Tag Archives: Island Meadow Farms PEI

Picnic by the Confederation Bridge in PEI

A PEI Picnic
Picnic by the Confederation Bridge

Picnics are a favorite summertime activity for us. We like to do a lot of daytripping around our province discovering and revisiting all that our wonderful Island has to offer.  Prince Edward Island has many great locations that are suitable for picnics.  Our picnic last weekend took us to a scenic location near the Confederation Bridge in Borden-Carleton.

Bridge between PEI and New Brunswick
Confederation Bridge

This bridge transcends the Northumberland Strait linking PEI with New Brunswick. At 12.9km (8 miles) in length, the bridge is the longest bridge in the world that crosses ice-covered water. Our Island winters can be quite harsh and the Strait is covered in thick ice for several months of the year. Building a bridge to withstand these conditions was no easy feat.

Before the bridge opened to traffic on May 31, 1997, the only ways on and off PEI were by ferry or air.  Ferry service does still operate seasonally in the Eastern part of the Province at Wood Islands where ferries transport vehicular traffic between PEI and Nova Scotia.

The Confederation Bridge curves partway across the Strait and has a high navigational span that allows large ships to pass under the bridge.  It’s pretty cool to see the large cruise ships going under the bridge!

Because the Confederation Bridge is an iconic element of PEI, it makes a fitting backdrop for a summertime Island picnic.

Summer Picnic in PEI
Bridge View

So, now that the stage has been set for the location, back to the picnic……I have chosen to go with a black and white theme and I’m a big fan of checkered fabric – checks just seem to speak of picnics. I have chosen to use my plain black dinner napkins and have wrapped the cutlery inside the napkins. This is easy to do before leaving home and it keeps the items together.  To give the classy black napkins a more casual look for a picnic, I have tied each napkin with narrow twine.

To add a punch of color to the table, I selected small bright yellow sunflowers paired with Bells of Ireland.  Whether I am setting the table for an event at home or on the road, I like to see a well set table! These flowers were locally grown at Island Meadow Farm in York, PEI.  They grow the most amazing array of flowers and I like to use them in my summer tablesettings.

Summer Flowers
Sunflowers and Bells of Ireland

Picnics are meant to be casual fare so, while I always try to have a main, a side, some fruit, something sweet, and a beverage, I often like to include some finger/snacking foods as I have done today.  Let’s start with the PEI mussels in the shell. These are steamed mussels to which I have added some red and orange pepper, celery, and red onion. A light dressing of a red wine vinaigrette makes these tasty little morsels.

PEI Mussels

Cold cuts, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber are always good nibbling foods (and they add great color to the table).

Cold Cut Tray
The Nibbling Tray


I wrapped peach wedges inside basil leaves and prosciutto (seen in the photo below). These little picnic hors d’oeuvres add color, texture, and flavor to the menu. They go particularly well with Gouda cheese.

Picnic Hors d'oeuvres
Peaches in Prosciutto

I have chosen small tomato quiches for the main in today’s picnic. The great thing about quiches is that they can be served, hot, warm, or cold and, when cold, are great travelers for the picnic basket.

Tomato Quiche

And, for a side, I opted for a quinoa salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. To the quinoa I added peppers, corn, celery, red onion, and kale from our garden. Packing the salad into small Mason jars is an easy way to transport salads on a picnic.

Salad in a Mason Jar
Quinoa Salad

Plates are not always necessary for picnics.  Here, I have used small breadboards which work equally well and they are easy to pack.

The Picnic Lunch

I popped by the Tryon Blueberries U-Pick in North Tryon on my way and picked a box of these amazing high-bush blueberries.  I live on these berries when they are in season on the Island!

Summer Berries
PEI Blueberries

And, for the sweet tooth, I took along some of my homemade snickerdoodle cookies.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

And, as an extra special treat, we enjoyed Belgian chocolates that we brought home from a wonderful visit to Brugge, Belgium. If you ever have the chance to visit Brugge, I highly recommend it. You can view photos of my visit to Brugge over on my travel blog, Island Shore Traveler, by clicking here.

Belgian Chocolates

I like to choose foods and elements to the picnic that are colorful and that blend well together.

Picnic Time
A PEI Summer Picnic

I hope you have enjoyed a little “taste” of my picnic by the bridge.

PEI Picnic
Picnic by the Bridge

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PEI Picnic
Picnic by the Confederation Bridge, PEI

“When Vintage Meets Elegance” Tablesetting

Grindley's Creampetal "Apple Blossom" China Pattern
Grindley’s Creampetal “Apple Blossom” China Pattern

Both my mother and grandmother had the Grindley Creampetal “Apple Blossom” gold-gilded pattern of china.   It was a fairly common pattern, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s.

With its cream colored background and small pink and blue flowers with green leaves, it looked very stylish on the table for special occasions.  When this china came out, I knew it was for something very special!

Today, this would be considered to be vintage tableware.  I still like to use this dinnerware on occasion.

I think vintage tableware such as this calls for a romantic centerpiece.  To find just the right flowers, I visited Island Meadow Farms in York, just minutes outside of Charlottetown.   I am totally amazed at the array of beautiful flowers grown at Island Meadow Farms.

Owner and floral designer, Barb Jewell, prepares dozens of stunning and romantic wedding bouquets over the summer and fall seasons.  It’s not hard to understand why she is the choice of many Island brides for their wedding bouquets and floral arrangements.  In addition, Island Meadow Farms also sells bouquets of cut flowers and makes floral arrangements for all occasions.

I was looking for a romantic-style centerpiece that would compliment the dishes.  In particular, I wanted old-fashioned flowers like the ones that would have been grown in flower gardens many years ago.  So, with one of my plates in hand for color-matching, I traveled to York and met with Barb Jewell to pick out the flowers and I was not disappointed in her recommendations.

Home I came with a couple of buckets of fresh flowers.

And, then the floral arranging began.

And, here is my finished product….

There are a number of flowers in this arrangement that include Estoma Lisianthia, Forget-me-Nots, Canterbury Bells, Campanula, Scabiosa, Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Cress, Boston Fern, and Scented Geranium.

With an arrangement this bountiful and beautiful, there is little need for anything else to adorn the center of the table.  I used a couple of little crystal votives on either side of the arrangement and that was it.  Doesn’t it look summery and romantic!

As you can see from the photo below, I started with a soft ivory tablecloth and matching napkins.  Tableware is presented in the order in which the meal will be served starting with the soup course.

This was followed by the salad course.

And, the plate for the entrée.

When using vintage dinnerware, I recommend keeping the glasswear of similar or complimentary style (as opposed to using contemporary water and wine glasses).  This means the glasses can have lots of cuts and design in them.

I used a very basic, simple fold for the napkin so it would not compete with, or detract from, both the dinnerware and the floral centerpiece.

And, the table is set, ready for dinner guests.

For more information on Island Meadow Farms, visit their website at http://www.islandmeadowfarms.ca/.


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