The first time I visited the Emerald Isle was to stay at my maternal grandfather’s home in County Downs, Northern Ireland. I instantly fell in love with both the isle itself and the roots I discovered as I explored the home of my ancestors! As our plane landed over Belfast airport, I was simply mesmerized at the unbelievable shades of green in the Irish landscape. Our drive to the Ards Peninsula on the sheltered East coast of Ireland, reaffirmed why Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. We finally arrived at my grandfather’s charming Irish home, formerly a part of the world renowned Mount Stewart Estate, after a tiring journey. The house is now a lovely bed and breakfast , Ballycastle House, owned by Margaret and Ronnie Deering. And it was love at first sight!
Our stay at Ballycastle was made so special by the Deerings. One of the many luxuries that we were spoiled with was Margaret’s traditional Irish breakfasts. So as I began to think of Saint Patrick’s Day this year, I decided to have a Saint Patrick’s Day weekend brunch. As it is the season of “March Madness” and my husband is glued to these basketball games, I thought including a few friends for a weekend brunch would be a nice way to celebrate my Irish roots.
I planned a brunch with many of the traditional Irish foods, with a bit of a twist…
Two traditional Irish breakfast items that I did not include is black pudding and white pudding. I wasn’t sure that my guests would have much appreciation for this Irish delicacy –a sausage made from blood, meat, fat, oatmeal and bread or potatoes as a filler. The white pudding is basically the same , minus the blood!
My only china pattern that is predominately green is “ Napoleon Ivy” by Wedgewood. This lovely pattern was first produced by Wedgewood in 1815 and unfortunately discontinued in 2003. This pattern reminds me of the Irish landscape with a boarder of ivy leaves, ranging from dark forest green to a lighter grassy green, and stems painted in such realistic detail that the texture of the foliage emerges.
It made a perfect tablescape for our Saint Patrick’s Day brunch!
I arranged a variety of flowers in shades of green and white for the centerpiece.
One of my favorite flowers, and one that I have never had success growing in my perennial garden, is Bells of Ireland.
The shade of green is stunning any most any floral arrangement!
I used small rustic design vases at each placesetting that held more green flowers and ivy leaves, one of which served as my placecard.
I loved the rustic design of the vase adjacent to the plate with the rustic design detail.
After a hardy meal , we retired to our gathering room for “March Madness” , along with Green Beer or Irish Coffee-depending on ones preference.
As I placed my coffee cup on a small antique Irish side table, I realized that the carved ivy border was very similar to the design in the “Napolean Ivy”. What a pleasant discovery!
“ Top of the Morning” leisurely turned into an afternoon of Irish fun!
Wishing all of my blog friends have a Saint Patrick’s Day blessed with all your heart desires!