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Maybe I’ve been watching too much Emily in Paris or its that just last year I was in France, but I have had Paris on my mind. Since travel isn’t possible, I decided to indulge my wistfulness with a simple French dinner recipe and a few Parisian fall table decor ideas.
I’ve been so lucky too visit some of the most elegant restaurants in Paris. But my favorite French memories are of visits to local cafes. I make a point of not staying in touristy areas so that I can experience the real French culture. These local cafes are nothing fancy but are places where you can relax into their coziness and left the whispered French of the few other tables drift around you. While much of Paris is trendy and leads in fashion and design, it is also a city that celebrates heritage. I find that the places I go back to time and again are the ones where tables are graced with simple table cloths and serve simple food.
Although I own many amazing French cookbooks, they can be complicated as the meals tend to be fussy and the metrics need to be converted. Ina Garten has a home in Paris and has translated many of my favorite French dinner recipes into American measurements. Be sure to check out her cookbook, Barefoot in Paris. One of my favorite comfort food recipes in it is the Herbed-Baked Eggs. The ingredients are simple–eggs, parmesan, fresh herbs, cream, and butter and a fantastic crusty loaf of French bread. It is a recipe I find myself making after long hard days because it warms your soul without being rich. Served with a side of boiled asparagus and a glass of wine and you are guaranteed to end your day on a positive note.
I’ve found that one of the basic tenets of French style, is that everything works together to create an experience. I think we all know that French dinner recipes somehow taste better when it is served at a table set with table linens. A few weeks in Provence, taught me that these warm touches don’t need to be fancy or expensive. Simple table linen touches go a long way. Hence, table linens are a key component of our fall table decor ideas. Here are a few of my favorites.
Another trick the French use is to mix high/low items. If you use simple table linens, pair them with more formal dishes and glassware to surprise and delight. One of my closest friends from London sets her kitchen table with nothing but silver. For ease of use, she used to throw it in the dishwasher. Needless to say, the silver was dinged up and faded in color, but there was always something grand about having breakfast in your pajamas in the kitchen and using silver. While I don’t suggest ruining your silver, here are some ideas to dress up your table.
In my experience, every French table is finished with simple seasonal flowers. At local cafes, your French dinner recipes are accompanied by a single stem of a wildflower. The trick is not to try to hard if you are going for a casual look. Use whatever flowers/plants/vegetables are in season locally for your fall table decor ideas. Since we are in the heart of fall, I used pumpkins, leaves, and fall flowers. I hate bugs, and am always worried about bringing foliage indoors so I cheated and used artificial items on my fall table.
I hope these fall table decor ideas and simple French dinner recipe provide you with a mini-Parisian getaway right from your own home. Check out our posts on fall decorating for more decor ideas. And, if you haven’t watched Emily in Paris, I highly recommend it. A bientot!