Rowan berries and the Autumn Equinox inspire this colourful gathering
Also known as the feast of Mabon, the Autumn Equinox is celebrated on 21 September. Traditionally in honour of the pagan Welsh god of the harvest, it is a time when day and night are equally long and therefore it is the perfect balance between lightness and darkness. It is a time to reflect and say thank you for the earth’s plenty. The colours associated with Mabon are red, orange, green, gold and brown, so we have looked for elements to bring these colours to the table: foraged herbs and berries and chestnuts from the fields. Rowan berries are particularly suitable for their bright orange colour. These berries are also associated with magic as in Victorian times the rowan tree was thought to give protection against evil influences and ward off witches which partly explains why the tree is also called witchwood. The rowan berries can be later used to make purees and juices, or they can be dehydrated and ground into powder to be mixed in porridges or bread
doughs. Rowan berries are a good source of vitamin C and carotene and have medicinal effects and benefits. If you are superstitious, take comfort from the tiny five pointed star or pentagram on each berry opposite its stalk (the pentagram being an ancient protective symbol). It explains why, in olden times, crosses made from rowan twigs and bound with red thread were sewn into the lining of coats or carried in pockets. If that’s not for you, then they also make an excellent jelly because of their high amount of pectin.
Our Autumn colour palette reflects the latest trend of mixing warm and cold tones. A traditional colour associated with the Fall is orange, rich and warm and reminiscent of the colours of nature at this time of the year. The cold colours are greyish blue and zinc green which tone down the warm colours and add an unexpected twist.
The individual papaya and coconut cakes, from L’Eto, also continue the colour themed table.
Natural materials are reminiscent of nature and so we have used linen as the runner and napkins. A zinc tray adds a rustic touch, and gives texture and a wabi sabi look, as well as metallics that add a contemporary touch. In contrast, the vintage design of the plates brings out the fantasy of the occasion.
Flowers and berries
The flaming orange of the rowan berries has been the inspiration for the choice of flowers: a bouquet made of roses and dahlias in tones that range from bright orange to earthy pink, immersed in foliage. Chestnuts, rowan berries and acorns on the table add a bit of seasonal detail.
Wabi sabi The distressed zinc tray from Anthropologie adds a rustic touch to the setting.