My first visit to the Côté d’azur was almost 15 years ago. I still have this vivid memory of enjoying the deep blue sea with the céleste blue sky as the French would refer it, meaning the heavenly blue sky when staying at one of the spectacular sea-side villas for our friend’s wedding. As time goes by, I get more influenced by the sunny weather which does make my days go
Luckily with our Hong Kong harbor being nicely positioned, we are fortunate to be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches and sea surrounding us. I particularly envy my friends who do live in their yachts in Hong Kong permanently taking advantage of this beautiful season!
It is time for us to enjoy this summer filled with relaxing sea breeze under the sunny blue sky! It is also the perfect time to 'show off’ your happy colored homeware and linen; so here is my suggestion for you in this hot July month. Let’s go for the rich, bright and spirit uplifting color theme to awaken the liveliness within you!
Nowadays, we are very lucky to have such impeccable wide range of color choices. The color hues are becoming far more attractive with an exciting variety of color mixing technique. What a fun and creative world we are living in today! It is therefore no longer adequate just to describe a 'color’ but we have to include the color mood and combination when we want to build the right color palette for our clients.
So what color is hot and trendy for this summer? Let’s start with blue.‘Blue’ is certainly the color that relates to the sea and ocean and it gives us such a happy mood just to think about it. Why don’t we use that as a base color and match it with some refreshing tone like primrose yellow and orange? Well so what ‘blue’ to use? I would recommend a more trendy Nigara blue, Aquamarine or Island Paradise, or Cerulean Blue. Why blue, yellow and orange? Because whenever I visit the French Riviera, I am often inspired by this happy and stylish color-mix frequently shown in their home decoration, interior and surroundings, usually complimented with pure clean white textile with green plants. I do have good memories for anything good ! On the other hand, white and blue always convey a sea marine mood. It will never be an outdated choice, as long as with a slight twist of the blue tone if a different hue is needed just to keep it more interesting. I tend not to recommend using red to match with the blue as red carries a certain weight and heaviness which might not fit too well for the light summer mood. If you must, use a lot of white to tone it down. We want to achieve a bright and lively but not a strong atmosphere.
When adding the green tone to your setting, you can also try pairing that with Lurite green, Greenery color which are the new trendy hue for this summer, and they go really well with my suggested blue color.
So once we got the color sorted out, we can start arranging our table setting. Some recommendation include using blue tone tableware with white or yellow or orange table cloth, or vice versa> using blue tablecloth instead and paired with simple plain white or yellow or orange colored tableware. The green color is quite neutral color and you can always try to insert that into your setting whenever appropriate. Whether it is for a more refined summer parties or a casual gathering among friends, this theme can work well. You are welcomed to see the following examples using our French tableware from Gien, Raynaud, Cutlery from Ercuis, Sabre, Table linen from Le Jacquard Français and Noël, causal accessories from our other brands for your fun experiment.
Wishing you a Happy Summer and will speak again in August when I will share my ideas of creating a soft and breezy summer setting. Look forward to be in touch again soon!
Why & How to use French porcelain for Chinese dining
I am pleased that while I was conducting my table etiquette seminar for some VIPs in China last month, some audience were inspired and shared among themselves some words I said. I reviewed that while there is a saying that goes “You are what you eat” I like to say that “ You are how you live”. I am impressed and grateful for the great attention that the audience had given to the speaker with their enthusiastic learning attitude.
I am not sure why that whenever we mention Chinese cuisine, even though when referring to the most complicated and refined dishes that we are eating, you will probably notice that people will automatically say “Well, but for Chinese food we don’t need to use that good of the tableware …..” But why? I think we have not been treasuring enough, nor have given enough attention to our exquisite Chinese cuisine as it deserves, which is prepared with such complexity and sophistication, weaved with such deep cultural know-how and history, which is just as complex as French cuisine, as many of my French‘gourmand’ friends do agree. Just to name a few, the ways of Chinese cooking involves so many techniques and so much precision like steaming, braising, slow cook, pan fried, wok fried, stir fry, deep fried, quick boil, double boil, etc. It is fascinating.
My French supplier has been making specific Chinese shapes not just to cater for the market but also to celebrate the fine Chinese culinary know-how. So why use French porcelain for Chinese dining? Why not? They are the perfect match that expresses elegance, cultural dynamics, know-how, skills, and good taste! It is no ‘big deal’ to use French porcelain for Chinese dining. Raynaud has been producing these beautiful shapes since 30 years ago, ( see following the well know Si-Kiang pattern used to serve Chinese rice noodles). Even Gien who is more known for its French style ceramic, is making Chinese bowls for us. You are welcomed to visit us to explore these ideas . It is stylish and fun to do so, especially with today’s Chinese and western cuisine crossover menu. You see that a lot in Michelin French restaurants using many Chinese shapes to serve French food with creativity. So it is time for us to be dynamic and go ‘global’ with our Chinese cuisine. I am sure you will enjoy the result and bring everyone at the table much delight with your sophisticated etiquette!