Off To The Races Derby-Inspired Tablescape

I’m off to the races at the table, in anticipation of the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” with the running of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday.


A table inspired by the “Run for the Roses”, with both plaid and roses married in Lauren Skylar Floral plates and served with floral flatware.


The unbridled spirit of 14 Hands wine is chilling in celebration.


Napkins are dressed in their Derby finery. . .


With silver napkin rings and pearl-trimmed napkins, topped with a sheer metallic overlay.


Mint Julep Cups are serving as vases filled with azalea blooms and sprigs of mint.


 And a burlap tablecloth provides a foundation and texture in contrast to the sparkling surfaces of the crystal and silver.


A leather handled wine chiller provides a centerpiece and vase for the table with azalea and snowball viburnum blooms.



Help yourself to a Sweet Tea Julep, a marriage of two classic Southern drinks, the mint julep and sweet tea!



1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

1 lemon, sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

3 cups cold sweetened tea

1 cup bourbon

Crushed ice

Sweet Tea Julep6

Muddle cut or torn mint leaves with sugar in a 2-qt. pitcher with back of spoon to release flavors. Stir in tea and bourbon and add lemon slices. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish, if desired.

Sweet Tea Julep

Sweet Tea Julep, a marriage of two classic Southern drinks, the mint julep and sweet tea! Ideal to enjoy while watching the Kentucky Derby for as cocktail for summer time sipping.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Course: cocktail
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon, cocktail, Derby party, Kentucky Derby, mint julep, sweet tea
Servings: 4 cups


  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups cold sweetened tea
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs


  • Muddle cut or torn mint leaves with sugar in a 2-qt. pitcher with back of spoon to release flavors.
  • Stir in tea and bourbon and add lemon slices. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish, if desired.


For a sweet ending, Mini Derby Pies, a Bluegrass-inspired recipe and just the right size for the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”.


Baked in a muffin tin, these Mini Pies are a winning trifecta of pecan pie, chocolate and a touch of Kentucky Bourbon!


Top your Mini Derby Pies with Easy Bourbon Whipped Cream, ready in 20 seconds!

easy bourbon whipped cream border

You can find the recipe for Mini Derby Pies with Bourbon Whipped Cream, HERE.


Off To The Races Table Details:

Burlap Tablecloth / Couleur Nature, Amazon

Dishes /Lauren Skylar Floral, HomeGoods, several years ago, used here

Stemware / Mikasa Barmaster’s Wine Glasses

Crystal Beverage Glass/ unknown

Silver & Chargers/  HomeGoods

Napkins/ Pier 1, several years ago

Mint Julep Cups / Towle

Napkin Rings / Pottery Barn, several years ago

Horse bust / Hobby Lobby

Wine Chiller / retail days

PicMonkey Collage table border

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Tablescape Thursday

  60 comments for “Off To The Races Derby-Inspired Tablescape

  1. lilichan06
    April 30, 2015 at 5:34 am

    What a wonderful place … and such a lovely table !

  2. April 30, 2015 at 5:58 am

    I love those plates Mary, the plaid is great! I know I’d like to drink too. One of the guys is going to the track tomorrow, think I might do a little reading up and see if he’ll place a bet for me too-enjoy the race:@)

  3. April 30, 2015 at 7:18 am

    We all get together to watch the race and just have a good time. Good food, good drinks and a race with our wonderful friends!🐎🐎

  4. Bonbongirl
    April 30, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Looks like you scored a winning Trifecta: amazing tablescape, food and drinks for the Running of the Roses!🌹🐎 Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. April 30, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Very festive table, Mary!

  6. Marg Ayers
    April 30, 2015 at 8:01 am


  7. April 30, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Mary, The trophy is yours! This is a beautiful table for the Derby ~~ the perfect combination of elegance and southern charm and delicious refreshments (pecans, yum!). I hope you have your hat ready! I love seeing the stylish hats the women are wearing to watch those exciting two minutes! Linda

  8. April 30, 2015 at 9:32 am

    You are always so consistently clever and creative! Your designs are so intriguing. I just LOVE your posts!! Thank you for sharing. Those dishes are to die for. I love having a Mint Julep recipe with sweet tea. Absolutely beautiful!

  9. April 30, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Such a beautiful table, like always. You have certainly put together a beautifully Derby inspired table. I love celebrating the Kentucky Derby and you have provided so much inspiration here.

  10. Cheryl
    April 30, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Getting out my big hat and heading to the lake! Please get my julep ready!!

    April 30, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Do you do any interior design for other people???

  12. Ellen
    April 30, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Inspired. Brilliant. Completely beautiful.

  13. April 30, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    This table is a blue ribbon winner for sure Mary, it’s an absolute eye-popper! I love how you’ve married so many natural elements with elegant touches, and your flower arrangement is running away with the show~ I am literally drooling over the thought of a Sweet Tea Julep and a decadent bourbon cream topped derby pie! I love to watch all the festivities and everyone in their finest~Southern tradition at it’s most outlandish!

  14. April 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I sincerely hope you’re working on a tablescape book… None others can hold a candle to your creativity!

  15. April 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Beautiful table, Mary. While everything is stunning, your commentary is what brings it alive. Pretty pictures are worth a thousand words, but when coupled with prose filled with expressions unique to the subject those pictures become worth a million words. Reminds me of the old saying, “Not just another pretty face.”


  16. Bev
    April 30, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Beautiful! What a great idea…

  17. Jane
    April 30, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    How pleasant to enjoy this lovely table scape at the close of a rough day. Thank you, and may your favorite win!

  18. April 30, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Love your a derby post! And I noticed the Makers Mark bottle. I do not live too far from where it is made. I am ready…hat and all! Please visit to see some of my derby mentions. Your Derby table is lovely! Sheila

  19. Ellen Stillabower
    May 1, 2015 at 6:55 am

    What an elegant table. Perfect for Derby day!! Get your biggest hat and enjoy your mint julep! I particularly love the plates. They would look beautiful at A Christmas table too.. Oh, did I say Christmas?? Sorry, I’m still waiting for a temperature above 60!! Have a fun Derby Day. I’m getting my items together for our race day here in Indy!! 🌹🍹🎩🏁🏇👒

  20. May 2, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Oh my Mary, if that’s not the prettiest derby table ever!! I love the contrast of the burlap with the rest of the table’s finery. Those plates…goodness, are they perfect for the Run for the Roses!!! You just always amaze me with your creativity and beauty. Your lake makes the perfect backdrop.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  21. May 2, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Mary …Oh, goodness! Your sweet tea juleps and Derby pie tassies are speaking to my Southern heart. :)
    Beautiful post. LOVE LOVE your iced tea glasses!

  22. Laura
    May 2, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Gorgeous, I would so love to entertain with you, our styles are so similar!

  23. Kaye
    May 2, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Mary…I’ve been a Southern Living recipe devotee for more years than I want to tell, but your creative styling, beautiful elements, and perfect photography never fail to inspire me to actually try recipes I’ve just overlooked! Thank you so much for sharing your talents here–your posts are lovely, tasteful, and motivating. Happy Derby Day!

  24. May 2, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    What a perfect table to celebrate The Derby!….I have written down that Mint Julep Ice Tea…not only sounds great, it looks wonderful…..I so love how you placed the burlap on the table mixing it with the crystal…love it…and I have such remorse in not buying those beautiful RL plates way back when!…..Have a great weekend and Derby Day!!!

  25. May 3, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Man, oh man……I really love your julep crystal glasses. I need those badly. Did I just say need?? I WANT them badly!!!! Sure u don’t remember where u found them????
    Love bourbon. Bought a muddler in Dominican Republic a few weeks ago. Planted mint yesterday. Now I just WANT your glassware!!!!!

    • May 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Janey, They’re my MIL’s crystal pattern, 60+ years old. We handle them with care :) Unfortunately she doesn’t remember the pattern.

  26. May 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Just love your southern hospitality! So many gorgeous pics, so nice to get my net back to breath it all in!

  27. May 5, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    What a great table! The napkins are beautiful!

  28. May 6, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    What a beautiful tablescape. Thanks for featuring a Northwest wine. We have wonderful ones up here. And wasn’t the race great? American Pharoah, a beautiful horse. And on to the Triple Crown.

    Yael from Home Garden Diggers

  29. Jo Ann
    April 11, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Enjoyed seeing you use my Community silver plate! I’d enjoy digging through your collections! Have you written a book?

  30. April 12, 2016 at 3:20 am

    So beautiful and smart and colourful as well as inspirational. Thanks for showing. The weather looks perfect to match the occasion.

  31. April 12, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Looks like a magazine. So pretty.

  32. April 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    What a serene setting!

  33. April 25, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Mary, you continually offer up amazing delights with each new post. I’m swooning over this table ~ roses, tartan, silver, flowers, and horses. Wow, makes me want to hop a jet plane and land right there at your table. This may be a favorite, but then again I’m always thinking that about your tables. Each one is so unique, created with all the perfect details ~ 14 Hands wine. How do you do it? ‘-)

  34. April 25, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Beautiful! Love the tartan plates!….Christine

  35. April 28, 2016 at 10:09 am

    How perfect are the tartan plaid plates for this Derby styled table. The horses head and the “14 hands” wine are perfect!

  36. April 28, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    So incredibly gorgeous!!! Love, love, love it! ;)

  37. April 30, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Your table is beautiful! I love all the different textures. I really love the mint julep cups with the azaleas. So lovely!

    Carolyn @ Our MT Nest

  38. Liz
    April 30, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Oh Your Tables! They never fail to charm! :)
    LOVE the dishes!

  39. April 24, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Your Derby Day Tablescape is spectacular and your attention to detail and commitment to the theme is awesome. The plaid plates with the roses are so beautiful and I love that you are even serving the 14 Hands wine.

  40. April 27, 2017 at 11:31 am

    This Derby Day Tablescape is a winner! I love the mix of plaid with the roses and the horse details. You even find the perfect themed wine! Have fun at the races. Do you have a favorite?

  41. Jen
    April 28, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I always look forward to your tablescapes. This is beautiful. Your recipe for sweet tea julep looks refreshing and delicious!

  42. May 2, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    You didn’t hold the reins on this table setting. What a delight for the eyes and mind. Your use of descriptive prose made me smile throughout the entire read. I want the Sweet Tea Julep and the Mini Derby Pies. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful table.

  43. Rose Marie
    May 2, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I love your floral teaspoon, forks, etc. Could you please tell the style name and where I might find them?

  44. Maureen D. Eha
    May 1, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Hi, Mary,

    Love the contrasts in this tablescape–roses with plaid, crystal with burlap, etc. Dressy and cottage-y at the same time. You say you got the flatware at Home Goods. Do you happen to know the names of the brand and the pattern?

    Thank you!


    • May 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks Maureen! No, the flatware is vintage not from HomeGoods, the details are here:

      • Maureen D. Eha
        May 1, 2018 at 9:46 pm

        Thank you, Mary! I thought it looked like vintage silverplate, but in the description it said the silver was from Home Goods, so I assumed it meant the flatware. My mistake! I appreciate having the link to the post where you talk about it and tell the pattern. It’s very pretty.

  45. Virginia
    April 30, 2021 at 11:38 am

    How fun! We used to live in Kentucky and I still own several gorgeous hats! So now while we watch the Derby races, I wear my hat, drink mint Juleps, make hot browns and eat Derby pie!

  46. Ranger Smith
    April 21, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Fantastic table! However, the Derby isn’t this Saturday, it’s the following Saturday.

    • April 21, 2022 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you! This table was originally shared and published several years ago. :)

      • Ranger
        April 23, 2022 at 10:22 am

        Oh, thank you. I didn’t realize.

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