Friday, July 15, 2011

Guess Who is coming to Dinner



Dishes Spode Pink Tower, Waterford crystal and fresh flowers
A friend for almost two score years is joining us this evening for dinner.  Some people come into our lives for a short time and others are, well, keepers.  Jen Savedra is a very dear friend.
She is a gourmet cook, artist, and  Editor of Travel Industry Today  Jen (Jenness)was born in Calcutta, India and graduated with a fine arts degree. For many years worked in the airline industry, where we met.  Jen actually inspired me to paint.  Both of us travelled extensively in our careers and World Travel Mart, London  each Autumn found us representing our respective companies. One year, following the trade show, we decided we would travel to the Southern England and paint. We hired a car and drove to Lyme Regis.
My first watercolour painting at Lyme Regis England 1992

Well it poured rain the entire weekend  and I recall standing in the rain and paniting the ocean. It was a moody English cold Saturday, watching the pier at Lyme Regis and remembering the scene in the French Lieutenant's Woman, with Meryl Streep.

The pier at Lyme Regis where Meryl Street stood in the movie The French Lieutenant's Woman
Painting long weekends became an annual tradition, either spending a four day weekend in London, the Cotswolds or New York City and always with our watercolours, visiting exhibitions and exploring. 

Kensington Palace - 1996 - Nantucket 2008
Beauchamp St. London 2007
Near Harrods London, 2008




The watercolour book I use  is heavy hand made paper, purchased from L. Cornelissen, 105 Great Russell St. London, England.  It is one of my favourite art shops in the world.
Vintage steak knives to be used for dinner
here.  HRH Prince Charles paints in watercolours and uses the same watercolour book and paint box.One time while shopping there, a driver came into the store and said "pick up for Buckingham Palace"sure enough a brown papered parcel awaited the Prince.
I have several watercolour books full of the most wonderful memories . These are used, as studies, for larger pieces.  When one paints outdoors, the memory is embedded in the mind, in looking at these sketches I can remember the sights, the sounds, the smells and some of the wonderful and famous people we met. (that is another story)


Spice girl, our dog, Charlie Jack Russel Jen's dog, Mike and Jen
The painting is by Jen Savedra and proudly hangs in our dining room





Watermelon and arugula salad with shaved  parmigiano cheese.most lovely things  Grilled sirloin steak, assorted roasted vegetables picked up at local farmer's market.  Fresh fruit and ice cream for desert. Assorted English Cheeses.

Meryl Street at Lyme Regis

57 comments:

  1. Your dinner sounds delicious! I so enjoyed looking at your watercolour book and would love to be able to paint! The shop featured on a recent BBC programme called 'Fake or Fortune?' about the master forger Van Meegeren! It looks a most fascinating place, reminiscent of something out of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Helen. That sounds to be a delicious dinner! I liked your watercolour paintings very much, I too love Lyme Regis, both for the film and 'Persuasion'. I'm glad you had a happy evening. Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  3. thats cool that she worked in the airline industryy becausee im going to be a flight attendant :) i just saw your blog for the 1st timee and its cute :) havee a great weekend hope that dinner was nicee :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the 'Near Harrod's' watercolor (among others,) and quite feel I was there as you described the meal. Felt my mouth water a bit for a nice assortment of cheese. :)

    How lovely to have friendships that endure.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Helen! It looks really, really wonderful. Are Nachos (of the human kind) on the menu`? If the answer is yes... can I come? And I really don't mind if his HRH turns up, as he only came 3rd in the my chart, after your gorgeous picnic basket.

    Everything looks just perfect, Helen... wonderful hostess, no doubt... wish I were there, but... I talk too much!

    You're great!

    ANNA

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Helen:
    How absolutely right you are that with some friends no matter what the time gap may be between meetings, one is always able to easily carry on from where one left off. And, no matter how many years, or decades pass, the relationship is capable of moving forward and developing. This is a very special friend.

    Your dinner sounds and, we are sure tasted, absolutely delicious. And, served on such a beautifully laid table. An evening to remember, we are sure.

    And, as for Lyme Regis, well that <is a favourite haunt of ours. We stayed for years at the Alexandra Hotel, a marvellous family owned hotel with fantastic views of Golden Cap and the Cobb. We loved it best in the winter when the wind would be biting as one turned towards the sea!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a lovely post! How wonderful to have all these albums filled with watercolour paintings of places you have visited - it is so much more personal and memorable than postcards. Your dinner sounds delicious. And how true about having some friends who are friends for life! As the years pass by, I cherish those friends more and more.

    Your mention of Lyme Regis reminded me of "Persuasion" and the scene where Louisa Musgrove falls from the steps on the Cobb.

    Hope you are having a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The menu sounds wonderful and I love your watercolor book very much! Adore your table setting, too! It's simple yet elegant.

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Helen, I wish I was coming to dinner at your place, sounds devine! I so love that pink spode china too! Brilliant, you have just reminded me that I used to get my powder pigments from L. Cornelissen. I am coming to the end of them and I have had them many years and couldn't remember where I got them, so thankyou for that! Your watercolour book is wonderful. I hope you had a lovely time with your dear friend. Thanks for your lovely comments. I am really ashamed to say it, but I have never really studied Yeats. I know the famous lines of course and have even painted some on a sleighbed. I will pay a visit to the library when I get back. Sorry if I am making you homesick. Lots of love Linda x p.s. would like to hear that 'other story' about the famous people you've met!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting blog, and I might add "mouth-watering" as an adjective, too!

    Thanks for popping by the Society. Consider me a new follower. Anyh friend of Suze's is a friend of mine.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Alix
    Thanks for your kind works about my watercolours and yes I treasure the memories. You should give it a try and just paint for yourself. Thanks for telling me that Cornellisen's was fetured on Fake or Fortune, I was unaware. Yes it is like something from Daigon Alley, you are absolutely right.
    Hope to hear from you soon
    Helenxx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello Jane The Booklady
    Lovely to hear from you Jane and yes, even if I say so myself, dinner was delicious. Thank you for telling me about Persuasion being filmed at Lyme Regis, I will get it on video. It is so great what we learn through blogging.
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sharon Vuitton
    Hello Sharon. How exciting that you are going to be a flight attendant. I am sure you will love it and be excellent at your job. Thanks so much for visiting and looking forward to talking again
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. How lovely to have friendships that endure.
    Hello Suze
    Thank you for commenting favourably on my watercolours. Wish you were here to share the cheeses. Thanks so much for featuring my comments on your video, I was most flattered
    Have a wonderful week
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Helen! It looks really, really wonderful. Are Nachos (of the human kind) on the menu`? If the answer is yes... can I come? And I really don't mind if his HRH turns up, as he only came 3rd in the my chart, after your gorgeous picnic basket.

    Everything looks just perfect, Helen... wonderful hostess, no doubt... wish I were there, but... I talk too much!

    You're great!

    ANNA

    Hello Anna

    You would be most welcome and our conversation with enliven and enlighten the guests. I will need to pull some strings to get HRH or Nacho to the table but all is possible in this world!! Or am I being the eternal optimist?

    I have to work at cooking, it doe snot come as naturally to me as it does you and I just love your blog and the simplicity of your recipes and knowing that they are your dear mother's make them more special
    Ciao bella
    Helen x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello Jane and Lance
    You so clearly describe Jen Savedra our friend. We have so many stories.Funnily when I first met her I did not care for her, I thought her unfriendly and she seemed to ignore me when I spoke to her. I later discovered she was hard of hearing in one ear.

    How coincidental that you spent so much time at Lyme Regis. I know exactly where you stay and I totally agree that Winter is a beautiful time by the ocean, it certainly was blustery when we were there. I would be quite happy to spend a winter at Lyme Regis. We had 3 days there and some wonderful walks through farmers fields and such fine restaurants too. Maybe we rubbed shoulders on the sidewalk!

    As always I love to hear from you and treasure your comments and your blog
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for the sweet comment on my navy decorating post and inviting me to visit your blog, Helen! You are a wonderful artist and I adore your watercolors. Such amazing travels and experiences you've had and your little books document them better than any photograph. I love it!

    xo,
    Jami

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello! New follower here--Suze does a wonderful job of connecting people. I was leafing through your older posts and was floored by your art. Absolutely beautiful. Looking forward to seeing more.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello Louise
    It is always a joy to hear from you.
    Thank you for your kind compliments on my watercolour paintings. Your are right, Louisa, they are much more personal than cards or photos.
    Yes good friends are precious and a good elderly friend told me to continue to make new friends as at some point in our lives we will need them. I think that is wise council?
    I was unaware of Persuasion being filmed at Lyme Regis. Thanks for informing me, now I must go and rent it.
    Wishing you a great week, are you managing to stay cool?
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello Jessie
    Thank you for commenting and yes, even if I say so myself, dinner was excellent. Your compliments on my watercolours and table setting are much appreciated.
    Wishing you a great week
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dearest Linda

    Thanks for stopping in for the cuairt (irish for visit)and I do wish you could visit. It was a lovely evening and lots of laughs. Jen is highly amusing and can mimic accents very well. Like you, Linda I did not pay much attention to Yeats when I was at school. I grew to appreciate Irish literature and good authors when I went abroad and found it so interesting. I think we never stop learning and will never know it all which keeps us humble!
    I am going to be eagerly looking forward to your next post. Have the best time.
    PS Your dinner with hams and chicken in panko crusts sounded perfect for the occasion and I loved your door wreath
    Hugs
    Helenxxx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for popping by the Society.
    Hello Bryce

    Thank you for stopping by and I like your adjective, mouth-watering.

    Looking forward to learning more about the Society.
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello Jami at Freckled Laundry
    Thanks for stopping by so quickly and I welcome you as a new follower.
    Your approval of my watercolours means a lot and yes they are a wonderful keepsake. You are so creative and I love your sense of colour and now your new colour scheme.
    Until the next time
    Fondly
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hello Julie Fedderson (of movie star fame) That was a lovely surprise that Suze featured us today in her blog.Thank you sincerely Julie for taking time to read my earlier posts and your flattering compliments on my artwork.
    Looking forward to knowing you.
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Helen, it's so nice to catch up with very old friends...we miss ours all the way back home in Australia...but, as is the case with good friends, we can always just pick up where we left off even if it's a year between visits. I love your china...I collect Masons Vista in raspberry and it always looks great when set up on the table. Thanks for your comments on my blog...I am enjoying the green in England but not so much the cool summer weather! Robx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your pink Spode is beautiful, and what a pleasure it always is to set a special dinner-table for a special friend. And I'm glad to be reminded of the French Lieutenant's Woman - I confess to not liking the film very much as I find Ms Streep annoying, but the book is beautifully written and evokes Lyme Regis so vividly for me that I haven't gone there yet for fear of disappointment. I hope you had a great time with Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hello Robynne's Nest
    Always joyful to hear from you. Australia is a long journey from England (I lived in Sydney for 3 yrs). It is a beautiful country. I love seeing England through your eyes, sometimes a visitor spots the little nuances of a country with a keener eye as the locals perhaps take it for granted.
    I will be searching for an image of your Mason's vista.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello Mise
    Yes you re right it is lovely to have company and a great time to tidy up and put the best foot forward. I use my good dishes for any occasion with guests. I will get the book "the French...." I think you will not be disappointed in Lyme Regis, Mise, I found the walks and rambling around to be magical. I was reminded of Daphne DuMaurier's Jamaica Inn, as we walked along the headlands. It, I hope, is still unspoiled.
    I thought of your fondness for pink as I set the table with pink spode.
    Always lovely to hear from you - how are the clouds this morning and any white butterflies?
    Slan agus Beannacht

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear Helen,
    What a wonderful post. I used to work in Mount Street in Mayfair and my bosses lived in Ovington Gardens just a street away from Beauchamp Place. I used to be up and down Brompton Road and the surrounding area all the time.
    Your paintings are wonderful. I'm just sorry that you had to brace the rainy weather in Lyme Regis !!!! The thing about England is that you just never know what weather you will get from one day to another. It can be boiling hot one day and, no one would be suprised if it snowed the next !!
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment today. I look forward to more of your posts. XXXX

    ReplyDelete
  30. How lovely to have a special friend to take painting weekend with and to be able to have those wonderful albums of memories.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love your water color and what an incredible fortune to have friends for keeps....your dinner plans sound splendid...if I ever had the opportunity to draw I would want it to be the way you do it... xo

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello Jacqueline,
    How lovely of you to comment and I know you must be very busy following your getaway with your sister.
    How exciting that you worked around Mayfair. It is such a beautiful part of London. For many years, we used stay at the In/Out Club at Picadilly and Halfmoon Sts., so know the areas you mention. I feel like I lived there as I know my way around so well. Jacqueline, oddly enough weather does not bother me (growing up in Ireland,one gets used to it) I also love how moody the ocean is on blustery days.Thanks again for your kind words and support. I truly love your blog, you have such passion.
    Helen xxx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Lindy Lou, I am indeed very fortunate to have such a long time great friend and despite all the years we still have so much in common. We also travel very well together and we treasure our paintbooks.

    Wishing you a great week
    Hugs Helen xxx

    ReplyDelete
  34. Mrs Little Jeans Good Evening


    Thank you for your kindness and support and yes I am very blessed to have Jen as a close friend.
    Thank you so much for such a high compliment on my style of drawing and painting. Hugs xxx

    ReplyDelete
  35. What a fine meal!!! Sounds like a walk may have been in order after that :)
    The paintings of course are wonderful. What a great way to remember places you've been.
    A package for Prince Charles! That was exciting to hear, I know :)
    (although I'm still simmering over how he treated Diana...)

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a wonderful menu. I adore the watercolor book and the story about Prince Charles!

    ReplyDelete
  37. That dinner you made sounds amazing!
    Love your paintings always!

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a fine meal!!! Sounds like a walk may have been in order after that :)
    The paintings of course are wonderful. What a great way to remember places you've been.
    A package for Prince Charles! That was exciting to hear, I know :)
    (although I'm still simmering over how he treated Diana...)
    Dear Auntie Bliss
    Yes, I must say the meal was special and sadly we were too busy talking to even remember to go for a walk, which as you suggest, would have been beneficial.
    Thank you for your kind compliments on my artwork. Like you, I loved Diana.
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for stopping by and offering your kind words and support.It just makes the trip so much more memorable to have a personal record.
    I treasure your comments
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hello Irina

    It is lovely to have reason to make a special dinner Irina. I have no doubt you are also creative in the kitchen.
    As always, lovely to hear from you.

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  41. Bet that was a really wonderful evening. The water color was so pretty.

    PS. I love that you named your dog Spice girl...too cute!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello Acanthus and Acorn

    Thank you for visiting. Yes it was a most enjoyable evening. Thank you for your compliment on my watercolours.
    We rescured Spice Girl, 4 yrs ago, we had just heard that the Spice Girls were doing a re-union tour. Arrived at the shelter and met Ms Mutt, she had no history or record other than the dog walker said she was kind of spicy..so that settled it, we felt it suited her. She is kind of Posh!!
    ha ha
    Thanks kindly for following and for your comments Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  43. What a fabulous post, your dinner sounds great! I just wanted to stop by and thank you for your very kind comment on my blog. People taking the time to stop by has really cheered me x

    ReplyDelete
  44. I hope that you had a wonderful dinner together....xv

    ReplyDelete
  45. Dear Helen,

    I hope you had a lovely dinner with your friends. What a beautiful book of memories you have!

    Lieve groet, Madelief x

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hello Bibbity Bob

    Always lovely to have you stop and say hello. Dinner was so much fun and always lots of nonsense is spoken too! It is great having a good friend.
    I love your blog and wish you a week full of goodness.
    Helen xxx

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hello Vicki Archer

    Thanks Vicki for your kind wishes and support. Dinner was very special - summer get togethers are so uplifting
    Helen xxx

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hello Madelief

    Your kind comment is most appreciated. Wish I lived closer to you I would borrow some of the beautiful flowers from your garden (just borrow ha ha)
    Wishing you a week of joy
    Helen xxx

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hello Helen,

    I was just reading this post again for more detail on your watercolour books. I can only imagine the memories that pour into your thoughts when you go back and study your books. It's one thing to look at photographs, but quite another to see your paintings.

    Your table looks lovely and this time I noticed you actually linked my blog...thank you. That is so sweet.

    xo annie

    ReplyDelete
  50. Oh, that meal sounds fabulous!! I love your unique watercolour book. You are so talented!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hello Annie, again,
    So nice of you to comment on my watercolour books and yes, they are treasures and hold so many memories other than the motif.

    I love your recipes and your watermelon salad was a huge success, we had no leftovers!!

    Wishing you a great cool weekend.

    Helen xx



    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh, that meal sounds fabulous!! I love your unique watercolour book. You are so talented!

    Hello Carolyn @ Sweet Chaos

    Thanks for stopping by. The meal was delicious and in particular the delicious salad which is from a fellow blogger. The watercolour books is a treasure. I love it.
    My best for a cool weekend.
    Helen xxx

    ReplyDelete
  53. Helen, I love your little watercolor book - my favorite is Kensington Palace 1996.
    Your annual painting trips with your friend sound like such a wonderful experience.
    Your menu made me feel hungry even after a substantial dinner tonight.

    I look forward to more delightful posts here on your blog!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Laura@luxinteriordesigns.com


    Thanks for stopping. It is curious when I painted this watercolour, Princess Diana was in residence at Kensington Palace and to think that 9 months later she would be dead.
    Why is it Laura that when we read menus or hear about food our taste buds become activated. Wishing you a relaxing, joyous weekend
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  55. Mama Mia, you are my new follower & THANX THANX THANX!!!

    Your blog = A pearl & I love it!!!

    So nice to meet you!

    Agneta, the swedish one ;)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Helen, my taste buds get activated when I just look at that beautiful table setting..

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  57. The dinner sounds wonderful!

    We spent the day in Lyme Regis yesterday. It is a favourite haunt of ours, although we usually only go there in the winter when it is a little quieter (although the cold, grey weather yesterday made it feel more like November!). It is a beautiful place with a lovely atmosphere. Love your paintings by the way.
    M x

    ReplyDelete