September’s Tablescape – The African Queen
BY PAT BURNS
Some of us have been fortunate enough to visit Africa and experience wild animals roaming freely, its enormous vistas, picturesque plains, and vibrant colors. It is exhilarating to take it all in. For me, these were sufficient reasons to create a tablescape that would display Africa’s extraordinary features.
For this royal tablescape, my focus was to bring as much as possible to the table and paint a scene right off the savannah. African artifacts, tall giraffes, colorful fabrics, and plenty of candles created the appearance I wanted.
The colorful Egyptian salt and pepper shakers were purchased in Kenya and the array of giraffes came from multiple places here in the US. The chargers are wooden plates from the Philippines and the amber glass dishes cover the substantial scratches from years of use. The small bread plates and coffee mugs are made from coconut shells. The brown, gold and white table runner was a gift from my friend, and using it on this rustic table added a touch of elegance and beauty for a pleasant contrast.
On the side table, there stands a hand-carved wooden sculpture of a young woman carrying a bundle of wood for cooking. When I saw the sculpture at a shop in Tanzania it stood out from everything else in the store. I tried hard not to purchase it. It wasn’t just because of the extravagant price, but it created a slight dilemma when boarding the airplane. The problem was solved when my daughter agreed to bring it home for me. Now the beautiful carving stands tall as the table’s centerpiece.
Especially with this tablescape, I recall the people I met, the hunt, the find, and the acquisition of treasures. Ultimately, it’s more about having an adventure and telling a story. Like all the items I’ve used for this tablescape every piece reveals a story to share.
And the final chapter of this African-theme tablescape is that it gave me the joyous opportunity to celebrate my nine-year-old grandson who was adopted at birth from Ethiopia. He was rapt to see this African tablescape display and hear about my wild experiences traveling in Africa. Certainly, I have plenty of those stories to tell… That’s for another day.
Try this simple and delicious recipe for a great African experience: West African Peanut Stew with Sweet Potato & Spinach.
Invite your friends over for a meal and a movie. You could pick from this list:
Enjoy Pat’s other Tablescape creations:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – PAT BURNS
Pat Burns is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Orange County Children’s Book Festival; a Celebrity Journalist, Film Reporter, the author of Grandparents Rock®. Also, a happy grandmother of four.