Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Let's Dish ~ Nantucket, an Island Destination

Let's Dish 

about my favorite island destination,

~ Nantucket ~

Nantucket is a wind swept island 

30 miles out to sea off the coast of Cape Cod.  

Only fourteen miles long and three and a half miles wide, 

the island is full of beauty, charm, and history.  

It long ago stole my heart and imagination.

Atlantic Cafe 

is one of my favorite island haunts.

So with thoughts of my beloved Nantucket, 

I've set a lunch table for you today.  

Please come in and join me for a bowl of 

New England clam chowder.

I filled some of my Nantucket Lightship Baskets with 

cut flowers and gathered them together with scrimshaw 

boxes onto a large Courtly Check tray from MacKenzie-Childs.

The tureen is Nantucket Basket by Wedgwood.

The details on this piece replicate the details 

found on many of the Nantucket Lightship Baskets.

The distinctive shape and simplicity of 

Nantucket Lightship Baskets make them unique.

You can read more about the fascinating history of this craft  here.

The oak or cane staves of these baskets are 

formed over a wooden mold and then woven with fine cane.

A Nantucket Lightship Basket 

holds fresh rolls right out of the oven.

This young man holds a little salt and pepper

should you desire more seasoning in your chowder.

He's French and must have come ashore from 

one of the many sailing vessels moored in the harbor.

Our lunch table is set with the theme 

of sailing ships and Nantucket Lightship Baskets.

The chowder bowl features another 

jaunty sailor who sailed into port from France.

Notice the French flag on his ship?

This bowl is a limited edition issue of a design in the 

Musée des Faiences de Quimper's archives.

The concentric rings of yellow and blue of the 

Quimper bowl contrast with the woven pattern of the

Nantucket Basket dinner plate.  Both sit atop a 

square red plate by Waechtersbach, Germany, 

all on a simple woven placemat.

The organic shape and feel of the 

Treble Clef flatware reminds me of seaweed.

The whaling industry was an 

important part of the history of Nantucket.

Scrimshaw, the American version of ivory carvings,

is the folk art of carving on whale teeth or bones

and was an important part of the daily life aboard whaling ships.

While antique scrimshaw pieces are highly collectable and 

expensive, the above collage is of three inexpensive pieces 

purchased as souvenirs while visiting Nantucket.  

The "woven" piece top right is made from bone, 

but the other two pieces are made of synthetic ivory.  

The detail is carved into the bone and then later inked in.

It's said that mermaids 

live off the coast of Nantucket. 

I spied this unusual Mermaid teapot 

for sale at Anthropologie a few years ago.

Sadly she never did swim home with me.

Now this beauty is no longer available.  

Glad I snapped these photos when I first saw her.

My tip for Stone Gable's Weekly Meme:

Buy it when you see it!

Speaking of beauties .   .   .

~ Perfect Patty ~

for the girl that always has style

with a little understated touch.

This gorgeous seashell cuff was created by

Kelley of Teacups and Ponies.  

I was the lucky recipient when Kelley

hosted a giveaway of one of her original designs.

Thank you, Kelley. 

 I hope you'll stop by to visit  Teacups and Ponies.  

Tell Kelley I sent you!

~ Nantucket ~

My Favorite Island Destination

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Oh my goodness!

    What an amazing and informative post!

    I love this - I had no idea about any of that - excellent reading and amazing theme throughout...very very well done!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Nantucket holds a dear spot in my heart too!

    I still have one of those tall baskets:) and a pair of pierced earrings of those cute baskets..I cannot wear them anymore..Would you like them?They are not real anything..but cute..

    Can you believe that adorable Nantucket book is no longer in print?In fact all the books we chatted about are now collector's items:).

    The next time I go to Fl..I will order from a private place..:)
    I was very happy when you won Kelley's give away:)It's gorgeous:)

    I will remember the Atlantic Cafe..should we return..
    It's MAGICAL.

    Love this post!

  3. Sarah, the baskets and tablescape in it's beauty are calling me to the island I have never seen. Olive

  4. Sarah~ I am always in awe of your collections and I love the elongated shape of your baskets! I remember seeing your scrimshaw pieces tied to a FFT review maybe? I would love to visit Nantucket and have to remember Atlantic Cafe. I adore the mermaid teapot~ don't you want to kick yourself I've done that numerous times myself and having been in retail I should know better :)

  5. Sarah, this setting is so pretty. My hubby and I are discussing flying into Boston this fall and touring around. I mentioned Nantuckett and his nephew said the islanders don't care much for the tourists. I don't think he is right and I want to go visit. I have always found the pictures and homes charming that I have seen.

  6. You have taken me to Nantucket in a beautiful way. So informative and interesting. Lovely pieces. Thanks for the journey.

  7. Sarah, I know I would enjoy Nantucket. We had planned to go for the day when we were on Martha's Vineyard, but I couldn't pull myself away from the lovely, quiet, relaxing beach that we found. I love all the elements you have used in this post, and I am going back to take it all in again. The baskets are wonderful!

  8. What a beautiful post, love all the details! The Courtly Check tray is so pretty!

    Thanks for the trip to Nantucket!


  9. Sarah,
    Love your baskets! This is such an interesting feature story behind your tablescape. My wish, dear friend, is that you visit often...filling yur heart's desire!

  10. OMGoodness, Sarah, what an informative post! I can see why you love Nantucket (a place that I've never been!). I loved the baskets, the scrimshaw, the flatware and the plates. What a gorgeous vignette you put together for all of us to enjoy and dream about.

  11. Sarah, I have been to Nantucket only once and it was such a wonderful place to vacation. Your tablescape is filled with so many interesting things. It is easy to understand your love for that fascinating place. --------Shannon

  12. Now I want to go to Nantucket, another place to add to my "list". I have been looking for a cute mermaid to sit out on my hutch, these were lovely and your tip is spot on. xo

  13. Sarah, I just never wanted this post to end.. Loved the stories and the pieces. I love clam chowder!!! The mermaid piece and the baskets, well and the faience pieces are so stunning. I just loved being here. xo marlis

  14. Such a beautiful and interesting post! I love ALL of the collectibles you featured, especially the scrimshaw. Thanks so much for linking it. Just fabulous!

  15. Sarah, I just LOVE this post. I have never been to Nantucket but it calls to me! I would love to go next summer!
    Your table full of Nantucket beauty makes me want to get away there even more!
    Thanks for sharing your destination table with us at TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS!

  16. I love this table. What a wonderful table. I love your destination and how you've conjured up the images. I've always wanted to go to Nantucket and I feel that you've taken me on a short trip there.

    - The Tablescaper

  17. Beautiful baskets and beautiful table. I really enjoyed your story. Sounds like a great place.

  18. What a lovely table! I lived on Cape Cod in the 1970's and visited Nantucket once. It was an amazing place. I miss New England a lot. Love the scrimshaw box and those baskets are truly amazing.
    Hugs, Linda

  19. What a pretty tablescape! I bet that clam chowder is to die for!!!

  20. I have never been but would love to. I have 12 of the plates but would love to finish out the place settings. They are my favorite basic white china plate. Love the pattern.

  21. A wonderful post, dear Sarah, full of beautiful things.
    Love the baskets, the scrimshaw nd f course the Q.
    The final mosaic is delightful, and congratulations on winning the cuff it's gorgeous.
    Nice to see you & M relaxing at the shore.

  22. Oh my goodness, Sarah, I love this post!! I've always wanted to go to Nantucket, but have never been. All the ocean lore is so fascinating.

    Your collections are just wonderful. I love the Nantucket baskets, scrimshaw boxes, the beautiful tureen, and the charming Quimper pieces. I think the scrimshaw might be my favorite because it's so unique. Years ago my MIL gave me a necklace with a Nantucket basket with a scrimshaw lid on a chain. I always got lots of compliments on it; it's a fun conversation piece. BTW, I like your mermaid too. :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog and taking time to leave a comment. Have a great week.


  23. Oh my goodness, Sarah, I love this post!! I've always wanted to go to Nantucket, but have never been. All the ocean lore is so fascinating.

    Your collections are just wonderful. I love the Nantucket baskets, scrimshaw boxes, the beautiful tureen, and the charming Quimper pieces. I think the scrimshaw might be my favorite because it's so unique. Years ago my MIL gave me a necklace with a Nantucket basket with a scrimshaw lid on a chain. I always got lots of compliments on it; it's a fun conversation piece. BTW, I like your mermaid too. :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog and taking time to leave a comment. Have a great week.


  24. Hello, Sarah – fabulous post! I've never been to Nantucket but I'm sure it would capture my heart. I love all the details and photos you shared here. I can see why it's your favorite island destination.

    Hope you'll be visiting again soon.


  25. How I love the sea! Your post is a delight, Sarah! I grew up on the Pacific Ocean but, have visited the Atlantic Seaboard, too. There's just no place like the seashore...with it's salt air, seagulls, and sandy beaches.
    Thank you for letting me capture a few glimpses of Nantucket. It's so filled with nautical charm.
    Blessings, my friend,
    Carolynn xo

  26. Very nice, I can almost smell the salty air! Love your pretty baskets and the S&P holder is too cute:@)

  27. Sarah,
    Thanks for sharing "perfect patty" it looks like she is living with wonderful company.
    The baskets and the mermaid teapot make me swoon.
    Happy week!

  28. Well, that reminds me of home (I grew up on the south shore of MA and later lived on Cape Cod) I have a few nantucket baskets and love them! Lovely table setting - I especially love your salt/pepper cellar guy - so unique!

    Have you read any of Elin Hinlderbrands' books? Every summer I buy one and just live in it - they all take place on Nantucket or Tuckernuck!

    I just participated in Susan Branch's Traveling Journal - that was a fun activity and look forward to seeing it posted at the end!

    As for M-C, what would we dream about if we had it all? haha...but I would like most of it!

  29. That was lovely, Sarah. We used to go to Cape Cod for 2 weeks every summer. We went to Nantucket, but just for the day.
    I love your baskets and your narration, and how you worked your Quimper into this island post.
    The collage is beautiful too!
    Thanks so much for linking to Let's Dish!

  30. Sarah -
    I can feel your love for this island coming through this post. I, too, love this area of our beautiful country. Our family shares some very special memories of our vacations there. My favorite is when our VERY shy 5 yr old daughter struck up a conversation with this beautiful woman on the ferry. At the end of the ride, she told Susie that she was Mr. Rodger's wife. Susie looked at her with her big blue eyes and said in her sweetest voice, "I hate Mr. Rodgers"!!! She never used that word before and we were all soooo shocked. Didn't we run into Mrs. Rodgers everywhere all week long?????????
    Linda @ A Toile Tale

  31. Such a beautiful post! I love all of your pretty Nantucket inspired decor. Your pictures are stunning and I can certainly feel your love in this post.

    Have a wonderful day!
    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  32. I haven't been there, but I have been to Martha's Vineyard, and that area is so lovely. Beautiful post.

  33. Nantucket! One of my bucket list destinations!!! I've wanted to go there ever since the TV show "Wings" was on back in the early 1990s. It just sounded so romantic and cozy and wonderful!!! You have captured the feel of it (or at least what I imagine the feel of it to be!) beautifully! Your "real life" photos at the end are the icing on the cake!!! I don't think I've ever heard of scrimshaw until reading this. I have seen it, but didn't know what it was. I agree with your tip: If you see something you feel you cannot live without, buy it right then and there! I put things in my cart that I'm "thinking about" as I shop so I won't go back half an hour later to disappointment. Beautiful, soothing post!

  34. That's another place that I would like to visit. I actually grew up in MA, but I've never been to Nantucket. Everything on your table is just plain enchanting to me. I love the place setting so much that I pinned it, and your scrimshaw is just beautiful. Ii would love to study it in person.

    This was a wonderful post!

  35. I'm sorry that mermaid is "the one that got away". I've had several of those things happen lately. I'm trying to learn to go with my gut and get things when I see them. Hard when they have Anthropologie type prices or if your home is beginning to have a hoarder haunt to it. "Buy it when you see it" is good advice!

  36. Sarah,
    I hang my head in shame - I've never been to Nantucket (or Cape Cod)! Boston yet - which I adore!

    Your pics are making me want to book my trip right now! A bowl of clam chowder is definitely in my future!

  37. Well, such a rich post here, Sarah. I love the fresh basketweave Wedgewood, and the darling nautical French bowls. Love that beautiful photo collage at the end too! Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it. I think I just wanted to whine! LOL!

  38. This is such a wonderful table! I love your Nantucket baskets & the scrimshaws are great! You have so many beautiful pieces to make this an incredible tablescape.

  39. Oooooh, Sarah, I loved this post! While I've never been across to Nantucket I've visited Martha's Vineyard where the air smells of the sea and the song of mermaids can be heard off shore ...or are they just seals? :)

    I love your lightship baskets! I have a few that are round and not tall. Your Scrimshaw is beautiful! I'm glad is it synthetic as Ivory is now a forbidden product, thank goodness for elephants!

    I loved your photos taken in Nantucket ...your love for the island emanates from them!

  40. Those baskets are absolutely amazing! I dream of going to Nantucket make it sound as good as I hope it will be. I love all the info you shared about everything. I love all the unique pieces you have collected! Thank you for linking up and sharing all this goodness with us!

  41. Such a lovely post, Sarah. While I live on an Island in the Pacific Northwest, I come from an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. There's something about the east coast that stays in the blood if one truly loves it. I miss the east sometimes, and your post brought it on again - which says something about the authenticity of your writing and style!

  42. The vignette of the flower arrangements is great.

  43. Goodness, you have exquisite taste! I've been to Cape Cod, but never made it to Nantucket Too bad! I love that chalk board with the mermaid. I would put that in my house in a minute! Thanks for joining the party this week!

  44. Fabulous and informative post Sarah. We did New England states two Falls ago and I'm hoping Cape Cod will be next. Have a fabulous weekend.

  45. I feel like I've just landed in Nantucket. Your tablesacpe is not only beautiful but so interesting. Love your collection of lightship baskets, the chowder bowl and Wedgwood tureen. Thanks so much for a lovely visit to Nantucket.

  46. Many years since I was in Nantucket - lived in New England then - but you brought back so many memories Sarah by these stunning displays. Love everything - the Wedgwood tureen is gorgeous and your Faience plates beautiful.

    You really know how to set a table dear friend - I'm loving this for Summertime.

    Happy weekend - Mary X

  47. Your scrimshaw style containers are so cool I love them. Very Nuntucket. Thanks for joining us at Hot Fun in the Summertime.

  48. This brings back so many long ago precious memories. I lived on Nantucket Island an entire summer when I was in college. It's one of my most special lifetime experiences. I remember the scrimshaw and the lightship baskets. I brought home scrimshaw, but as a college girl, the lightship baskets weren't in my budget even then. Yours are true treasures. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  49. We recently boated from Maine to Nantucket and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I loved browsing there, and I see you have found some pretty cool things with which to work. I'm always glad to have to visit.

  50. Hi Sarah! What a lovely post! Those baskets are amazing and your table setting is too! Your pieces are all so pretty! Love your MC tray. Love seeing your pretties.
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia :)

  51. So much to love about this post...the baskets, the mermaid menu and teapot, the Quimper pottery and Nantucket. You really know how to pull together a wonderful table setting and post. Hope you have a nice weekend.


  52. Oh I'm late to Destination Let's Dish as I had no internet for almost 3 days and I'm so glad I'm finally posted my table and I'm visiting your stunning tablescape about Nuntucket and the fabulous and informative post about it. I love the baskets, the Quimper pottery is gorgeous, but the memaid teapot makes me covet! Every element and pieces are perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  53. What a beautiful table and I absolutely love those baskets. They look so beautiful with cut flowers in them.

  54. This is another place I must place on my list to visit. Charming and outstanding table.

    Cathy <;)

  55. Sarah:

    It's great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  56. I'm a late visitor to the party this week between a house full of company, work and a stubborn internet this week! I'm so happy not to miss this beautiful table tribute to a place you so obviously love. I've never been but from what I know you captured the essence perfectly. What great pieces you've used here with the baskets and ivory and especially that tureen!

    Robin Flies South

  57. Oh Sarah, I have to get to Nantucket after seeing your photos in this post. What a treasure trove of information on this little isle to go along with the great photos. What a lovely table you've set, from the flowers to the adorable baskets. I love those tall baskets. Oh my, and the Quimper! I love the figurine and the bowl is gorgeous! I really would love to add some new themes to my collection. Beautiful vignettes and what a great Nantucket mosaic. Fabulous post Sarah!

    The French Hutch

  58. Just beautiful, Sarah. You have sooo many beautiful things and you sure do know how to use them. :)
    If ever I am in your neighborhood, I will arm wrestle you for that magnificent tray. :)

  59. All I can say is I love everything about this post. I've never been to Nantucket but we used to vacation in Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.I miss them so... Everything on the table is exquisite!

  60. What a fun post! My husband just asked me if I wanted to go back to Nantucket. Whenever I am there I go crazy over the baskets!

  61. In a roundabout way, believe me when I say roundabout, I discovered not only your fabulous blog today but Teacups and Ponies also. I am now a happy follower of both!!!

    I grew up in Southeastern Connecticut and there were endless roadtrips through New England growing up and beyond. We currently reside in Florida and wonder why......we miss NE very much. I loved your tribute to Nantucket!


    Feel free to send us some REAL "New England clam chowdah" anytime!!!

  62. Wonderful post Sarah. Reminds me that I have a Nantucket purse somewhere around here.

  63. Hi lovely lady.
    I can see why you love Nantucket (a place that I've never been!). I loved the baskets, the scrimshaw, the flatware and the plates. What a gorgeous vignette you put together for all of us to enjoy Sarah.just Beautiful, thanks so much for your sweet comments on my Island Tablescape. I hope you and your family have a wonderful week.
    XXOO Diane

  64. Thanks for visiting and leaving such a nice comment. The 'cape' is such a beautiful place. I love the shingle style cottages that cover the island. Your post and photos are wonderful. I love the flatware - so different and unusual. I have become your newest follower and look forward to reading your future posts.

  65. So enjoyed the visit the other day. Thanks for all the info on Nantucket. Hope to get there some day very soon.

  66. Sarah, this is not only a beautiful table, but your post is educational, too! I learned more about those baskets and scrimshaw, too! Thank you for your visits to my tables -- you are one of my most faithful followers!

  67. Love how you used the baskets for your flower arrangements Sarah!
    xo Cathy

  68. Oh how great, I love your basket. They are wonderful and all the other treasures. I esp. love your black and white check table. Take Care Kathy

  69. Oh Sarah, what a beautiful post! Of course, I am in love with and even coveting the two Quimper pieces, both so unique and wonderful. I also love the scrimshaw - faux and real. What beautiful works of art. laurie

  70. Fabulous post Sarah, I would love to visit there. Each and every image is just beautiful. Thanks.

  71. What a gorgeous post! I would love to visit there! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  72. Sorry to tell you that The Atlantic Cafe is no longer in business on Nantucket Island.

  73. Hello Sarah, Wow! You have the loveliest collections and put them together so nicely - your tribute to Nantucket is beautiful - just love that tureen and the baskets! My mom would have loved it! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  74. Hello! Just found your site when looking for more info about my mermaid teapot. Wanted to let you know that we're moving and I must pare down :( causing me to list it on ebay. (Search for Anthropologie Mermaid Teapot) Just thought I'd drop a word in case anyone is truly interested in having it adorn their shelf! :)


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.