There was never a doubt that this beautiful meticulously handwoven runner from India would be the inspiration for a tablescape and dinner for our gourmet group when it next met at our house.
The design elements in the piece are many, but the primary ones are symbolic of the images seen again and again in Rajasthan. I still marvel at its artistry and treasure the runner as a favorite possession.
My first thought was for the table to be as elegant as if it were in a maharajah’s palace which meant bringing out the china, crystal and silver. Good idea but it proved to be a bit much so began the process of simplifying.
I wanted nothing to take away from the beauty of the fabric so glass candle holders and vases as a centerpiece allowed the colors and pattern to show through.
Gold chargers did survive the cut and became the backdrop for varied colored plates that not only played off the thread colors but were more subtle and took nothing away from the beauty of the runner.
With napkins of gold and burgundy and etched stems with different patterns, the table was simple with touches of elegance that fit my comfort zone.
To this point the only thing missing was the flowers. Choosing roses was a no brainer as in India we were showered with rose petals upon arriving at every hotel. As luck would have it, Trader Joe’s had the perfect colors, and the tea roses nestled beautifully in their globes.
With memories of India swimming in my head, there was never a doubt that the food would also be inspired by that adventure. I opted for chicken tikka masala seasoned with spices gotten in Dehli, and to my delight the hubby found Kingfisher ale at Total Wines.
I have to admit that Indian food met with resistance from some of the group, but the ale was a big hit! Hey, isn’t challenging the taste buds part of the planning for a gourmet group meal?