With no far flung holidays planned this year (and potentially not next year either if we go ahead with the kitchen renovation) and photos of other families flying off to exotic climes flashing in front of me every time I pop on to social media, I've been suffering from a touch of mostly ridiculous and completely unnecessary mum guilt. Why? I have no idea. My children are far from wanting. And intercontinental jaunts are a luxury not a given. But, still. It's been niggling at me. So I decided to have a little chat with the boys.
They're relatively undemanding children, the eldest focused on anything and everything sports related, and the youngest solely on Lego, but they were pretty miserable at the thought of not jetting off to the sun ... despite the sun having taken to hanging out in North Wales rather a lot recently.
I pressed them about their reasons for feeling so shocked and disappointed at, 'What? No holiday? Really?', then dug beyond the, 'We want to go on an aeroplane', and finally encouraged them to give me a more thoughtful answer than, 'We like swimming pools'. The real, actual root of their displeasure? No hotel breakfasts.
Yes, you read that correctly. Their reason for being horrified at not going away ... the lack of a buffet breakfast. Not the culture, not the experience, not the fun, and not the family-time. Nope. They are two little boys ALL about the pastries and the prosciutto.
Not wanting to crush their hopes and dreams at the start of their six week break, and with more than a little help from Spode and their iconic Blue Italian range, I spent Sunday morning preparing (unwrapping) the ultimate family breakfast for them, reminiscent of the ones they adored in Capri.
What do you think? It all looks super fancy, right? I love how the classic blue and white designs inspired the Italian countryside turn a somewhat ordinary breakfast in to a seemingly extraordinary feast. Although, to complete the look, Spode really need to design a beautiful dish or jar to decant Nutella in to.
You might be wondering, with my love of contemporary interiors and pops of colour, why I wouldn't opt for one of the slightly less nostalgic Portmeirion brands or ranges, perhaps the classic white Royal Worcester Serendipity or the jewel tones of the Sara Miller London Chelsea collection. However, while most of us remember the Spode designs from our grandparents' dining table, I think they're beautiful enough, and beautifully made enough (the quality is incredible), to forever stand the test of time.
My suggestions for styling this iconic collection in a contemporary home, firstly, would be to mix and match. I love the look and feel of having everything from the same collection but if that's not for you, consider adding a little more white in to the mix. You could opt for the Blue Italian dinner plates but have plain white side plates, or perhaps plain white dinner plates with Blue Italian serving pieces. That way you'd get the Spode Blue Italian look but ever so slightly paired back.
Next, add the material of the moment, which is pretty much anything woven. Rather than using Spode Blue Italian place mats, stunning as they are, I really like the warmth that these water hyacinth soaré place mats from Ikea add to the table. Yes, the two brands are poles apart but there's absolutely nothing wrong with mixing old and new.
Finally, start small. I bought my first Blue Italian tea cup from their Seconds Outlet over ten years ago. It was that initial purchase which led to my love of the range and I subsequently began acquiring more. Go ahead and test the water. Build up your collection over time.
A huge thanks to Spode for gifting me the gorgeous tableware for our Blue Italian family breakfast. The boys were most appreciative and are now expecting similar on a daily basis for the duration of their summer holidays. I think I need to up my baking/breakfast-making skills, right? If you have any favourite recipes, let me know!
If you'd like to recreate my Spode Blue Italian breakfast table, here are the products that you'll need:
- Spode Blue Italian 10 inch Dinner Plates Set of 4
- Spode Blue Italian 8 inch Side Plates Set of 4
- Spode Blue Italian Small 6 inch Cereal Bowls Set of 4
- Spode Blue Italian Teacup and Saucer
- Spode Blue Italian Stemless Wine Glass Set of 4
- Spode Blue Italian Wine Glass Set of 4
- Spode Blue Italian Vase
- Spode Blue Italian Buffet Plate
- Pimpernel Blue Italian Set Of 4 Napkins.