Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where Louis XVI ate his turkey..........Happy Thanksgiving

A day ahead of royal appetites, princely portions, and I imagine some gorgeous table settings with linen tablecloths, polished silver and sparkly crystal chandeliers all aglow. I know many of you are getting prepared to share your own castles with family and friends and hope you are enjoying the table and food preparations..........all the special touches that say welcome to our home. If your dining room walls are painted red or covered in red silk as they are at Chateau de Versailles, know that red stimulates the appetite and be prepared to dish out some second helpings of turkey and pumpkin pie. As we all know, Louis XVI was well known for his love of second helpings. 

Even though I was forced to snapping photos through protective glass of the dining chamber King's Private Apartments at Chateau de Versailles, I thought it worthwhile if only to remember how precise the napkins were folded back in the day. It is a housekeeping art and I do admire the skill that this must have required though a part of me even the Downton Abbey loving part thinks we should all be truly thankful that this level of precision isn't required of today's hostess, even royal goodness, fine linen folded into pleated layers in two directions and folded into the shape of a scaly fish? How do they do that?

Others would be impressed with the amount of silver service, not us, we were fascinated with the napkin folding techniques. This style looked like a huge blossoming flower. 

And the rich red walls and velvet chairs. All fit for a king and his queen. Imagine eating with a audience each and every meal. I would be way more comfortable being the one folding the napkins into intricate shapes..............and then heading out to yoga class to work off the pumpkin pie. Or so I say. 

Though it is a magnificent pleating technique isn't it? 
Something to try with soft tissue paper perhaps?

However you set your holiday table, whether it be stainless or silver, cotton or silk, pewter or silver, paper plates or china, have a most wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Spend time together. 

Happy Thanksgiving........xx

photos by Sande Chase


  1. Love this tie in between Versailles and US Thanksgiving. I can't imagine folding linens like that for every meal - it must have been someone's full time job. But I do like using soft damask linen napkins and have been known, on occasion, to even use them un-ironed!

  2. OMG how did they fold those napkins??? I just booked for Beaune early next month and can't wait to be there. And did I mention shopping a little for holiday? LOVE the images~

  3. Wow, it would probably take me a whole week just to figure out how to fold those napkins before I could even start to think about cooking. It all just looks so amazingly ostentatious and beautiful to look at for a while, but I think I'd need to rest my eyes after a while. Excuse my ignorance, but do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada as the US do (we don't at all)? If yes, then I hope you have a wonderful day! xo

  4. Happy Thanksgiving!
    I love how you put into words those beautiful and interesting details.
    Oh the napkins are amazing.

  5. The lotus napkins had me baffled. I agree with your sentiments. It's the memories we create from spending time with the people we love and from our positive relationships with others that determines our real wealth.

  6. Lucky Louis... and those folding techniques are fabulous. Thank you for sharing and wishing you a fabulous Thanksgiving.
    xoxo, B

  7. Louis' dining room was a beauty to be sure. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

  8. an amazing look at (royal) times gone by. so thankful for my own family and friends who gather in such a casual way. but aren't those napkins amazing?

    happy thanksgiving, sande. love, donna

  9. Sande I agree those napkins are little works of art; amazing!
    A sumptuous setting!

    I hope that you and yours enjoyed Thanksgiving!

    Giveaway from Scalamandre!

  10. Oh my goodness! I am thinking of you with this incredible temperature drop! I can only imagine how very chilly it must be in Ontario. Brrr...I am secretly loving it but my family here thinks that is insane. :) Thank you so much for your kind words over at my place. Your blog is beyond beautiful and I am delighted to have signed up. Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead...

  11. I , too love those napkins. The folds are a lost art. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

  12. Sande,

    I've been to Versailles a handful of times and don't recall Louis' diningroom...Perhaps I have but I don't have the keen attention to detail that you have.
    One thing is for sure, if I ever folded a napkin as beautifully as that lotus flower, I'd be sure to put it under glass as well (a dome that is) for future gazing.

    Lovely post.


Your comments are such a lovely addition to my day. Thank you.


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