Barware Fit For A Mad Men Scene...

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If you’re as famished for the next episode of Mad Men as we are, you’re probably looking in all the usual places for a retro fix to hold yourself over until season four debuts—reruns, vintage stores, speakeasies. (For those of you who have not had the pleasure of indulging yourself in this award-winning AMC drama, here’s the gist: The swirling drama surrounding early 1960s gender roles, politics and the rise of commercialism all set in the boozy boys club of the New York Advertising world.) In a word: Barware.

Mix yourself a stiff Manhattan with these heavy, glass picks:

Wellington Spirits Decanter With No Drip Mouth

A beveled, architectural decanter fit for your single-malt scotch. Handsome (and substantial) enough to earn a spot on your mahogany bar-top.

Glass Animal Ice Bucket

Just the right size to keep your ice at-the-ready—with enough retro, Americana charm to keep up with your leather club-chair.


Arte Italica Milano Old Fashioned Glasses

The thick, wide-rimmed pewter bottoms on these tumblers were meant for leaving water stains. The kind that imply the host was too rapt in conversation with you to notice you missed the coaster. All the more evidence of your excellent company.


Host An English Afternoon Tea with Beautiful Tabletop Accessories

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A traditional English afternoon tea party in the garden, complete with beautiful tabletop accessories, is a great way to celebrate almost any occasion, from birthdays to engagements to Mother's Days.

Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1783 – 1847), who was a close friend of Queen Victoria, is credited with inventing the afternoon tea. Apparently, she liked to have her butler deliver tea and an assortment of sweet and savory treats to her sitting room around 4pm. (In those days, lunches were light and dinner was served as late as 8:30pm, so it was common for people to feel hungry as the afternoon wore on.) The Duchess soon began asking her friends to come around and join her – and the concept of the afternoon tea party caught on in many middle and upper class households.

An afternoon tea menu typically consists of a variety of sandwiches, including chicken mayonnaise and pine nuts, cucumber and mint, ham and cheese, smoked salmon and dill, as well as sweets like Madeira cake, chocolate éclairs or cream puffs, and sponge cake.

And, of course, a selection of fine teas should be on offer, including Earl Grey, Afternoon Darjeeling, and iced tea served in beverage dispensers if your party is in the Spring or Summer.

Wedding Presents: Arte Italica Dinnerware

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arte italica
Let’s face it, newly married couples need pretty much everything. Getting married means starting a new life, which means the lucky bride can ditch her chipped dinnerware from college in favor of higher quality pieces. If you have a couple of spring weddings on your calendar, why not give some dinnerware sets by Arte Italica?

Here are some of our favorite Arte Italica dinnerware collections:

Florentine Gold Dinnerware Set
For a truly regal vibe, the Florentine Gold collection takes the cake. This luxurious set for four features Italian Terra Bianca white clay decorated with scalloped edges surrounding an incredible 24-karat gold medallion. The bride won’t believe her eyes!

Tesoro Dinnerware Set
Boasting a unique pairing of blown glass and beaded pewter, this collection will showcase any soup, salad, or entrée to its full potential. This versatile set is at its most radiant when placed in the morning light, making it ideal for Sunday brunches.

Tuscan Dinnerware Set
This dinnerware set is a bridge between old and new, featuring a classic combination of pewter and ceramic with a crisp, modern edge. Best of all, this traditional palate pairs well with tabletop accessories and barware of all styles.

Beverage Dispensers for Mother’s Day

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beverage dispensers beverage dispensers

Thinking about Mother’s Day presents? You can’t go wrong with one of the beautiful beverage dispensers from www.ElegantTabletop.com. These neat gifts are ideal for entertaining or simply a quiet night with the family. Either way, Mom will love her new gift! Read on for four of our favorite beverage dispensers.

Glass Pedestal Dispenser with Ice Insert
Tired of melted ice cubes diluting your drinks? This ingenious dispenser has a separate ice insert to maintain a cool temperature. (It’ll make Mom look cool, too!)

Old Fashioned Beehive Dispenser
Forget the honey – Mom can dispense up to two gallons of sangria, iced tea, lemonade, and more using this dispenser crafted in a unique hive shape.

beverage dispensers beverage dispensers

Garden Floral Dispenser with Handle
Flowers aren’t the only things that need watering! Picnics and garden parties alike can benefit from this cheerful beverage dispenser featuring a sturdy metal handle.

Globe Liquor Dispenser
This memorable dispenser is a classy way to dress up any spirited occasion. Plus, the silver plating will pair fantastically with any set of barware, no matter what Mom is serving.

Tabletop Accessories We Love: Decorative Centerpieces

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tabletop accessoriesIf you’re shopping for tabletop accessories, you can’t go wrong with decorative centerpieces. This is because – let’s face it – a home can never have too many! Unlike plates and serving platters, which lend themselves to extended use, decorative centerpieces can change every season, month, or even week, depending on the hostess’ tastes.

Let’s take a look at two of our favorite decorative tabletop accessories:

Oro Ceramic Pomegranate: Part of an entire set by Arte Italica, this gold pomegranate is definitely our favorite. Like the other ceramic fruits, this one features an interesting blend of intentional distressing and radiant glaze.

Murano Shell: This luxurious centerpiece is crafted out of mouth-blown Venetian glass for a beautiful oceanic effect. Choose small, medium, or large sizes depending on your table size and individual preference.

Pompeii Planters: Available in a variety of entrancing colors including coral and turquoise, the Pompeii series by Arte Italica is rustic and versatile. You could use these planters for actual planting or, alternatively, to store small items like packets of sugar or tea. Even empty, these tabletop accessories are irresistible.

Your Hostess Gift Guide

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hostess gift

Whenever you are invited to someone’s home for an evening or longer visit, it is appropriate to bring a hostess gift. This token helps to thank your hostess for the time, money, and energy she devoted to making your visit a good one. Hostess gifts can range from bottles of wine to Arte Italica tabletop accessories, and the size of your present should be determined by the significance of your stay; a weekend visit to a friend’s cottage warrants a larger gift than a two-hour dinner party, for example.

Although wine is often considered a classic hostess gift, this present is actually fraught with problems. First, unless you know that your hostess drinks alcohol, you can’t be sure that your gift will even be used. Additionally, wine is a temporary gift – after the bottle is empty and the glasses washed, what will be left of your present?

For a more lasting gift, we recommend choosing among the tabletop accessories and beverage dispensers from top brands like Arte Italica. If you’re worried about the expense, you might consider organizing a cumulative present from several guests, thus ensuring that your hostess receives one enduring gift, as opposed to half a dozen bottles of wine.

Brilliant Barware: Our Favorite Wine Glasses

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A fine wine deserves a fine wine glass, wouldn’t you say? You can enhance your reds, whites, pinks, champagnes, and more with elegant and innovative barware. Check out a few of our favorite products below.

Double Blind Tasting Glasses: Ravenscroft Crystal has done it again! Pictured on the right, this opaque black glass makes it impossible to see what you’re drinking, which is great for formal wine tastings and casual gatherings alike. We can't think of a better way to test the knowledge of all those sommeliers-in-training you know.

Bella Bianca Wine Glasses: Arte Italica’s Bella Bianca series is known for its refined items for the home, and barware is no exception. Featuring subtle rippled glass and innovative silhouettes, Bella Bianca stemware is truly irresistible.

Animale Wine Glasses: Everybody will get something different when you pull out your assorted Animale wine glasses by Arte Italica. Each glass features a unique pewter head depicting a bull, bear, ram, or fox.

Minerale Wine Glasses: Uniquely textured out of mouth-blown glass, Minerale stemware for red and white wine is a conversation starter flattering to any vintage. Guests will love the way the modern shape contrasts with the timeless bubbled surface, hand-crafted in Italy by Arte Italica.