Polka Dots Alfresco

polka dot picnic

We’re having weekend guests soon, the kind of friends whom we’ve known all the way back to the days when I might have worn an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini!  I have long graduated to a one piece with lacy coverup, running to the water and back out again to the safety of my towel.  But I still LOVE polka dots, (think about Minnie Mouse and her cute outfits!) so when I found out I was the winner of this adorable flatware and its metal bucket from Cuisine Kathleen I did a little happy dance!

polka dot picnic

One of our guests, Mrs. E, is one of my BFFs and the best real life cook I know.  (It hardly seems fair that she is also a brilliant chemist and hilarious too.)  But she is used to my cooking and knows to expect anything. And everything tastes great with good friends to share the laughter.  So our menus this weekend will be simple and she will bring dessert.  I’m planning to have one meal with the menu from this picnic I did for Picnic Week with the Novel Bakers:


and definitely this tart, also a Picnic Week discovery!



But I want to make sure everything is perfect and not worry about details while my guests are here, so I decided to set some test tables.  A happy polka dot table on the deck with my new flatware will be a great way to start the weekend.  Let’s start with some polka dot flowers.

polka dot picnic

Bunny is quite dapper in his polka dot necktie, yes?  He is very fashionable, as apparently polka dot ties are popular with young professional guys now to pair with their business suits.

polka dot picnic

The ribbon also comes in handy for wrapping the napkins and flatware.  I can do this ahead and be free to enjoy the weekend!

polka dot picnic

And speaking of enjoying the weekend, I’ll definitely be serving Cape Codders (vodka and cranberry juice with a lime wedge) in honor of the very memorable vacations we have had with these friends.  The perfect straw:

polka dot picnic

But before we get a little dottie from all the polka dots I’ll add another pattern ~~ florals!  These floral dishes go with every color!  I know you’ve seen them before from a picnic in Maine where I used them with red accents, but I do love them and I think polka dots and flowers are so complementary.

polka dot picnic

I really don’t know what I would do without these white chargers.

polka dot picnic

Another benefit of doing a test table is finding out what won’t work!  I wanted to use these adorable tin buckets from Terrain as little tiny vases circling the umbrella on the large table I will use when my guests are here (there will be six of us so my favorite little table will hold appetizers during game time), but the buckets leak!  Little glass bowls to the rescue:

polka dot picnic

And speaking of mess, I won’t use these beautiful queen anne’s lace on the plates either as they drop all their dainty little petals on the plate.  They will go back to bunny’s bouquet.

polka dot picnic

Pull up a seat and let’s try out the table.

polka dot picnic


polka dot picnic

Now I’m noticing that my Grandmother’s vintage metal chairs go well with the theme!

polka dot picnic

I know some of you were horrified when I sent these vintage chairs to be rebuilt and powder coated, but they were covered in chipping lead paint (most of the layers I added myself during my childhood summers!) and one was almost in pieces.  And my grandmother would have been devastated to see their condition.  I’m very sure that she would approve, and I love their color, somewhere between raspberry, strawberry and coral.

polka dot picnic

As I was putting the finishing touches on my table I was being scolded by the birds in the tree above.  This is their lovely view.

polka dot picnic

Kathleen, I’m so glad I won the flatware!  I love it.

polka dot picnic

So are you a fan of polka dots?  And are you still rockin’ your bikini?

polka dot picnic

Linda 🙂

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25 thoughts on “Polka Dots Alfresco

  1. What a darling table to welcome your friends. This is such a happy table! No, on the bikini. I don’t even put on a swim suit. ‘-) Yes, yes, yes on the polka dots. I have the same flatware in blue. They are such fun for a table. Enjoy your time with your good friend.

  2. Wow, wOw, WOW! So many things I love about this: the flatware (lucky you!), the mix of florals and polka dots (nope, the teeny bikinis are packed away), and those metal chairs. Love how you worked out the bugs (and petals) ahead of time, too. I do things like that, if nothing else, to see how crowded the table looks. Enjoy your company!

  3. Linda, I would love to be at your cheery table with your mix of polka dots and pretty floral plates! I adore your napkin sleeves/pockets complete with matching yellow polka dot button! Mr. Bunny looks so festive with his flowers and he has the perfect seat under your wonderful shady tree which I’m envious of too. Our table on our patio is in full sun and it’s sweltering there this time of year. Your grandmother’s chairs look so pretty with their face lift and new bright color (I was one of those who admired their chipiness and layers of paint). Enjoy your visit with your friends.

    P.S. Yes to polka dots, no to bikini…that ship has sailed 🙂

  4. Linda, I adore your grandmother’s chairs. I had seen glimpses here and there of the new color, but these are the best pictures you’ve posted to date. That shade of pink is fabulous! The style of the chairs also goes well with your polka dot and flower theme. Your pink placemats and napkins are perfect, too. I’d say your trial run was a success! Enjoy your friend’s visit!

  5. Well…..I’ve never been so in love with a table setting…this is so my style…so colorful and you are so good at pulling it all together.
    You AND your table are chock full of personality…I think I pinned every photo, which, by the way, all your pictures are great.
    The chairs are adorable…I love that plaid runner…the white chargers..the bunny holding all the flowers…right now I am so in TABLESCAPE ENVY….xoxo

  6. How can you not like polka dots? They always make me happy so you can bet I really like the way you have used them. Lucky you to have won the adorable flatware.

  7. Love, love, love this table. The colors, prints and mixture of textures are perfect for a happy, bright and carefree setting. Your dinner should be wonderful and a perfect spot for sharing memories. Have fun. And, no, I wouldn’t subject beachgoers to the sight of me in a bikini anymore!! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  8. I am going to be singing the itsy, bitsy, teeny, weenie, yellow polka dot bikini song all day! LOL!
    Love your fun table, Linda! Your polka dot silverware was a great win from Kathleen!
    Your colors, patterns, textures and flowers are so creative together. Your food will be a great hit. I am hungry just looking at it. The newly painted vintage chairs look great with your table. What a great color.
    Enjoy your company.

  9. What a wonderful fun table! Love all the colors, and yes! on the polka dots. Your guests will love this table! Never wore a bikini, 2 piece yes, but bikini, nope!
    Hope you enjoy your company, and so glad you are enjoying the flatware! You’ve inspired me to do a table with mine, maybe!😊

  10. Your table is wonderful! Those floral plates are to die for and the polka dots are so happy and cheerful. And I love the color of your grandmother’s chairs. A perfect setting for an enjoyable gathering.

  11. Wonderful and oh so charming. One of the prettiest tables I have seen this summer. I really love what you did with the chairs. The color is marvelous. Have a wonderful week.

  12. This is too adorable Linda! That flatware is so cute, lucky you, but I am crazy about the way you styled it tucked in the napkin with the colorful polka dot ribbons-and the bunny is SO PRECIOUS! I know you are going to have so much fun with your special friends, and they are in for a treat with your tables and menu-Enjoy 🙂

  13. I saw your comment over at Foodie Friday that you had an alfresco tablescape so came over to check it out…so glad I did! Such a fun and summery table! Lucky you, winning that polka dot flatware and indeed, you put it to good use. I know your guests will be thrilled to sit at a table with so many pretty details. Another possible solution for your “leaky buckets” to put a small votive holder or glass inside each bucket to act as a vase – I do that lots. I occasionally wear a 2 piece but bikini days are definitely over – polka dots forever though!

  14. Hi Linda, I love polkadots. There are cheery and whimisical. What fun to have a visit with dear friends. Oh, how I wish I had my grandmother’s vintage metal chairs. They were quite comfortable as I am sure your’s are. Since they have been properly repainted, they will have a longer life as they should. Enjoy your company. Jill

  15. What a happy, cheerful table, Linda, and yes, I don’t mind if I do pull up a chair and admire it! What a sweet win from Kathleen and the polka dots look perfect with the floral plates. Mr Rabbit sure looks dapper and in style, too. Your grandmother’s chairs look so fabulous and the color is wonderful. Enjoy your special time with friends!

  16. OMG… Linda, your friends are going to be bowled over by your darling tablescape. It looks like it is off the cover of a magazine!! Love polka dots, always have. I wore a polka dot top when I met the Mr. and he still mentions it. That bunny is so darling. All I can say is that your dear friends are pretty darn lucky to be entertained by you. Enjoy every minute.

  17. Hi Linda

    You set such pretty tables! I love polka dots–very whimsical and fun. I love your grandmother’s chairs and their new paint color is perfect.

    I hope you’ve been having a good summer!

  18. Linda I just discovered your charming blog and I am totally smitten! Each post is more adorable than the last! This tablescape is so darn happy I’m smiling as I write. Just lovely!

  19. Linda, I am fashionably late for this blog post but I know you will understand 🙂 I adore your grandmother’s chairs and the new color is fabulous! Your trial run was a success and I’m sure your friends enjoyed your efforts. What a lucky win from Kathleen and the polka dots look perfect with the floral plates. I hope you are having a wonderful week.

  20. It was so good to find your note in my mailbox this morning. Thanks for stopping by for a visit. The polka dot table is delightful! I loved your “what didn’t work” examples. I do that all the time, too. I enjoyed my sneak peek at your party for your dear friend. Cherry Kay

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