Let Love Bloom

 Love is Blooming at my table in honor of

Valentine’s Day ~

  Roses are blooming on my china, napkins, and in my soup tureen I filled courtesy of Trader Joe’s.

I’m the happy recipient of my Great Aunt’s china, marked Avenir China, Limoges France. Since at one point in the 1920’s as many as 48 companies were producing wares marked Limoges, it’s been as difficult to identify as a box of unmarked chocolates, which I can’t determine the content of without a “pinch” test. . .

After some googling and visiting Replacements, I was able to narrow it down to a pattern by G. Demartine & Cie, which produced and decorated porcelain from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, but only as far as a pattern number and ‘manufacturer status unknown’.


 I’m happy to use it for a Valentine’s Day Tea and offer up some sweet treats. . .

 My silver filigree footed dish was a consignment store find and echoes the edge of my runner I found last year from Home Goods.

It’s serving up some cocoa meringue cookies. . .

Pink roses have a rich history that comes with being one of the longest existing roses known. When roses began to be cultivated, the majority of them existed in various shades, from the palest pink to the deepest crimson, and were the dominant species among wild roses and likely among the earliest roses to evolve.

 As a symbol of grace and elegance, the pink rose is often given as an expression of admiration. They can also convey appreciation as well as joyfulness. Pink rose bouquets often impart a gentler meaning than their red counterparts.

 These demitasse spoons are part of another Great Aunt’s silver pattern by S. Kirk & Son. . . I got them by default since they were monogrammed with W’s,  and look like an M upside-down :-)

This tray belonged to my grandmother and was given to her for her years of service as church secretary, and is serving tea on my table :-)

 My grandmother’s pressed glass compote is serving up jam-filled shortbread hearts. . .

Second only to red roses in popularity, white roses symbolize truth and innocence. They also represent silence, secrecy, reverence, humility, youthfulness and charm. You can use them to say, “You’re heavenly”, “I miss you” and “I’m worthy of you”. . .

 A white rosebud symbolizes girlhood, representing purity and are traditionally associated with marriages and new beginnings. The white rose is also a symbol of honor and reverence, and white rose arrangements are often used as an expression of remembrance.

The name for cocoa is theobroma, which means ‘food of the gods’.  We know that chocolate is meant for us, because the melting point for good chocolate just happens to be the temperature within your mouth :-)

In the 1800’s physicians commonly advised their lovelorn patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining~ and as an elixir for love, chocolate has been believed throughout history to bring smiles to the broken-hearted and to prompt amorous feelings in both men and women.


It is believed that Madame Du Barry served it to all her suitors;  Montezuma, the king of the ancient Aztecs, believed chocolate would make him virile; and Casanova consumed chocolate instead of champagne to induce romance. Personally, I would rather not have to choose between chocolate & champagne :-)

“Our skin has been hibernating in layers of clothes for months; we are accustomed to gray. We can start to think that this is how it always will be. And then, there’s Valentine’s Day. A day to look in your lover’s eyes and see color. To eat something that plays with your taste buds and to remember romance.  But here’s the thing. If you live in your senses, slowly, with attention, if you use your eyes and fingertips and your taste buds, then romance is something you’ll never need a greeting card to make you remember.”  ~ Erica Bauermeister, The School of Essential Ingredients

 Napkins & Teapots ~ Home Goods

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday

  Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch~

French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday~

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays~

  Rose Chintz Cottage for Valentine’s Day Tea ~

 Common Ground ~Vintage Valentine Party~

  57 comments for “Let Love Bloom

  1. February 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Oh, how beautiful! I absolutely love a girly tea party and your table is very romantic, girly, sweet and utterly delicious!

  2. February 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Mary, thank you for sharing the exquisite post and all the information about roses. How special that you have so many family pieces that bring you pleasure. My MIL’s china with delicate pink roses was also Limoges, but a different pattern. And I have the same white teapot with the beautiful delicate finial on the lid. I’d planned to use it in my next FFT post. ;-)
    Hope you don’t get the winter storm that is headed for the east coast.
    ~ Sarah

  3. February 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I’d love to be there for your tea party! Everything is beautiful. Your flowers are just gorgeous and set off your lovely china and other pieces.

    Do you think about what you are going to say when you make your photos or after? Interesting things about chocolate. Good reasons for us to enjoy it. Thanks!

    I know your great aunt and grandmother would be so honored and thrilled that you happily used and cherished their china and lovely tray in such a sweet way.

  4. February 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Beautiful valentine table, Mary!

  5. February 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    so pretty and feminie mary, i seam to lack that gene… it looks southern and gracious :)

    i see you mentioned homegoods, i finally got to shop again, every 10 pounds i get to pounce, FEELS GOOD TO BE ALIVE AGAIN! sad isn’t it, that a store has so much power of joy over us~

    gorgeous, lush, tempting table, thanks for the smiles…

  6. February 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    A beautiful table indeed! I love your china from your sweet aunt! What a treasure you have. And I also loved the napkins & loose pink rose petals. CHARMING! Enjoy! I felt like you invited me for tea. Thanks for sharing. And I wanted to let you know I ordered the book from Amazon about the woman traveling across the USA in the RV. Can’t wait to read it. Charlene

  7. February 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Oh my, this is stunning. Love all the soft pink floral colors and all of the tablescape and accessories are just gorgeous. This is so lovely and inviting. Beautifully done. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  8. Pondside
    February 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Ah, that was lovely. Is there anything prettier than a rose? I don’t think so. Your inheirited china is beautiful – what a treasure – as are all the other special things on the table. Whoever sits at your table will feel well and truly pampered!

  9. February 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Your blog is a total delight. Every time I visit I completely leave behind the cares of the world. Transported, if you will. Your capacity to create a vignette and tablescapes (of incomparable design) must come from your years of merchandising. Whatever it is, you definately have a knack and I look forward to my daily visits.

  10. February 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Your table is so beautiful for the teaparty. And you have so many special treasures.

  11. February 8, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I love that china pattern!! Your tablescape is stunning.

    Susan and Bentley

  12. February 8, 2011 at 1:33 am

    What a lovely, lovely tea party. Thank you for sharing it with us and Happy TTT.

  13. February 8, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Exquisitely elegant arranged tablescape! Roses are my first most favorite flower. Pale shades of pink make my heart swoon, followed closey by the serenity of white. Thank you for this lovely Valentine’s post.

  14. February 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Your table is beautifully elegant, I love the delicacy of all the elements and pink is a big favorite of mine. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful Valentine’s table.

  15. Nasrin Ejlali
    February 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    You need to be given dozens of pink Roses , because I admire every thing you put together , wish I could be there for a cuppa tea. Happy Valentine’s day.

  16. Pat
    February 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Your Valentine table looks absolutely lovely, Mary! The rose dishes are so delicate and feminine. I also loved your tea service. Please pass me some of those chocolate meringe cookies..they look delicious!

  17. ldh
    February 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    A most lovely table and post! The pieces are so beautiful but so much more special that they have been passed to you from family.

  18. February 9, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Hi Mary…
    What a beautiful tea table, my friend! It is simply exquisite…from the beautiful china…right down to all those scrumptious sweet treats! I really do love this china pattern…the pink roses just make me swoon! Ohhh…and I love both of your pretty teapots! I also love how you used that pretty decorative box to elevate the lovely bouquet…it’s all so pretty, my friend! Thank you for sharing this fabulous tea with us!

    Warmest wishes and Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  19. February 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Absolutely a beautiful bounty in bloom! How special to have your great aunt’s china. And your tablescape is gorgeous! Roses have a special place in my heart. It was in my bouquet and I have kept all my roses throughout the years from my hubby (I enjoy them when they are in full color for a short while, but turn them upside down to dry, so that I can have them forever. I think that they are beautiful in the garden, freshly cut and also when they are dried.

    Blessings & Aloha!

  20. February 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Roses & Valentine just go so well together don’t they!

  21. February 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    This is a beautiful place for a tea party! The flowers are wonderfully beautiful. I love their colors.

  22. February 9, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    What a beautiful post.

  23. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    February 9, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    What a beautiful delicate table, and the meringues look amazing! Happy Valentine’s Day-enjoy:@)

  24. February 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    This is cute,
    Happy V Day Ahead.

  25. February 9, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I really took my time reading and enjoying this entire post. I love the table. I can’t say enough how lovely the things from your great aunts are. I love the colors and, well, just everything.

    I also enjoyed the information about both roses and chocolate. I learned a lot.

    And I can confirm one part: Chocolate certainly brings a smile to my face, lovelorn or not!

  26. February 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    All of the flowers and dishes are so very beautiful!!! I absolutely love the beautiful colors!!!!

  27. February 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Love the rose tidbits! Your teapot is lovely. The linzer cookies look heavenly. A well apportioned table for sure. Very pretty. Love your dishes!

  28. February 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    This is such a beautiful table. Your pinks are truly lovely. The china is so delicate and sweet and those roses are just gorgeous. I love it all.

  29. February 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Hi!!! Now you must know that I absolutely LOVE this table!!! I am such a lover of pink in every form, and I am just bowled over! The flowers are beautiful, and all your china is stunningly pretty!!! I like the way you displayed your floral arrangement in the tureen! Everything is simply lovely and the absolute essence of Valentine’s Day! I hope you and yours have a great one! I just read your “About Me” section, and it would seem we have even more in common than I thought!!! Especially the tired feet!!! The difference is that we don’t have a lake house. I’ll have to talk to Ramon about that! ;-) Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for stopping by my place earlier! Hugs!

  30. February 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    The combination of roses and alstromeria is soooo lovely! Good choice!

  31. February 10, 2011 at 3:11 am

    I’m back for Tablescape Thursday and would like to invite you to join our party: The Colours of Love.


    Your table would fit in perfectly. And I love your jam filled shortbread hearts!

  32. February 10, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Oh how I love your beautiful Valentine tablescapes and all of those scrumptious sweets!!! Awesome pictures!!! Happy Valentine’s Day Mary!!

  33. February 10, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Wow all of your snaps are mind blowing ! Nice work.


  34. mle
    February 10, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Oh! what a lovely table filled with yummy treats & happy thoughts : )

  35. February 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

    You had me hooked with the roses ….. but then the dinnerware and especially the meringue cookies just pulled me right in. Yum.

    Thanks so much for joining my first linky party on The Little Round Table and I hope that you will be able to visit again soon.


  36. February 10, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Your limoges are beautiful, how fortunate you are to have them!! Your table looks so lovely, I love the silver compote and the flowers are gorgeous. I love learning while I’m visiting!! Thanks for your design and the info!

  37. February 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Lovely post, Mary! What a gorgeous runner — that lace really caught me eye. And I love your pretty floral china — so delicate and feminine! Thanks for visiting me this week!

  38. February 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Let’s take chocolate AND champagne! Your table is so romantic and lovely. The dishes you inherited are special and I always like to see roses. Beautiful job putting all these pieces together. Enjoy your special valentine! Linda

  39. February 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I loved reading about your sweet family memories. Awesome! And your gorgeous holiday tableware – perfect for so many holidays. As a major rose lover, I was especially delighted to enjoy so many. I have to say, I miss Trader Joe’s so much, as we’ve moved to a city without one. Are the yummy chocolate meringues from there? I LOVE those, along with their “to die for” chocolate truffles. Thank you for a delicious and delightful Valentine week visit for this Sandwich Generation granny nanny! A special treat!

  40. February 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    That china is exquisite.


  41. February 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Beautifully done & magnificent roses!

  42. February 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Hi Mary,
    A romantic tea party, indeed! I do adore those teapots of yours. Lovely!

    Happy TS…

  43. February 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    This is all so beautiful! Love the interesting camera angles you’ve used. The information you’ve included is fascinating as well.

  44. February 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    What a gorgeous setting for tea..

    I have some tea cups that are similar I inherited from my grandmother. You certainly have a beautiful table!

  45. February 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I am in love with your table! I love all the roses… very romantic! I don’t know what I love best…the lacey runner, napkins, the teapot and those dishes! and what about the silver platter from your grandma and the jam filled cookies! Oh my….just beautiful! All of it!

  46. February 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    What a treasure of beautiful ideas you have shared with us here. Those dishes were absolutely delicious. The full-blown roses just added to the magical quality of the whole table setting.

    This was really a lovely, elegant stop this week on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday’s letter “R”.

    Thank you for linking.

    I always come away from your posts feeling enchanted!


  47. Mrs. Serendipity
    February 11, 2011 at 3:38 am

    You table is perfect for a Valentines Day celebration. Very beautiful. Love all of you wonderful family heirlooms – what treasures. I recently found your blog and enjoy your posts very much! Happy Valentines Day! Mrs. S

  48. February 11, 2011 at 8:14 am

    This is gorgeous! I love tea parties and this table setting totally reminded me of the tea parties I went to when I was in college. Very nice and very elegant. Plus the food was great even though they were dainty. :)

  49. February 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Though the patterns are different, your grandmother’s china and my mother’s would make a beautiful table together. A tea party would be lovely on this very chilly, white day.

  50. February 12, 2011 at 1:28 am

    What a gorgeous post! I love all your silver and your beautiful treasured china pieces you have! Love all the history of the roses and their colors and meanings too- Thank you for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

  51. February 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I just came upon your beautiful blog, but what grabbed my HEART was the photo of Chloe and Gracie!! We just put our 15 y/o Bichon to sleep in October. Kippy was our purpose for getting up in the morning. We miss her terribly and someday when we are traveling less, we will have 2 of the most beautiful and loving dogs in the world. Hugs and kisses to your little sweeties!!

  52. February 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    What a beautiful tea table…the china is lovely, lovely.

  53. February 13, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Beautiful, beautiful table! Even more special because of their history and passing down.

  54. February 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Just wanted to pop back over to say thank you so much for stopping by. The Melting Pot was awesome …and the dehydrator too. haha

    Blessings & Aloha!

  55. February 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    This is beautiful! How I love Limoges. I did a post this week with a Limoges Valentine’s table as well. Thanks for bringing your table to Seasonal Sundays.

    – The Tablescaper

  56. February 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

    This is so very lovely! Love the history behind some of your pieces – makes it all the more special. Gorgeous china, teapot – roses and setting – completely lovely,

  57. Fabiola
    February 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    How gorgeous! I love your china, the runner is so pretty and all you tell us about some of your pieces, make sit very special. Family heirlooms are such treasures and you show it beautifully. The roses are stunnung! Come say hello, I’d love to! Thank you for sharing.

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