If I were to serve that masterpiece of baking that I made yesterday, how would I orchestrate it so that not only the cake but the table were works of art ? Here at the store I have many truly lovely cloths and mats with which I could create any number or gorgeous, timely, sophisticated, quirky or just plain outrageous tables.
One of the first things to consider is what I am wanting this vignette to portray. I think for a cake made from scratch (yes, that is what we call it when we bake from all the first order ingredients that are not already combined, sifted, mixed, and shaken for us) I need to search for a cloth and napkins that were also made in the traditional style. What better way to go than with a Madeira piece? I love this one in particular for it natural coloration, beautiful handwork, and "used" state of being.
The cloth and matching napkins have come from an estate sale that I believe was in the highlands of North Carolina. I sometimes picture it being used in one of the grand houses, but truth be told it could just as easily have been brought down from a home "up East" for use during the summer months spent in the hills. Either way, I love it for its historical possibilities and its personal touches. A small mar here and there are only the physical evidence of someone having used it before I have. I can imagine many an afternoon tea with a table set with fine china, crystal, silver, and perhaps a cake just like this one.