Grandeur Dining Rooms

“Dining with ones friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul satisfying and eternal.” ~ Julia Childelegance2

I have such extraordinary memories growing up as a child, my heart filled with such joy  of all the times my parents treated us to a captivating, elegant, royal tableaux and luscious meal.  On those special occasions,REL6 my mom would always decorate the dining table with radiant, candescent candles, freshly arranged red roses, soft , dim lighting, white or powder blue linen table cloths with newly starched and ironed napkins, her treasured Haviland china with its delicate design, festooned beautiful momwith petite pastel roses, her polished choice sliver and stellar Waterford crystal. (I would always be ‘right there watching her every move’)  just in case she needed my help in any way.)  🙂

Her meals were not only legendary, chimerical but heartening and comforting.  I think my top three,REL3 (and I have to choose three as I can’t possibly pick just one,) 🙂 was her homemade spaghetti, (and no, we are from an Irish, not Italian descent,) beef brisket with potatoes, carrots and onions, and from her Southern heritage, a savory and first class, dreamy lump crab casserole. She baked plenty of ambrosial breads, created, hearty delicious salads, (her homemade avocado dressing was gourmet,) and her desserts were decadent… Pecan pie a’ la mode, rich, dense chocolate cake topped with a mocha frosting,  fudge brownies with pecans and real whipped cream, and french Vanilla Ice cream, drizzled with Chambord  liqueur. (I only got a ‘taste’ at that time.) 🙂 REL1The ‘older kids’ shared in a glass of wine, while my  younger brother and I had our  beautiful goblet of ‘boring’ milk. 🙂  For some reason, it did not look nearly as delicious as their sparkling white wine in the classy and regal crystal.)

For very special occasions, I also remember my parents taking us to some really upscale eateries in California that made me feel so pampered and special…like a princess for the night.REL I especially loved The Reuben E. Lee , ( a 19th century Paddle boat docked  upon the Newport bay.)  It was called the “floating, elegant restaurant.” (My dad would always order me a ‘Shirley Temple’) and they  always served freshly made popped corn.  My other favored place to go was the Five crowns in Newport beach. Not only is their English decor absolutely exquisite, but their prime rib is to die for.REL8  Once, while living in South Carolina, they took us to a beautiful seafood eatery, nestled upon the water, in the renowned and historical city of  Charleston and ordered us all lobster tails with melted butter on the side.  To my surprise, I loved it! As a little girl,  I never enjoyed lobster when my parents bought them fresh and then had to boil them all in the Brobdingnagian  pot as those humongous critters were REL7“still kicking.” I’d run out of the kitchen and yell out to my mom, “I will just have salad, bread and extra potatoes tonight for dinner.”) 🙂



There is just something so special about dressing up a room and table with “your best” of everything…creating a felicitous meal, sitting with loved ones, laughing until your jaw aches, sharing stories of yesteryear, eating delectable cuisine until you are stuffed and watch as the last tall, lambent candle’s flame has demised. REL9 It is a gift that you can give yourself, your husband, your family, boyfriend, girlfriend or guests. Having a special occasion such as a birthday, holiday gathering, anniversary celebration or an intimate night with friends is a wonderful landmark to build your fancy dinner around…but I like to do it “just because” on some nights as a special gift to my husband and I..(And Grantham too if we have steak, chicken or salmon, as he impatiently waits for his portion, drooling like there is no tomorrow.) 🙂

I am hoping to share with you in this vignette some very  grandiose dining room ideas as well as share one of my mom’s stupendous recipes with you, to bring forth a few inspiring ideas of how to give yourself as well as loved ones a “fine and regal” dining experience.



DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER Adorable Baby Boy in Suit on Cellphone

 “You never forget a beautiful thing you have made,” (Chef Bugnard  said.) “Even after you eat it, it stays with you-always.” ~ Julia Child

Bon Appetit!” ~ Julia Child

“It’s so beautifully arranged on a plate, you know someones fingers have been all over it.” ~ Julia Child

“If More of us valued food and cheer and songaudry2 above hoarded gold, It would be a merrier world.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien ~ Author of The Lord of the Rings

“Come quickly! I’m tasting stars.” ~ Dom Pierre Perignon tasting his first sip of his newly created champagne.

“I have a renewed commitment to elegance, she said, in case you think I’m just spending money for the fun of it.” ~ Brian Adreas

“Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. audry7Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.” ~ 18th century French author Charles Pierre Monselet

“Certainly one of the important requirements for learning how to cook is that you also learn how to eat. If you don’t know how an especially fine dish is supposed to taste, how can you produce it? ” ~ Julia Child
Are you ready to visit  some grandeur dining rooms? 🙂
If you are a History buff, a connoisseur of antiqued chandeliers, silver candelabra, soft white candle light and a warm, regal ambiance, this elegant dining room is the perfect place to plan a festive reunion with loved ones… Absolutely Gorgeous!
Both of these par- excellence dining rooms are fiercely grandiose and would undoubtedly make each guest feel coddled and pampered. The first photograph is one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen with it’s  amazing vaulted ceilings, arched hallways, divine, shiny wood flooring, awesome paned windows with it’s breathtaking view, the original and choice sconce lighting, and stellar hanging chandelier. It truly looks as if Royalty lives here. The second dining room is of course a classy and graceful eatery…All the work and preparation is done for you to perfection. The only thing that awaits you is ‘pure pleasure.’   I adore the floral topiary tree. (Just creating one of those and placing it amongst a white linen table cloth would be a wondrous start to your elegant setting. ) 🙂
elegance6fancy eatery
This vintage dining room is exquisite. I could see this table festooned for a ladies intimate dinner…  It’s ambiance creates the feeling of an exciting wedding celebration! 🙂  I love her white, sheer, lace window treatment, her collection of diverse candelabras and the  hanging chandelier is absolutely top-of-the-line! What makes this room beautifully rhapsodic is it’s ‘style,’ a special touch being the unique linen tablecloth with it’s picturesque, entrancing, “Shabby Chic” corners.   Any guest  having dinner in this lovely, ageless dining room would feel very refreshed and catered to.
Already blessed with an amazingly gorgeous view, this grandeur dining room is certainly a treat for any of it’s dinner guests . The soft lighting is perfect for a romantic dinner amidst the blithesome and canty flower arrangements, candescent candle light and stunning china. In our dining room, we have a hanging Chandler, (very casual in it’s presentation,) but it has a dimmer switch which allows us to make our intimate dinners cozy, enchanting, warm and sung! Its a great investment! 🙂

Don’t you feel as if you have stepped back in time as you look upon this  exhilarating and rousing dining room? I can just envision George Washington and his family dining in a room like this as he lived within his Mt. Vernon, Virginia estate… The vaulted ceilings and gorgeously paned window treatment  alone, would keep me enjoying extra cups of coffee after dessert, just to stay at  the table and ‘take in’ this  exquisite and lovely ambiance. This fireplace is stirring with it’s baronial mantle as well as intricate  architectural design. The divine hanging chandelier unabashedly announces it’s glory with it’s jeweled accents, the lively and poignant array of choice flowers amongst the delicate, regal white table settings, classic crystal and refined, polished sideboard is breathtaking! I love this patina!   army56

The repetition of ‘gold’ in this dining room is within itself elegant and grandiose. The table setting is eye-catching with it’s red and gold plates resting snugly upon a gold charger, accentuated with the golden candle sticks and silver serving piece… Did you notice how this decorator has dauntlessly mixed in some blue crystal glasses as well as natures divine greens amongst her regal and rich colors?  The soft candle light and vintage table clock are riveting .  This room is gorgeous and brings an abundance of new ideas of how to create your evening of enchantment and beauty.   army70

 Historic and eminently LOVELY. The lively topiary tree, buoyant yellow roses, vintage portrait and floral painting amidst the enveloping window treatments and alluring view is magical and inviting. I remember when one of my brothers was engaged, he was given a tablecloth much like this and I was so envious! (Very  happy for he and his fiance, but boy, did I want that table cloth.) 🙂  It’s breathtaking and exudes the very essence of  elegant dining. I adore the gregarious flower arrangement centerpiece,  latticed, two tone linen napkins, prestigious goblets, and absolutely stellar, majestic and graceful china. I bet there has been many a lovely, congenial and delightful meal shared around this table. 🙂
This delightful centerpiece with its gilded fruits, august three tried plate stand, gold candlestick holders with their appeasing candles and dainty and recherche china, catches the eye immediately! Again, this decorator has chosen to use the gorgeous color of gold as the rooms  main color palette with touches of white, reds and yellow. I have always loved adding  a baronial, winsome wing back chair to a dining table…It’s unique, inviting and comfortably complimentary.
This majestic dining room brings a tune from Burl Ives to my mind. You know, the song in our children’s  beloved and cherished, (and the little kid in all of us too,) ‘Rudolph the red nosed reindeer’s,’ “Silver and Gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold…”  (It truly is a great movie.) 🙂 I love the white, stellar built in shelves, the golden candelabras, and tall candlesticks, the elegant white linens and the abundance of silver trays, goblets and table decor. Absolutely gorgeous!
Though a table set for the glorious Christmas season, this dining room looks as if it is right out of a classic film… delightfully viewing this winning and par-excellence dining room sparks an abundance of wondrous ideas on how to bring about a stunning and grandiose dining experience for the holidays or any special occasion for that matter. The sideboards, festooned with  graceful swags of garland and fresh, enlivening  flowers, the strikingly bedecked fireplace mantle, festive red bows tied upon the chairs, and a vibrant red table runner to highlight the eloquent white linen table cloth is beautifully inspiring.  The  soft, glowing candle light  amongst the rich, dark woods is warm and graciously welcoming. I love it!
I am always in awe with ‘white table-settings!’ This tableaux is quite simple but also enchanting and regal. I am impressed with the diversity of candle holders the gilded pears amongst the greens, as well as the creative, artful and clever, floral centerpiece. Great ideas!
Another holiday gathering…The first impression, with these absolutely gorgeous and  rich wood, paned French doors is “explosively beautiful!” 🙂 I love the antiquated art work and their gold frames, the polished, cozy dining table with green and red accent tones and the cleverly done, blue trim upon the doors. Very lovely and warm!
Not a typical dining room, yet just as charming. Many a time, especially when all the kids have grown up and moved away, dinner is held in the ‘parlor,’ ( our living rooms with our table set up cozily by the fireside, or perhaps now a days, our  widescreen TV’s.)  🙂 This historic room is congenial, royal, welcoming and evokes a beautifully convivial ambiance to each guest who comes to share an elegant dining experience. 🙂
Another holiday bedecked dining room…(with a cheerful little visitor.) 🙂 Valentines day would be a perfect ‘motif’ for an elegant and grandeur evening meal with friends or family! This decorators color palette is lovely with it’s shades of red, green and white , highlighted with magical touches of gold. The green foliage upon the vintage mirror is classy and graceful. I love the red place mats upon the white linen cloth and the eminently unique and original fire engine red candelabra.  Beautiful room with a wealth of great decor ideas.  🙂
So many elegant and grandiose dining room ambiances use the never failing and magical ‘muse’ of Christmas for their amiable and spirited presentation.   This dining room is classically done…I love the jeweled, enchanting hanging chandelier, garish and exuberant Christmas tree, cobble stoned fireplace, vintage chairs, dark woods with the motley table setting in pastel rose, green and diverse shades of glorious red. The centerpiece is refreshing, inviting and the silver goblets, historically festive! Very stunning!
One of the popular and innovative, beautiful pieces of furniture for your elegant dining room ambiance is the baronial and courtly sideboard. Not only is it a lovely piece of furniture but it is also a place to festoon with beauty, using your regal and captivating  decor, as well as displaying decadent desserts, hot bread baskets, side dishes and beverages upon.
This side table is dressed in magnificent and fresh greens, kaleidoscopic china coffee cups and exquisite silver. It is a spirited as well as sanguine addition to this dining room.
This side table is absolutely euphoric. You do not see many sideboards arrayed in this kind of beauty…The vintage mirror is captivating with it’s antiquated design and elfin, floral swag… the tall, elaborate silver candelabras are classy, almost hypnotic, and  the decadent, showstopping freshly baked cake is comfortably resting on this sideboard, tempting every guest! 🙂   Absolutely romantic and junoesque.
These two sideboards are tasteful and luxurious, but are warm and inviting as well. Both displays capture your eye with their diverse and lovely floral arrangements and the opalescent glow of the tall candles with their dancing flames. Two wonderful ideas to dress up your room for that special fete.

Brilliant, magical, enchanting and filled with charm. A winning sideboard table for any dining room patina. Golden candlelight, reflected in mirrored glass is always a top-of-the-line decor addition to bring forth warmth, magic and a bit of romance. 🙂 army40

Lastly, my adored topiary tree festooned with bedazzling roses…and the cake…HEAVENLY! This sideboard’s ambiance is one of the Victorian era, alluring and full of romance. (The trees are very easy to create and yet look as if they are straight from the florist shop.)  🙂army31

I just read an article on elegant dining by the ‘Fine dining editor’ of the Examiner, George Singeltary. He stressed that what we are looking for when we ‘go out for a night on the town’ to enjoy an elegant getaway and delicious cuisine is three things… We want great service, great food and an a great ambiance to relax in. These are all wondrous gifts that our favorite eateries graciously offer us, but we, as well, can create the same, memorable and convivial experience right in our very own homes to bless our friends and family with, free of charge. I hope this vignette has inspired you with some new ideas on how to bring forth an elegant and grandeur dining room, providing a place for your  resplendent and delightsome evening with your loved ones.

I want to leave you with one of those superb dinners I was telling you about earlier in the blog…from the deep blue waters of the Atlantic ocean…luscious lump crab casserole! You can used canned lump crab, but it will not be as scrumptious! 🙂


YOU WILL NEED: one pound of lump crab meat, make sure there are no shells within your crab, 4 large eggs, (beaten) 3/4 stick of butter, 1 green pepper, (chopped finely,)  1 stalk of celery, (chopped finely,)  3 green onions, chopped finely, (using the chives as well ,) 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 cup of half and half,  1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, dash of Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Remember, (as you LOOK at all these ingredients, it is a rich dinner and you will only be eating just a serving so, for one evening, it will be OK.  🙂 One woman who had this at my luncheon loved it so much, she called me for the recipe… after SEEING the ingredients, she asked if she could substitute with the cream and half and half. If you do, the casserole will not  taste at all like it is supposed to…They say, “everything in moderation.) 🙂    It’s worth it!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Melt your butter over low heat and saute’ your  chopped vegetables; green pepper, celery stalk, green onion and chives, just until soft. Remove from heat and set aside, allowing to cool.  Beat your four eggs together until well blended. Add the half and half and cream, continue beating or whisking your mixture until it is again, well blended. Add your dash of Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste, (I use freshly ground black pepper and Tabasco.)  Gently, fold in  your lump crab meat  and mix together. Add your freshly sauteed and cooled vegetables, as well as the melted butter they  have been cooked in,  then scoop your mixture into a buttered casserole or a 9×13-2 inch Pyrex dish or baking pan, (same size.)  Spread in pan evenly. Cover with bread crumbs, (I use the seasoned breadcrumbs from the grocer. ) Bake for 30 minutes, test the center to see if it is done as all ovens are different. It should be firm….insert a knife to see if it has cooked through. You will know! 🙂 *** I use about two stems of green onion chopped, but the chives of three.

ENJOY! This is great served with fresh steamed asparagus, sourdough bread and a baked potato with all the trimmings. 🙂

Additional Links:
Country Living magazine white dining room
Victoria Magazine
Country Living magazine
Soot Collector Illuma Lids for candles 

PHOTOGRAPHS In placing your computer mouse upon each photo or graphic, it will display where the picture originated from.


Table settings that will be the talk of your party!


Famous “Kitchen and dining sayings.”

“Bon Appetit!”

“Eat well, Laugh often, Love much!”

“Eat, drink and be merry.”

“Love and cook with abandonment!”

“Many of our enamored  memories are made when gathered around the table.” ~ Author unknown

Your table setting is a gracious and hospitable labor of love to each guest, (and family member,) bringing them joy, comfort, a convivial ambiance and a feeling of being ‘colossally pampered.’  You can never have to many settings in mind for your festive occasions. Whether you have one set of china or ten, your creativity is what will catch your friends and families eye and hearts. Great ideas come from magazines as well as shopping in stores like William Sonoma and Pottery Barn. They help spark your imagination and get  your creative juices flowing.

This table setting is definitely one of the most creative and impressive tables I have ever seen. No detail is missed and the ambiance it creates is one of; “Come, rest awhile, take in a few hours of placidity and respite and ENJOY! ” (A definite welcome as well as distraction from the world and our hectic schedules.) 🙂

Whether you are serving an early summer dinner in the garden, backyard or having ladies over for a scrumptious luncheon on the veranda, pick a few colors for your color  palette, an idea for your centerpiece and begin creating. This setting is brought to life with a potpourri of textures, soft pastels of creamy whites, yellows, and highlights of light blues and greens. This table is imminently  creative with its wondrous ingredients, all of the accessories are eye catching and arresting.  I adore the blithesome white rabbits filled with flowers, ornate pewter bunnies and silvery napkin rings, achromatic charger plates under the bone white china and soft candles glowing amongst the topiary candle stand, (in which this hostess has put decorative Easter egg candles along with heartwarming photographs.) Her artwork is all complimented by the the gorgeous, rich, dark wood table.   White plates are prodigious as they fit with every occasion and all you, the decorator, has to do is embellish and bedeck them with your accent colors and decorations.


 This autumn table setting gets my mouth watering for some superb, homemade chili and and cornbread. 🙂  What a cozy greeting this setting brings!  Mixing golds, greens and silver is rich, alluring and magical. This would be perfect for a chilly autumn night …surprise your family with a special dinner, (a comfort dinner as I call them,) and light your candles and celebrate the joy of all being together.


This table in it’s array of beauty and glory is more on the formal side.

This setting exudes  ROMANCE! There is nothing  like a myriad of lit candles, glistening with their dancing flames, bringing warmth and cozy conversation, accompanied by white, silver and ravishing, stunning wood. Several vases filled with the white flowers adds grace and refinement to this table. Instead of plates, as your guests arrive, they will see a menu of the ‘evenings cuisine’ placed at each setting. As you serve each course,  your guests will feel as if they are dining at a five star restaurant! This  is one of my favorite table settings.


                                          A touch of Christmas is in the air!

Everyone who knows me, would tell you that I am a connoisseur of topiary trees. I have used them for many years as my centerpiece, accented with seasonal decor, created in the color theme for the festive gala I am hosting at my home. You can dress them up or play them down, either way they are a stunning addition to the core and essence of your table.   I have one topiary that has an angel as the tree, made out of  natural, green moss. It is adorable and very unique. My favorite  topiary tree is one that I made many years ago. It has a  multifarious of eye catching hues and textures. It is done in roses and small tiny leafs festooned with a shimmering gold ribbon running through it.  (Very Victorian looking!) These diverse settings are all about the Christmas season. Again, using white as the base color and adding reds and greens! Simple, yet elegant and inviting! (I especially love all the candles…the reflection of their flames on the glass coverings will be absolutely mesmerizing, creating  a very intimate and cozy ambiance.)  I adore how this hostess has placed a lovely gift at each place setting. (I always emplace their creatively wrapped  gift next to their place card,) creating excitement and wonder for each friend or family member, as they try to guess what their token might be. (Maybe some ambrosial lotions, Josh Grobin CD, seasonal room sprays, a romantic comedy DVD, or perhaps a Yankee Candle in a savory Christmas scent.)


                      Springtime has arrived at this intimate gathering.

This table creates the feeling of fresh air, a change of season, (spring time) and festivity, yet it is very simple. I have a few chargers to place under my plates for Christmas as they are red, green and gold. (I do however use the gold for a romantic setting and the red for Valentines day.)   I love how this table uses a very large plate underneath in a solid color,  (instead of a charger,) accenting the very quaint and charming china, adding even more eye-catching textures upon the table top.   This could be a special and intimate lunch with a few girlfriends or family, or again, because it is dressed for spring, an early supper.  If you weren’t in the mood for the season of new beginnings and rebirth, you would be after dining at this table. 🙂 It’s your gala so feel free to add “your creative juices” to some of these ideas…I love to use lace or linen table cloths as well as seasonal place mats when entertaining. They add a wealth of color and elegance.


 What a gorgeous centerpiece. It shows you can go to any length to create the perfect quintessence of your core decoration. It’s so creative. I love how  the Terra cotta bowls are placed under the green cabbage plates highlighted with the hostess gift of a planted flower. The centerpiece is breathtaking with its creamy white candles amidst the pink and green flowers. (It almost resembles a miniature ‘greenhouse.’ ) This setting looks like an intimate ladies get-together. (I can taste  the sweet iced tea with a fresh sprig of mint right now. ) 🙂Z-1037

 Warm and cozy with a choice of such rich colors, this setting is definitely for the brisk and very welcomed Fall season. Using miniature pumpkins with tea light candles inside, amidst the golds and elegant purple with individual  place cards is very creative. The colors continue in the centerpiece amongst the flowers and fall foliage and create a table that is not only  inviting but creates a desire to decorate the rest of the house with pumpkins, scarecrows and autumn garlands with all the fall hues, (bright golds, orange, yellows and reds, and yes, purple!)


A Valentines celebration to the max! I can envision this table with several couples sharing a very intimate early dinner…(Of course I would have my little porch space- heaters set up to keep us all warm if the chill of February blew in that evening.) 🙂 I adore the reds amongst the oatmeal-white china with its dainty pattern, lace napkins, tall white pillar candles, with their enchanting flames reflecting upon the hurricane lamps  amongst the valentine decor. This porch is very romantic as well with its abundance of screened in windows along with the white sheers. Definitely one of my favorites!


I hope these table settings have inspired you and  have given you some ideas for your parties, whether small and intimate or formal and affable.  When I married my husband, I inherited a gorgeous set of Noritake, white bone china with a gold rim gracing it’s edges from his beloved mom. I can’t tell you how many times I have used that china as a foundation to build upon for the table settings at my gatherings. You can find inexpensive, delight-some dinner plates at T.J. Max or Marshall’s. (I have collected a myriad of blue and white prints that I mix and match from these particular shops and have seen some very appealing white plates there as well.)

Enjoy your time of creating, planning, preparing  and revel in your finished work! (As well as the ambrosial cuisine and guests.) 🙂 If ever you feel you would like “a little extra help,” especially as you are beginning your journey in creating a more beautiful home and way of life, there are some wondrous Event Planners available. 🙂

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