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Elevating St. Patrick’s Day with Sophisticated Style

Luck of the Irish: Elevating St. Patrick’s Day with Sophisticated Style


Being half-Irish and named after the patron saint of Ireland, I think I’m entitled to go all out for this annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. After all, this is the day when so many people enjoy wearing green, eating bangers and mash or corned beef and cabbage served with a cold green beer.

For this annual March 17th table setting I wanted a sophisticated tablescape theme to honor my lineage. Forgoing my black and green shamrock plates and other usual St. Patrick’s Day dinnerware shenanigans, I decided to elevate the enchantment of St. Patrick’s Day with gold flatware, fine china, and gold-etched crystal goblets. I used only a hint of the four-leaf clover good luck symbol with an elegant table runner which was the perfect setting for the lovely floral centerpiece.

Fortunately, I have a kindred spirit friend, Patty Turrell, a multiple “Best in Show” award-winning florist for her thematic floral arrangements at southern California’s Orange County Fair. When I asked for her help creating a sophisticated Irish-themed floral centerpiece, she created exactly the look I hoped for. Using multiple shades and textures in both flowers and greenery, I had the depth and beauty to enhance a variety of white flowers.

By using the Limoges white and gold china I inherited from my mother, I was able to feature the Nanette green & gold Fleur De Lis pattern salad plates by Baronet Eschenbach Bavaria. Setting these two plates on the emerald green plate chargers and the gold flatware place settings, I now had the perfect sophisticated look I fancied.

Some time back I was searching for gold-rimmed wine goblets to use for an elegant tablescape in honor of Queen Elizabeth. Surprisingly, I found the perfect ones online at Home Depot. It’s great discovering new themes for using these beautiful gold etched goblets and I love them for this tablescape.

The formality of the table setting inspired me to choose a more refined Irish meal.  I found exactly what I was looking for with this wonderful roast leg of lamb recipe.

“With Easter and St. Patrick’s Day in the same month, I might be tempted to keep the same tablescape for both celebrations.”

St. Patrick's DayWhat I especially liked about this recipe was the treatment of plenty of garlic and the type of buttered-up Caesar salad dressing rub. I like mint jelly with my lamb, and it can be difficult to find in local grocery stores. With the luck of the Irish, I found a simple mint sauce recipe by combining a handful of freshly chopped mint leaves, granulated sugar, a little squeeze of lemon, and a splash of vinegar, and boiling those ingredients with water until it’s all combined. The added attraction of how easy the directions were – plus being able to make and refrigerate it ahead of time – made it that much better.

With Easter and St. Patrick’s Day in the same month, I might be tempted to keep the same tablescape for both celebrations. But, I probably won’t. Setting the table for Easter with the softness of spring and its sweet pastel colors can be such fun. I’ll see how much energy I have by the end of this month to take on a second tablescape in the same month.

So, for now, I leave you this Irish blessing:

May your mornings bring joy
And your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow less
As your blessings increase.

Erin go bragh!


Read more from Pt Burns here.

My youngest grandchild, sporting her St. Patty’s Day hat.



Pat Burns

About the author

Pat Burns is the co-founder of the Orange County Children's Book Festival, a celebrity journalist, film reviewer and a consultant for nonprofits

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