Springtime In Paris Mother’s Day Buffet

Mother’s Day is inching ever closer, and I want to start now with ideas for a fresh and very flowery buffet table. This is yet another buffet tablescape I created for my Spring 2012 “Art of Tablescaping” class students. I wanted to demonstrate – among other things – how placing a “centerpiece” at the end could be just as effective as centering it and how extending the look across the back side of the table makes it all work.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

Wow…that’s a lot of stuff!!!!!! But it’s all very effective in illustrating the intended look of Springtime on the Champ de Mars in Paris where the Eiffel Tower shares ground with hundreds of fabulous blossoming cherry trees. This is one of those tables that is a loose interpretation of something rather than getting absolutely literal. (Ramon was NOT letting me bring actual cherry trees in this house!!!) In addition to Mother’s Day, this buffet setting would work well for a post-nuptial brunch or luncheon if the couple is honeymooning in Paris.  As with many tables, I started with a full-length white linen.

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IMG_5632WMI love to present flatware and napkins in fun, different ways. Here a gallery tray holds a silver julep cup filled with forks. Surrounding the cup are soft pink napkins rolled tightly to resemble rosebuds…or cinnamon rolls…or however your imagination wants to interpret them! (Click HERE  and scroll down to Tip #33 for a tutorial on how to create these cute little gems!) You may prefer to place the flatware and napkins at the end of the buffet rather than the start.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One -Why just sit the plates on the table if you can elevate them to new heights with something like this silver beaded edge plateau? Crank your brain and use your full imagination to come up with plateau ideas from around your home like candle stands, hat boxes, teacups, books…whatever! Just be sure the plates cannot be easily knocked over!!! Porcelain “doily” plates here from Pier 1.

IMG_5606WMA tiered stand is ideal for displaying cookies or other two-bite treats. Don’t have a ready-made tiered stand? Create one using plates and glasses or candlesticks or teacups. Again, just be sure the structure is secure. Cling® or a similar non-permanent floral adhesive is a good choice to make sure everything stays in place. Be sure to hide your mechanics with a few flowers or by piling the food high. You don’t want that ugly stuff showing through!!!

Here I used 2 sizes of silver cake plateaus to display cheeses and dessert. The breads are brought to the table in an old-fashioned but still quite pretty and very functional silver wire bread basket. A small branch laden with ripe plums is casually placed across the top for color and interest.

It’s all the rage…and even if it wasn’t, it’s still a great way to serve tiny portions of your favorite foods. Everything from cold soups to granola to mixed fruit looks great when served up in tiny vessels with their own tiny spoons. Don’t bother spending a ton of money on the sets found at places like Pier 1 unless you can find a good sale or clearance price. (Sorry, Pier 1. You know I love you, but what you’re asking for those things is criminal!) Consider using things already in your inventory like clean votive holders, shot glasses, demitasse cups, or miniature ramekins or martini glasses. I found the little spoons at Bed Bath & Beyond for 79 cents each, but you may be able to score some less pricey.

 On to the centerpiece! You can probably find Eiffel Tower replicas at stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Gordmans which is where I bought mine several years ago. My guess is that you can probably find one at the CHRISTMAS TREE SHOP, too, because apparently – if  Cuisine Kathleen and The Tablescaper’s blogs are any indication – you can find just about EVERYTHING great there!!! (I just had to get that dig in to a couple of my blogger buddies because I’m so jealous they have CTS and we don’t! ;-))

Anyhoooooooo……I wanted to capture the feeling of all the lush florals on the Champ de Mars, so I grouped clear glass vases with petite rose bouquets beneath the tower and sort of let them “spill” over as roses naturally do. The fragile look of soft pink roses timidly peeking out from behind the austere lattice of “The Iron Lady” (La dame de fer) as the tower is nicknamed, is such a striking juxtaposition. (If your Mother, like mine, has a very strong personality, she might actually appreciate the irony of this symbol!) Pots of green grass represent the fertile grounds of the Champ de Mars, and a random flurry of butterflies across the table brings in another element of Spring. The “cherry blossoms” used here are flowered branches from Hobby Lobby, but if you have the real thing, by all means…go for it!!!

IMG_5686WMNot that any other sane human soul looking at the table would necessarily make this observation, but there was a specific reason I chose these gooseneck tower vases for the “cherry trees.” Notice how they resemble the trunk of a tree? And look there at the very bottom…doesn’t the foot of the vase look like the bumpy roots as they meet the ground? Do I need to cut back on the two martini lunches or what?!?!?!! 🙂

Before my head completely explodes, let’s consider the beverage center set up near the buffet table. When you’re working within a small space, just about any surface will do. Here, a cut glass beverage decanter with the word “Paris” across the front sits on a simple silver tray. Lined up on either side are stemmed glasses decked out with fruit and ready for some fun, Springtime refreshment like the ultimate French elixir – champagne – infused with a spritz of strawberry schnapps.

Next week, a great companion table to this Mothers Day buffet, “Mothers Day Luncheon in Pink“. Meanwhile, other tablescapes on this site that would work well for a Mother’s Day celebration include:
Peonies and Pearls
Pink Plaid & Posies
Daisy Crazy
Mother’s Day Brunch

Another post on this site using a Parisian theme with the Eiffel Tower as a centerpiece AND using this rosebud napkin fold:
Au Revoir!

Other tablescapes on this site with a “rosebud napkin fold”:
“Cupcake Colors”
“Au Revoir”
“Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink”

Please join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch and on BeBetsy.com! And if you get a chance, please stop by Beaux R’eves where my buddy, Cindy, posted the coolest “Under the Sea” tablescape for a local charity.