There’s a Story Here

The book club gathered this week at a charming Maine cottage for a spirited discussion of Desperate Characters by Paula Fox as we enjoyed a tasty lunch.  As always, I am delighted by the effort of a hostess to make dining a special pleasure.

This table combined touches of elegance with the simplicity that to me is characteristic of Maine.

The dishes were old, I think, reminiscent of another time.  They lend themselves to a formal setting, but today complemented with casual table linens, they had a just right feeling of comfort.

Taking comfort one step further were the vases simply arranged with a few colorful stems from right outside the cottage.  Access to blooming things, be they wild or cultivated, is another of the things I love about Maine.  No home ever need be without them!

As lovely as the table setting was, it was the table itself that absolutely blew me away when everything was removed from it.  It was long and narrow, well worn, much used.  From where had it come?

Was it from a ship bearing the name Achilles

and was this the ship?

Was the table in the gun room?

Who were the midshipmen who sat at each numbered place?

The hostess did not know the answers.  She and her husband saw the table some years ago, liked it, made it theirs.  What an absolute find!

 My mind is reeling with images of voyages on the open sea and the sailors aboard the good ship Achilles.  There is surely a story here that would tell of their conflicts, their homesickness, their adventure.  Oh, if that table could talk and if the story could be written!  

Should we give it a try?

Sharing today at

Let’s Dish

Wow Us Wednesday

Tablescape Thursday

Thursday Favorite Things



31 thoughts on “There’s a Story Here

  1. Absolutely beautiful table! Gorgeous flowers. You did a fabulous job, stunning!

  2. What an amazing table! Too bad we don’t know all the history of it! I loved your beautiful tablescape on it.

  3. What an amazing table! I love the gold and white plates, they really are beautiful.

  4. Such a beautiful tablescape on such a great table. The dishes are so lovely with the casual linens.

  5. It is nice that you have a social life at both houses…you must look forward to your book club. I love the table no matter its history.

  6. Absolutely smitten with the dishes and the table.. wow. what a great find. I love your hostesses style. Pairing those dishes with the casual linens makes the whole table look so effortlessly stylish. I am sure a great time was had by all. The table is really a great treasure. have a blessed weekend. xo marlis

  7. The gold encrusted dinner plates are gorgeous, the table setting is charming, but oh that table…one of the most magnificent things that I’ve ever seen…what a treasure! Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  8. I am “In LOVE” with the table! “I’m going to have to go PIRATE AN OLD SHIP to have a table like that”! Hmmmm, OKAY, I know they’d make me walk the plank!
    Thank you “SOOOO MUCH for sharing this”! I also loved those OLD Dishes! They were gorgeous!
    Have a fun week,
    Big Hugs,

  9. What an amazing table! I love those pretty gold dishes,

  10. I love the mix of the fancy dishes with the casual linens-but definately the table steals the show!

  11. I’m in love with the gold dishes and the entire table setting..just perfect. Amazing tablescape! Thanks for sharing.

  12. This table is amazing!!

  13. Lulu, what a lovely tablesetting. I adore those gold edged plates, but you are so right, the table itself is out of this world. What a fabulous find and such a piece.

    I had to laugh at your comment about me living in Florida – don’t I wish – I would trade my peonies for bougainvillea any day! No we live in Utah.

    1. Boy, I totally had you in the wrong place. Now Cabo even makes more sense!

  14. I love your table. I love the lacy plates, so elegant and pretty and yet you were able to use them on a casual setting. Very clever, Lulu! Love the table too!…Christine

  15. Sounds like your book club luncheon was a fun event! But I am sure that the focus of attention was on this magnificent table. What a true treasure! The owners should really take this to get appraised. So unique!!!

  16. I think you should definitely give the story a try – HMS Achilles I just wonder when it sailed and from where. Fascinating
    and the table looks perfect, you are all so much better at book clubs that my rowdy rabble!!

  17. Those plates are gorgeous, but I’m with you ~ that table is amazing. I’d love to take it in up close and personal. Thanks for sharing this. What a fantastic treat!

  18. If the table could only talk………love the dinnerware. I can only dream to have that table.
    Thanks for giving us a treat.

    June 14….Flag Day…..Fly those flag
    Cathy’s Cupboard Calamity <;)

  19. What a very lovely setting and oh my that table is just stunning!! Thank You so much for sharing it with us. Have a wonderful night!

    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  20. Agreed, Amy, and we appreciated her effort.

  21. That is such a classic and very beautiful setting! A great effort from the hostess …

  22. You KNOW that this sort of thing is right up my street!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this table!
    …the mystery of the history is just bonus to the beauty of the artwork and the character of the pits, grains and patina of the “whole”… yes I AM drooling and gasping in appreciation 🙂
    BTW if you friend no longer wants this table (gasp, I know that’s probably never possible) but I’ll fight you for it LOL
    (Both of us would happily provide homes where it would be deeply appreciated and much loved!)

    1. Yep, the table was very special and I would love to know its secrets.

  23. Very interesting table! Did you try to do any research ?
    Those larger dishes are very pretty!
    Summer houses here in Southampton used to be like that, mixes of old things with a story. Now everything has to match. The casualness has disappeared. When we bought our first beach house it came with quite the assortment of dishes, some very very old.
    One bathroom, no dishwasher, just a beach cottage. Being right at the beach made up for the lack of luxury. Those days are gone, everyone wants all the comforts of year round homes. My mom used to say, it is just a bungalow, meaning get used to and enjoy roughing it.
    Thanks for linking to Let’s Dish!

    1. I have no idea where to start researching that table….maybe Achilles? Do you have any ideas?
      I find Maine to be very unique in its realness. That’s one of the many reasons I love it.

  24. When I saw the dishes, I noticed the “writing” underneath….then the whole table…Wow!…Magnificent table…and yes, the stories that table could tell…I can see you now googling “The Achilles”….let us know if you find out anything on the history of that table…So nice to have such a great hostess for book club….Enjoy your days in Maine…heaven on earth!

    1. How did you know I’d be looking for an Achilles that might tell something about the table!!! Maine is wet but today I’m not minding as its a good one to spend in my studio.

  25. The mystery of ownership is one of the things that attracts me to antique jewelry. Was the first owner happy? Mean? What? I have one pin with a lethal point and I wonder if the woman ever used it to defend herself (she’d win, hands down).

    I think the table is gorgeous.


    1. The mystery of ownership….I like that!

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