Isabelle von Boch’s Tips for Adding a Spring Look & Feel to Your Table: Think Green

It’s the time of year we all look forward to: winter’s chill finally gives way to the vibrant bloom of spring. Outside, things get a little sunnier and brighter. So why not bring that vibe inside? Here, Isabelle von Boch shares ideas for you to make sure your table is ready for the welcomed seasonal transition.

Isabelle’s number-one tip: add green. “Color impacts our emotions and feelings. And green, in particular, symbolizes vitality, health, prosperity and energy, and connects us with nature … so it’s essential to bring it into our homes to usher in spring.” The goal, Isabelle notes, is simple: to “bring the forces of life and nature into your space — and your heart.”

What’s more, green’s especially popular this season, as Pantone named “Greenery” (a spring-perfect light-green shade) its 2017 Color of the Year!

Featured: New Cottage

Below are more ideas from Isabelle for giving your space a fresh face for the new season:

 

Get set with spring patterns. Classic floral patterns are perfectly cut out for spring. Villeroy & Boch’s Mariefleur, for example,“…creates a whole ‘meadow effect’ — that of a true abundance of flowers,” says Isabelle. Use dinnerware that features florals, fruits, foliage and greenery, or even beautiful butterflies. These will be perfect for the warming season! One way to add these touches to your table with ease is to purchase salad plates or bowls in these vibrant patterns and to layer them atop your everyday dinnerware- and viola!- you are spring-ready.

mariefleur

 

Charge it up. Glass and porcelain chargers instantly add depth, dimension and visual interest to your table. Choose green glass chargers or premium porcelain chargers with vibrant patterns for a spring-perfect dose of color.

Featured: Artesano

 

Add a vase (or a few). Vases are an easy way to add color to your table and your home “A vase, to me, has to be beautiful enough to be kept out always, and look beautiful even when flowers aren’t in it,” says Isabelle. Opt for vases in solid spring pastels, or with vibrant patterns to really enliven the atmosphere.

Villeroy & Boch vases

 

Master the mix. Spring is the best time to curate a lighthearted tone. That means forget being matchy-matchy, and vary patterns and textures — just like you would in a spring outfit. “Put a plaid or stripe tablecloth against the floral-pattern dinnerware and solid chargers,” says Isabelle. “It’ll instantly give dimension to your tablescape.”

Mix and mnatch featuring Mariefleur

 

Finish the look. Placemats, runners, napkins and even napkin rings are the perfect plus to put touches of green throughout. And don’t forget to add an element of actual nature with decorative grass or a bouquet of spring flowers. Lastly, embrace the shapes of nature and opt for porcelain pieces that mimic the forms of leaves or other natural elements.

Featured: Villeroy & Boch Spring patterns

Make Love Count: Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas to Take the Holiday Up a Notch

Looking to make things a little more special this Valentine’s Day? Look no further. We have a few gift ideas and date night tips to take the holiday from good to great.

Pasta Passion valentine

First, the gift: flowers. They’re are a classic part of Valentine’s Day. Add color and style to a fresh flower arrangement with a sophisticated vase like Villeroy & Boch’s handcrafted vases available in an array of vibrant hues. Pick a hue that either complements, or, for maximum effect, contrasts with the flowers you choose (like hydrangea blossoms in the blue version, or orange gerbera daisies in a red vase for a fiery aesthetic). Whether you choose this vase or any other, just make sure it’s unique, colorful and beautifully crafted.

While flowers are a Valentine’s Day classic you really shouldn’t skip, the common plan of dinner in a restaurant is something you certainly can skip … in favor of a romantic dinner at home. Remember, even if you’re not an incredible cook, it’s the thought that counts. And, on that note, put some thought into your table: Beautiful glassware and dinnerware is essential for setting off your feast. Against a simple backdrop of white (like clean, modern Artesano), add some red accents … and don’t forget the flowers in that aforementioned vase.

For a uniquely romantic date, you could skip a formal dinner entirely and opt for a wine-and-fondue evening instead. A lot of major home stores offer easy-to-use cheese and chocolate fondue sets. Just make sure you have elevated serveware and special wine glasses — and you’ll be ready for a romantic — and sophisticated evening. (Not attached this year? The fondue party is also perfect for a Valentine’s Day gathering of single friends!)

At Villeroy & Boch, we celebrate love — in all its shades. And whether or not you choose to include our pieces in your celebrations this year, we hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day.

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Post By Stephen Milioti

Fortune Cookie Wäffelcher from ‘Anne’s Kitchen’ for the New Year

By Anne Faber

I think many Luxembourgers have fond memories of making Wäffelcher at their grandparents’. These thin, buttery wafers are baked individually in a round waffle maker and wrapped around the handle of a wooden spoon while still hot, so that they get a cone shape. While I was rolling Wäffelcher for this book, I suddenly thought it would be really fun to fold them into fortune cookies instead and hide messages inside!

I also jazzed up the traditional recipe by adding black sesame seeds to the batter – the inspiration for this comes from a trip to Thailand, where I once ate thin coconut-flavored wafers specked with black sesame seeds and rolled up just like in Luxembourg. My favorite treat from Luxembourg with an Asian twist!

Casale Blue

Makes 25 • Prep 45’ • Resting 30’ • A little effort

  • 2 eggs
  • 85g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 85g butter, melted + extra for greasing
  • 85g flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 25 paper messages, to stick into the cookies

 

  1. Put the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with the sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the melted butter, whisk again, then add the flour, salt and sesame seeds and beat to a smooth batter.
  2. Set aside to rest at room temperature for
30 minutes. This will make the batter less runny.
  3. After 30 minutes, switch on a round waffle iron. Butter the iron, then pour a heaped teaspoon of batter into the center. Close and bake the wafer until golden (every waffle maker is different, it can take between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, just open it from time to time to peek inside).
  4. Now you need to work quickly: remove the wafer with a spatula, and put onto a wire rack. Place a fortune in the center of the wafer. Quickly fold the wafer in half, then fold the two edges towards each other so that you get a crescent shape. This needs to be done really fast because the wafer will harden and become brittle within seconds.
  5. Place the folded fortune cookie into a muffin tin so it hold its shape as it cools. Leave to cool completely, then store in a tin for up to a week.

 

TIPS

  • The diameter of a traditional Wäffelchen is about 15cm. As these are fortune cookie wafers, you’ll want the wafer to be on the small side. The diameter I aim for is about 12cm, as the wafers are easier to fold when they’re small.
  • It’s very likely that you’ll burn your fingers while shaping the fortune cookies… My solution is to wrap both my thumbs and index fingers in foil so I can’t feel the heat. It may look very odd, but it is a very handy trick indeed!
  • You can find plenty of printable fortune cookie messages online.
  • Black sesame seeds are available in Asian supermarkets. They are a bit crunchier than white sesame seeds, but their taste is very similar. You can of course use white sesame seeds in this recipe.

Recipe from the book “Home Sweet Home – My Luxembourg”, Editions Schortgen (http://anneskitchen.co.uk/the-book-3/)

 

Visit Anne’s website at http://anneskitchen.co.uk/