I am royalty — twice removed.
You were thinking kings and queens, right? Well, there are all kinds of royalty, and I know a prince, which makes me twice removed from the king. To be exact, one of my best friends is the son of a jockey who had an extraordinary career in horse racing — Ted was truly racing royalty. Ironically for today’s tablescape,Ted did not win the Kentucky Derby, but went on to win both the Preakness and the Belmont races in 1949. It’s just that whenever I think of racing, I think of Ted Atkinson. This Saturday, May 3, the 140th Kentucky Derby will be run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The race will be televised on NBC, with coverage starting at 4:00 pm ET.
It is tradition to wear a beautiful hat at the Derby, so my tablescape started with a derby-style cream felt hat with tulle and a blush-colored rose.
I’ve been working at my church to prep for this weekend’s rummage sale, and I couldn’t resist these beautifully embroidered napkins. I created a little nest of pear blossoms and mint leaves in my vintage silver napkin rings. You’ve got to have mint to have mint juleps! I’m one of those people who loves the patina of silver with a little tarnish, so I just shined these cups up a little. The thumbprint glasses are my daughter’s and match her other glassware with circle motifs. Demaris Phillips, a Louisville native and Food Network Star, featured a recipe for mint juleps on her TV show this week.
The place settings are muted because they play second fiddle to the dramatic centerpiece. My Pfaltzgraff Filigree does its duty as a ground for the rest of the place setting, and mom’s Gorham Chantilly sterling flatware is appropriately festive for the occasion.
My dad’s carved wooden spoons just seemed perfect for this tablescape, so they rest in the glass fruit compotes. I have four of the spoons, and he created them to show customers the different woods that he used for carving.
For the centerpiece, I added a copy of the book Secretariat’s Meadow, which is about Secretariat’s birthplace, his career, and the Chenery family who raised and raced him. Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby in 1973 and went on to win the Triple Crown that year. I’ve also included another of my dad’s carvings, a lovely little horse.
The table is set for a small party to watch the race on television. Sometimes simple works as well as elaborate tablescapes.
If you’ve never seen Secretariat’s run for the roses in 1973, watch this clip of the race.
I’m linking up today with the creative bloggers at History and Home Link Party at We Call It Junkin’, Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style, Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch, and Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper. Be sure to stop by and say, “Hello!”
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