When I was a girl, my Grandma Mayer had a set of dinnerware on the shelves of her open china hutch. After my beloved Auntie DD passed away, I was given that set I remember so well. It's a simple set, consisting of six each of dinner plates, cups and saucers. The ceramic is a light tan color, with light blue flowers with navy blue highlights, brown leaves with yellow highlights, and a chocolate brown trim around the scalloped edge of the plates. The cups and saucers had no pattern. The saucers are neat! The well is raised, to gently hold the cup in place.
The pattern is called Hyde Park and was made by Kensington Staffords in England. This was a supermarket promotion, and no doubt that's where Grandma got her dishes. The company also offered another pattern named Canterbury, featuring yellow and brown flowers. Both patterns were made on the Sommerset blank, which was also offered as a set. Only certain pieces in both Hyde Park and Canterbury have the designs on them; others all share other pieces such as the plain cup and saucer, berry and soup bowls, covered serving bowls, for example. It appears that dinner, salad and bread and butter plates and 12" and 14" platters have the pattern on them. So, if you wanted, you could easily purchase only the patterned pieces and swap out with the seasons. Hmmmm…..!!!
The dinnerware was perfect for a sunny spring repast. I used brown Provincial water glasses by Noritake (thrift store), along with my copper-clad Campanile flatware (Herberger's) for each setting. Grandma Mayer's Early American Prescut salt and pepper shakers (with the metal rounded tops) join Fiesta P86 Yellow bulb shakers to offer seasoning to the meal. I used the same antique linen table cloth and napkin set for the Titanic setting with Hyde Park-the set lends itself well to formal and informal settings, don't you think? The centerpiece consists of a hand-thrown earthenware bowl by award-winning local artist Steve Helmbrecht. He is a professional photographer that has earned many prestigious awards, and has expanded his artistic talent to different forms of pottery. This piece features a drawing of Hill County on the inside of the bowl. Flanking the bowl are two bronzes; Buffalo by Charles M. Russell, and Grizzly Bear by Asa Lynn "Ace" Powell; the centerpiece is a nod to my Grandpa and Grandma Mayer and our strong, deep Hill County roots. Grandpa loved grizzly bears and had a great respect for them. Grandma was Little Shell Chippewa and Metis, and the buffalo was key to their survival on the prairie. I chose my authentic Brown Betty teapot by Adderley, with Fiesta P86 Cobalt small sugar and creamer set on a Periwinkle Blue figure 8 tray for the tea service. Under the Brown Betty is a Fiesta go-with piece, a teapot shaped trivet in Periwinkle Blue with a P86 Yellow trivet in the middle. The Fiesta colors and Brown Betty match the colors in Hyde Park perfectly!
NOTE: This is the smoothest, silkiest dinnerware I have ever handled, and I've handled a lot of dinnerware! The one caveat is it picks up newsprint easily and takes some scrubbing to get off, so if you purchase and then store any of these pieces, please use plain paper with no newsprint!
On the menu was:
Mediterranean Tuna Noodle Casserole
Buttered Green Beans
Fresh Berries with Whipped Cream