In 2018 I set a summer table that was loosely inspired by the colors of Provence, in France. Which is my pseudo-sophisticated way of saying that it was primarily done in blue and yellow. (Nevermind that if you Google “colors of Provence” it brings up a wide variety of colors, including vibrant shades of red, orange, fuschia, and more…. to me Provence means blue and yellow. And lavender, but that didn’t really fit with my table plan.)
(For more pretty tables set on a budget, check out my Facebook group, Thrifty Tablescapers!)
Anyway, that table has always been one of my favorites, so this year I decided to try another variation on the Provence (blue and yellow) theme, set as a table for two. I also wanted this table to have some sort of “uniquely Provencal” element, but of course had no idea what that might be. So I Googled “symbols of Provence,” and found a blog post entitled “La Cigale: Why the Cicada Became the Symbol of Provence.”
Cicadas? Ug, I HATE cicadas! They creep me out to look at them, especially their eyes and those crispy brown “shells” they leave behind when they molt!
Still… some French guy a long time ago adapted the story of “The Grasshopper and the Ant” to instead feature a “cigale” who produced music all summer instead of working to store up food… and you can guess how that turned out, so maybe, I thought, maybe there is something romantic and French about cicadas that I missing.
GAAAAAA!!! Nope, still horrific.
And yet. And yet. They were long ago adopted by the good citizens of Provence as a symbol of their region so they must have some socially redeeming value… or maybe it was just that the good citizens of Provence finally realized they were never going to escape that deafening “weeer-weeer-WEEEEEERRRRrrrrrr” noise so they might as well embrace it.
In any case, who am I to argue with good citizens? “La Cigale” for the win, in the form of a beautiful brooch pin found on Amazon.
The tablecloth for this table is a flat sheet, folded to a size suitable for defining the two-person space on a four-person table.
Glassware is Whitehall by Indiana Glass in a beautiful (dare I say) French blue – thrift store finds I’ve had now for many years. They are a favorite for their size and weight, and I have them in several colors.
Sunny yellow dinner plates are marked “Hollywood Craftsmen” on the bottom, and salad plates are “Rose Bouquet” by Coventry Fine Porcelain. Also thrift store finds.
Flatware was a splurge… I now have four place settings of “Napoleon Bee” by Wallace, which I’ve collected over the past year via Amazon. The pretty plaid napkins were consignment store finds.
The centerpiece features the same bunch of flowers from my 2018 Provence tablescape, just plopped down into a different container – this time a white sugar bowl by Federalist Ironstone.
Have you spotted “la cigale” yet? Here he is, perched on a hand-painted side plate that also corrals the salt and pepper shakers.
I moved him around to various spots on the table just because he looked so beautiful.
Also included for perusal before lunch is served: the May 2020 issue of Victoria Magazine, because it perfectly complements the color scheme and features “The Charm of French Style.” (It does not, however, mention cicadas. At all.)
A few more views around the table.
The put-away shot, because everything just looks so pretty waiting to go back into the cupboards.
And an image to Pin if you would like to save my Provence 2020 table for future ideas!
I’m linking this tablescape to Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s blog, Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to click through for many more wonderful table-setting ideas!
Vive La Cigale!