If it’s vintage……It is fabulous!

I am a vintage woman, and I have an appreciation for the beauty, quality and exquisite craftsmanship of yesteryear.  I came across an elegant, vintage, Royal Doulton “Yorkshire Rose,” china set at  Antiques on QueenDowntown Port Hope, ON; I absolutely fell in love with it.

This high quality Royal Doulton set has 12 dinner plates, 12 dessert plates, 12 bread and butter plates, 12 cups and saucers, 4 fruit bowls, a tea pot, a platter, an oval vegetable dish and a cream and sugar set.

Royal Doulton set 1

Royal Doulton “Rose Yorkshire” China set

I also came across a beautiful hand made lace table cloth, circa 1940, and the labour of love along with the intricate details were stunning. Additionally, I added  a gorgeous linen napkin set, circa 1937, and decided to do an informal table setting  – the results were beautiful!

Here are some great tips for setting an informal dinner table for your family Mother’s Day brunch or any other special occasion.

  1.  Place your forks and napkins on the left of your service plate and your salad plate.  The salad fork should be placed on the outside, followed by the dinner fork, which is placed next to your plates.
  2. On the right side of your plates, place your soup spoon on the outer end, followed by your teaspoon and your dinner knife, which is placed near to the plates.
  3. Your cup and saucer, your water and wine glasses are placed on the right hand side of your plate settings. The water glass is placed to the upper right, followed by your red wine and white wine glasses.

I completed my table décor with a signed Waterford crystal vase, and two crystal candleholders, circa, 1920.

Antiques on Queen table setting 1.jpg

Informal table setting, on a beautiful handmade lace table cloth, circa 1940

There you have it Beautiful People!  Happy table setting.

I truly appreciate your continued support and love for the blog.  Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day filled with love, joy and laughter.

Vanessa Ferguson Kellman, MBA, BSc.  is a Etiquette Consultant and a member of The Etiquette Institute, St. Louis, MO

Photo credit and table setting: Vanessa Ferguson Kellman

Table wares: Antiques on Queen, Downtown, Port Hope

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Food Finesse – You Can Master It!

Hello Again Beautiful People!

 Dining is a pleasurable experience we all like to indulge in, and to add to it, there are so many imaginative, and creative dishes to  enjoy.  I would like to give you some guidelines on how to handle your food with finesse without ever second guessing yourself.

The average person consumes at least three meals a day, which makes food an integral part of our lives and our subsistence. Since we are constantly handling food in private and in public, here are some dining guidelines for you to consider:

Sushi – The correct way to eat sushi is using your hand, however, nowadays most people are eating sushi with chopsticks. I envy my husband, he’s a master at using the chopsticks.

Credit:  Pinterest

Credit: Pinterest

Shrimp – Use your seafood fork to dip your shrimp into the cocktail sauce.

Tacos – Use your fingers to eat your tacos and eat from one side only.

Pizza – This is finger food! Just curl both sides of the pizza to avoid losing any topping.

Spaghetti – Do not cut the spaghetti, use your dinner fork to twirl a few strands at a time.

Soup –  Your soup spoon should be tilted away from you when dipping your soup.  If your soup is served in a cup with handles, you may pick it up and drink from the cup.  If the soup is too hot, don’t blow on it, just wait for it to cool before you eat.

Salad– If the salad is served as a separate course, use your salad fork.  However, if the salad is part of the entree by all means use your dinner fork and the knife to cut up the larger pieces of lettuce.

Dips – You are only allowed to dip once from a communal bowl.  If the dip is on your personal plate you can dip as many times as you please.

Jellies – Spoon just a little onto your plate beside your meat and use your fork to eat the jelly with your meat.

Olives, celery, carrot sticks and pickles – Use your fingers, and when removing the olive pit from your mouth, do so with cupped fingers.

Corn on cob – It is okay to use your fingers to pick up your corn and eat it, or you can use your knife to cut the corn kernels off and then use your fork to eat them.

Barbeque ribs – This is absolutely a finger food!  However, it is always polite not to lick your fingers.

Fried or Baked Chicken – Generally eaten using your fingers, but watch closely and follow what your host or hostess’ preferred choice is.

Strawberries – Grasp the stem of the fruit with your fingers, take a few bites and when finished leave the stem on your plate.

Grapes – Remove a small bunch and eat one at a time using your fingers.

Apples and pears – If it’s a casual setting, feel free to use your fingers.

Watermelon slice – Use your fork and knife to cut into bite sizes.  Use cupped fingers to remove the seeds from your mouth and place them on your plate.

Cupcakes, brownies, bread, rolls, muffins and biscuits – Use your fingers to break small pieces off and eat.

I trust you are feeling more confident about your food finesse?  Congratulations and Bon Appetit Beautiful People!


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Vanessa Ferguson-Kellman is President and Founder of The Etiquette Society International, Ltd

Member of The Etiquette Institute: St. Louis, MO


Material credits:  Trenetta Robinson & Maria Everding – The Etiquette Institute