Monday, August 17, 2009

At Home With Wedgwood

Yesterday, I had a Sunday visit, via email, with Tricia Foley. Tricia worked with us at Victoria in a variety of roles. Sometimes she was on staff; sometimes a very productive freelance contributing editor. She helped pioneer America's interest in and knowledge of tea with her books--and she shared with us her distinctive lifestyle. Trish loves the past--but nor more than the present. And she combines them both beautifully with a touch that looks simple but can't be imitated. She aims to inspire your own creativity.

Tricia Foley stays busy. And recently the fruits of her labor is a marvelous book: At Home with Wedgwood. Two other Victoria folk are associated with this wonderful feat on the products of the company that has produced some of our most treasured china--Cathie Calvert as writer and Jeff McNamara as photographer. The only credit I take here is in recognizing a truly good book when I see one.

Having been behind many a page, I really appreciate how a subject can be treated from a variety of points of view. This book has the history of the company, starting with Josiah Wedgwood. The dedication to him is a Tricia Foley inspiration if I have ever seen one--an antique men's collar with several pieces of black china. Suitable for framing!

But what is most inspiring about this book is the art of the table, it's subtitle. This art is displayed through the work of contemporary lifestyle leaders such as Martha Stewart, Vera Wang, and Tricia herself.

One may love Wedgwood, as I do. My best dishes and my everyday ones are the same--Wedgwood's strawberry and vine. It was Queen Victoria's, too, by the way. But this book is also full of great table setting and entertaining ideas. My husband always says that I think holiday dinners are done when I've set the table. I just adore doing it--and plan them days before. He does the cooking while I'm coolly setting china and flatware on our table, arranging fruit displays, and making sure the candles aren't going to poke anyone in the eye. Our table is one that came out of my association with Hooker Furniture and you'll find on their web site some hints I gave for setting hospitable tables.

Take a sneak peek of At Home with Wedgwood. You'll also get a view into what Tricia has been up to since she produced pages for Victoria. She helped set our style--now she can help you set your table with a simple grace. Bravo to all who put out this unique book. It's not on my bookshelf--it's on my dining table, open to a page I want to make part of my art of everyday living well.


  1. My copy has been open to the page on Jane Austen's family china. Love the description of the Austen's selecting it and then ordering it.

  2. One of my most treasured tea books is by Tricia Foley, Having Tea. Her books have the most wonderful photography and I do refer to the Having Tea often when I put together a tea party.

  3. Ooh, I collect all of the books written by "The Editors of Victoria", I love them all. The older ones with the Victoria logo on, I have all of them in Hardcover, & also most of the other books written by the same Authors as victoria-,like Trish Foley I have tried to collect over the years. I have all of hers too,-- "Linens & Lace", I especially enjoy as I love Antique & vintage bedding & Linens.I saw her new "Wedgewood" book advertised, but have not purchased it yet. Now I am really excited about it, -I didn't know either, that Queen Victorias Wedgewood pattern was also "Strawberrys & vine."- How lovely it is to know that you have this set too,Nancy! I haven't seen it yet, but sure will look for it now in Trish's new Wedgewood book.{maybe someday I will see the actual wedgewood pattern you have, in real life.}-

    Also the new movie "The Young Victoria", is being released in the States November 9th-- I can't wait to see if they have the same set on Queen victoria's table in this "period perfect",movie!

    It is so wonderful to be able to read on your blog here, Nancy., I am truly grateful for this!Love, Valery

  4. This book sounds like a visual feast. Our wedding china is Wedgwood Bokhara and a few years after we married, we inherited a beautiful Wedgwood service from my husband's family, in the gold and white Griffon pattern. If we're having a large dinner, we sometimes lay alternate gold and white settings next to the blue, white and gold Bokhara settings, and have simple vases of cornflowers along the table, or single heads of blue hydrangeas in low vases. On a white linen cloth, with the silverware and Waterford crystal glasses, it all looks so pretty.

    I am so enjoying your blog. Thank you.


  5. Nancy, your writing is delightful and inspiring. So glad you are gracing us with your gifts again. The "Nancy Lindemeyer" touch is unmistakable and much needed in our not-so-gracious or inspiring world. Hope to enjoy this journal for a long time. Bless you, dear friend.

  6. That sounds like a great book on Wedgwood. I have Queen's Ware in the Edme pattern and I love it. Tricia Foley's other books are very enjoyable, especially "Having Tea". Thanks for your review.

  7. Thanks for the book recommendation. Sound like a "must have" book :-)