Tag Archives: match 1955

The Making of a Beautiful Morning Coffee Service

coffee service

How to make your morning more beautiful with the perfect way to serve coffee.

I’d love to share a food memory with you. It was several years ago on one of my many trips to Italy and I was staying in a really lovely hotel in Palermo. Early in the morning, my room steward would appear at my door with a beautiful pewter coffee service. I would open the window and let the morning breeze mix with the smell of fresh coffee.  The morning view from my window, the amazing cup of Italian coffee, and the special feeling of enjoying my first cup from the beautiful coffee service was nothing short of heavenly.  The feeling was so warm and happy that I decided I’d take that feeling home.

Today, one of my favorite morning rituals is that first cup of coffee in the morning. Sometimes with the windows open overlooking Beverly Hills. Maybe not as exotic a morning view as some other places I’ve seen, but the feeling of Palermo is still with me.  I make it that way with a special coffee service and setting just for that purpose. Since then, I’ve collected several coffee services to match different moods: pewter, antique silver (I have several of those), white porcelain, and glass.

It’s the start that makes my whole day more beautiful and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I’ve told this story to several of my clients who want a unique way to make their mornings stand-out as a perfect beginning for the rest of their day. What makes the act special is using an elegant tray with a hot pot of coffee or tea, service bowls of cream and sugar and lovely cups and saucers. You can add toast or biscuits, but the way you serve yourself that steaming hot service of your favorite coffee or tea is what makes it special—at least for me, it does.

Some of my clients and friends who have taken on the habit now take their Espresso or English Breakfast in bed, sometimes at a morning table. They’ve made it a special event with a style they love. And there are so many styles to choose from, with mixed materials, patterns, and colors.

One of my clients loves the retro look and found a 1960s deco style silver coffee service at her local flea market that completely matches her style. Another friend who is a true antique collector found a vintage service from the 1920s that’s truly lovely. But there are so many other ways to make that simple act in the morning more beautiful.

Alessi makes an absolutely perfect espresso maker, but you may be partial to a lovely pewter pot from Match 1955. If you love modern design, see Muriel Grateau, or Bernardaud for a more painterly or romantic style. Don’t forget the cups and saucers.  Everything doesn’t have to be in the same pattern – the mixing of patterns can make it more interesting.

Pull it all together with exquisite trays, bowls, and flatware from Christofle, Hermes Tableware, Lifetime Brands, or Ercuis, perhaps with cloths and napkins from Bodrum Linens. And if you happen to live in the Los Angeles area want to take in an even broader view of possibilities for the pieces you love, take a trip to Gearys. You can see many of these items on my video.

I’ve heard that the act of serving yourself—as though you are a guest at a favorite hotel—evokes high energy satisfaction that can trickle into everything you do. So, start it off right and begin your day beautifully every day.

Pre-party Check: Favorite soap in the powder room?

Often overlooked by you, but not by your guests.

As my mom used to say, “A little soap goes a long way.” I’m not sure this was what she was thinking of but the sentiment is good.  Checking for that little bar in the powder room isn’t usually the first thing you think of when you’re hosting a group but it definitely needs to be on the last-minute checklist.

I prefer small bar soaps for the powder room because they can be changed frequently and will always look fresh. They don’t drip like liquid soap dispensers often do – making a complete mess, and they’re not as clumsy as large soap bars. That’s why I don’t like to use them no matter how pretty they are. I’ve even seen a clever dispenser that dropped little flakes of soap on your hand.  The soap flake idea is novel, but the flakes get everywhere.

The big secret to those little bars of soap, and the one thing that makes them so ideal for home entertaining, is that they can add a lovely scent to the ‘room of necessity.’ They’re compact and can be intensely saturated with whatever types of perfume, oils, or minerals that you like. For that reason, they’re the one exception to my “no scented _______” rule.

The exception, of course, is the powder room.

This is the one room that I break the rule for when it comes to scented candles as well.  A candle casts some beautiful light.  But stay away from the scented sprays – they can be very ‘heavy handed’.  Wetting a small favorite soap bar releases just enough scent.

“Guest” soap bars can be found almost anywhere and everything from unscented to herbal to floral of all types, in every imaginable shape. You can even look up novelty companies that will make ones monogrammed with your name or a personal message. A friend of mine, who was a writer for the Star Trek television franchise, had ones that featured the shape of a ‘communicator’ with the message, “Clean me up, Scotty!” It was perfect for his home.

Here’s a tip for having just the right little dish for those small bars of soaps. On your travels, look for small ornamental dishes or shallow bowls to hold the soap. Sometimes the same place that sells the soap will have soap dishes. But you never know what clever little dish you will find in the most unusual places.  So, keep an eye out!

One more tip, make sure that you check it after a party or after your guests leave.  If the bar has lost its shape, become very small, or become nicked or broken be sure to replace it with a fresh one.

And don’t forget to check out my video where you can see more guest soap ideas!