Behind the Lace Curtains-TTS #47/2020 Table Setting Challenge #7, Old Country Roses for St. Valentine’s Day

St. Valentine's Day is special in our home. The day for lovers and love is "our" holiday, as it was our first one together. What better way to celebrate than with rose themed dinnerware?

Old Country Roses is one of the most identifiable dinnerware in the world. Made by Royal Albert in Stoke on Trent, England, the popular pattern was introduced in 1962 and has enjoyed immense popularity since. My grandmother had one piece-a small bowl-and I had longed for some of the china for my own. Enter Macy's.

In 2014, I attended the Montana History Conference in Helena, Montana. It was the 150th anniversary of our state's territorial establishment, as well as the same anniversary for Helena, Butte, and Missoula. A year before, I had won a Macy's gift card and being in Helena, I decided to do some shopping after the conference sessions and use up my card, which I thought was $10. I shopped women's clothes, jewelry, pocketbooks and just couldn't find anything I wanted. I spied housewares and thought "I always find something there!" I looked and saw Fiesta dinnerware, but I had all I wanted in what they offered, then turned to the neighboring clearance table. And there it was: two boxed sets of 12 pieces of Old Country Roses! I opened one box and inspected each piece, and the sales clerk came up and said there was an extra discount on clearance items, plus more because Macy's offered specials that day...so I took home one box, which I quickly dubbed my "Helena china", because of my love for the Queen City of the Rockies. I kicked myself for not getting that second box, but thanks to Black Friday offerings online, I added another set and a tea set, plus a bonus oval vegetable bowl for orders over a certain amount, so I broke up the sets into two orders and got the two bowls. Since that time, I have also added a set containing 4 salad plates and a 3-tier tidbit tray, and a set of 4 salad plates in addition. It's a modest collection compared to others', but I enjoy what I have!

Old Country Roses dinner and salad plates (Macy's) join Casual Settings Ruby goblets (Herberger's) for water, my West German crystal goblets for the white wine (thrift store) and pretty cut glass champagne glasses with a rose pattern (thrift store) for the celebratory beverage. Flatware was Golden Royal Plume (antiques shop in Butte, Montana) by Wm. Rogers and Son. The table cloth is, of course, the "workhorse" hemstitched set from Walmart. A gorgeous set of ruby glass strawberry salt and pepper shakers (thrift store) was shared by we two, and the simple centerpiece consisted of a red glass vase (thrift store) that amazingly matches the red glassware, and a pair of silver plated heart-shaped dishes (thrift store) of unknown manufacture, but the label on the underside says they're made in Japan. The menu was as follows:

Lobster and Hearts of Palm Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Salmon on Puff Pastry with Pesto
White Truffle Risotto
Roasted Asparagus
Raspberry Mousse

After dinner, we enjoyed a drive around our beloved hometown, and then watched "Legends of the Fall". It was a wonderful day spent with the man I love, even if it was a few days later!

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