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Occasions done differently


Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Bringing a reason to smile and cheering the hearts of those around me is one of my favourite things to do. Especially when I think of how tough the last few years have been and how heavily the current news is weighing on us all right now. It’s time to be a little proactive and to remind us that we’ve got plenty to be thankful for and lots to look forward to. That’s why I’m hosting a special ‘breakfast of hope’ for my nearest and dearest. 

Spring always fills me with fresh energy. It gives us a reason to enjoy the present and look to the future with a little faith that good will prevail, and that’s exactly what I’m planning to do. So I’ve gathered some (I think you’ll agree) truly beautiful small business finds to create a happy, hope-filled setting and reason to bring everyone together. It’s time to think of all the things we’ve got to be hopeful about and to reset our mindsets to something somewhat sunnier. So what will I be laying my spring table with?

Hand painted ceramic eggs, by Sussex Lustreware

Well I shall be nestling in a few of these stunningly delicate ceramic eggs to welcome each guest to their place and give them something to take home as a happy reminder. Made by Gloria, the talented co-founder of Sussex Lustreware, each one is handpainted with a meaningful message and a lustre glaze to add a touch of light. Her and Richard have a wonderful business actually. It was born out of a passion for the old Sunderland lustre which is designed to celebrate special occasions and relationships, sending tokens of affection adorned with notes of love and hope. They have the most incredible messaging on a range of items from eggs and egg cups to mugs and candlesticks that make you want to treat everyone you adore. Their site is well worth a look.

Rakugaki ‘hope’ planter, by Makiko Hastings
Egg Cup Shaped Tealight Holder, by Griege Lifestyle

I shall also be blessing our table with these marvellous little clay pots. Artist Maki from Makiko Hastings made them from her “rakugaki” collection to remind us of a mini word of life every time you water them or watch them grow (though my beautiful knitted cacti should thankfully survive without the need for feeding or they’d stand precious little chance of making it to summer!). For the messaging on the front, Maki cuts the letters out of newspapers which is no mean feat as they are super small but says she truly enjoys the mindfulness of the process. She made them to remind us to be gentle, present and to really celebrate the small steps of our lives. Just the ticket for spring I think. 

Now at some point during our meal, I’ll be inviting all the family to open their little ‘I love you to the core’ apples by Bread & Jam, and to read out the messages of hope that I’ve hidden inside. It’s the sort of thing that sounds odd but really makes us all stop and think for a moment about what we really do most want for the future, and to feel hopeful not hopeless. It’s easy to rush about in the day-to-day but spring is a great time to just pause and get excited about what’s to come and how we can make that happen. Plus apples have been a symbol of love and positivity for many eras since they were first introduced as such in Greek mythology, and I just know this will be used again and again (and would make a pretty thoughtful teacher gift, too). Founders Catherine and Jamie are very clever for coming up with this idea. 

I think the only other things I’ll be decorating the table with are a whoosh of spring flowers, like these stunning bluebells from Little Felt Boutique — a touch of everlasting sunshine that will brighten up this mealtime but then last all year. 

Bluebells, by Bloom Paper Flowers UK / Little Felt Boutique

And no Tucker tablescape would be complete without a centrepiece. As I’m fanatical about vegetables because I think they’re just about the most beautiful thing on the planet, I’ve created this celebration of spring (which will all be good fodder for my trusty soup maker afterwards too and give us all the vitamins we need).

Holly Tablescape

Then I’ll just add some colourful serving dishes and a number of cheerful ceramics because as I always say, life’s too short for white plates (unless they are less ordinary ones of course!). I mean, it doesn’t need to be anywhere near this extravagant, I’m just very lucky that my job allows me to do this. The important thing is that you’re all together. Because if there’s anything to encourage a bit of hope, it’s thinking back to lockdown and how we weren’t able to do this before so I for one, will be cherishing every chance I get to make the most of it. I hope you get the opportunity to, too.

If you need more inspiration, see my articles on Holly loves… doing Easter differently and Holly loves… businesses that do good.

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