Cookbook, Ashley Strickland Freeman. You’ve likely seen her work in Southern Living, Garden & Gun, and on the Food Network. Her simple, flavorful dishes ranging from properly Southern to internationally touted provide kitchen inspiration in spades. I was first introduced to Ashley’s culinary talents six years ago at my sister-in-law’s baby shower (they are lifelong friends) where a chance encounter with a tray of fruit tarts left me weak in the knees.
It’s a common saying here in Atlanta that the reason we all live here is for exactly four perfect weeks in the spring and another four blissful ones in autumn. It can be said that we don’t usually have to scrape ice off our windshields during winter, but the pollen, humidity, mosquitos, and thighs sticking to any chair surface become our seasonal penance for the aforementioned coveted weather.
At Chez Muffy, we make the most of our bluebird afternoons by breaking bread al fresco. I have two tables at my disposal—our teak behemoth for entertaining a larger crowd, and a rattan one of more intimate proportions that wears linens beautifully. On this particular evening, I pulled out my very favorite India Amory tablecloth and Herend’s beautiful Blue Garland china for a little garden gathering.
Accoutrements such as Loulou La Dune placemats (they double as napkins too!), sage glassware from The Avenue, and a fresh eucalyptus centerpiece layer in nicely. Other sources include delicate bud vases via Mrs. Alice, bamboo folding chairs from Amazon, and Ballard Designs’ Suzanne Kasler Directoire sofas in the background—highly recommend!
I also want to highlight Freshly Set, a brilliant outpost for rented linens. These aren’t your typical poly-blend event eyesores but chic designs from your favorite tabletop purveyors. I recently had the pleasure of setting a table with their wonderful wares and look forward to renting again and again. Don’t have holiday-ready patterns? Thanksgiving is the perfect time to give Freshly Set a try!
Thank you for stopping by dear readers, wishing you all some peace this week—or at the very least a stiff cocktail and excellent dish! Happy tablescaping!