Weather permitting, alfresco dining makes for a pleasant dining experience. On Prince Edward Island (PEI), our season for outside dining is quite short but we make the most of it. Summer lends itself to so many tablesetting options. Living on PEI, surrounded by water, it’s easy to draw inspiration from the sea which is what I have done with today’s summer seashells tablesetting.
The color theme I have chosen is very soft and pastel – the pale blue shades to represent the sea and sky complimented by shades of beige and pale salmon pink to represent the color of the sand on the beaches and sand dunes around PEI.
We Islanders love our beaches! Many tourists visit our Island each summer to enjoy our miles and miles of pristine beaches – the pale salmon pink sand common to the north shore beaches in contrast to the deep rusty red shade of sand typically found on our south shore beaches. Our shores are bordered by the rich red-colored cliffs like those to the left in the photo below.
So, as you can see, it’s not hard for me to find inspiration for sea-themed tablesettings when I am so fortunate as to live in close proximity to such natural beauty.
I rarely use patterned table linens. I find they can be a bit tricky to work with because the pattern can be busy and somewhat limiting in terms of other decor items. My preference is to use the blank canvas of a solid-colored tablecloth and add color and design features through other elements like centerpieces, napkins, candles, and so forth. However, for a change (and a challenge), I have chosen a matching tablecloth and napkins that have a seashell theme. They actually match quite well with my pale blue seashell dinnerware by Nantucket Home.
I would not use this patterned tablecloth for a formal setting but it is quite charming for a casual meal, particularly when we live near the water and when I am serving a seafood-themed dinner outside.
In terms of a centerpiece for a patterned tablecloth like this one, I recommend going with something very plain and simple, especially when this is a tablesetting for a casual dinner. What I have used here is a rustic wine holder which does double duty as a centerpiece and for actually holding the wine. This is also a great idea if the table is not large – you still have something as a focal point in the table center but it does not overpower the setting. The nautical look of the wine holder compliments the sea theme and is a great conversation piece.
Folding patterned napkins when the tablecloth background is also patterned can be a challenge. Rather than using a formal napkin fold, I have simply knotted the napkins in the center and placed them over the soup/salad bowls. This keeps the look casual and also adds a bit of lift and color to the plain dishes.
I have kept the glassware quite simple using plain wine glasses complimented by my antique water glasses. The cutwork in these glasses sparkle in the sunlight.
Regardless whether you live near the sea or not, a seaside ambience can be created using seashell dinnerware and sea-themed table linens.
It’s pretty. It’s pastel. It’s summery and this tablesetting definitely has a distinctive romantic coastal feel.
Now, it’s time to prepare the dinner! Curious as to what is on the menu for my PEI seafood dinner? I am serving PEI mussels steamed in Upstreet Craft Brewing’s “Rhuby Social” beer followed by my mussel chowder which I will serve with my homemade rolls. The main will be Island lobster in the shell accompanied by my yummy PEI potato salad. And, for dessert? Homemade Blueberry Cheese Pie will be tonight’s finale! I think all of these foods will look great on this sea-inspired table!
To view photos of another of my sea-inspired tablescapes, click here.