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Tablescapes: Tea in the Garden with Jane Cumberbatch

Tablescapes: Tea in the Garden with Jane Cumberbatch

We’ve admired the work of Jane Cumberbatch for years. The former decorating editor, journalist, and style director has been showing us how to pare down and scale back with her Pure Style philosophy long before simple living was even fashionable. Cumberbatch has published several books, including her most recent release, Pure Style: Recipes for Everyday, providing a blueprint for her timeless aesthetic. Naturally, we were thrilled when she agreed to put together a tea in her South London garden for our Tablescapes series. A veteran of mixing old and new pieces, Cumberbatch “sticks to a mainly white scheme with injections of color to give a timeless yet modern look. My garden furniture includes a folding white Swedish-style bench from Ikea, slatted cafe chairs from the Conran Shop, and a vintage, rather wobbly painted table that I found in my favorite garden junk source in Somerset.” Pure, simple, clean. Here are some images from our tea with Cumberbatch for inspiration and sources to recreate a similar natural look in your home.

Above: Jane sets the table by her garden, which includes a mix of flowers and edible herbs such as rosemary, mint, lemon balm, fennel, marjoram, and chives.

Above: Cumberbatch serves cucumber and mint sandwiches (made with Cranks wholemeal bread) on a secondhand white plate.

A simple chair cover made with a tea towel; see Cumberbatch’s book Sew Easy for instructions or read about it on her blog, Pure Style Online,

Above: Vibrant pink John Clare and Constance Spry roses from the garden add a dash of color to the table.

Above: Cumberbatch sits at her simple table set with her delicious homemade butterfly cakes with lemon butter icing. “Tea time in my household wouldn’t be complete without something very sweet, and this might well be butterfly cakes and homemade shortbread, both of which are really easy to make.” Find recipes for both in her book Pure Style: Recipes for Everyday.

To read more on Jane Cumberbatch, check out Remodelista’s posts House Call: Jane Cumberbatch in London and Required Reading: Recipes for Everyday by Jane Cumberbatch.

Read more: Crafts & Hobbies, Environment, Food, Green Home Decor, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Remodelista, , , , ,

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Remodelista is a one-stop sourcebook for the considered home, guiding readers through the design and renovation process. Founded by four friends with a shared design DNA and appreciation for intelligent design, Remodelista counts architects, design professionals, and style-conscious consumers among its daily audience. The Remodelista aesthetic favors classic and livable over trendy and transient, well-edited interiors over cluttered environments, and thoughtfully designed products over mass-market, disposable goods.


+ add your own
5:43AM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Looks very inviting

10:26PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

very sweet look

7:22AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

I never liked to eat outside with the flys....

2:02AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Very interesting.

1:13AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Nice and refreshing!

8:06PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Thanks. I'm always looking for new simple ideas.

5:25PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

I don't personally care for the vintage look anymore, but I love the minimalist style. I am trying very hard to "unaccumulate" stuff. It is quite spiritually freeing me of putting too much emphasis on things instead of God and people.

4:14PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

My old picnic table and a hammock are all i need...thanks

1:54PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Looks lovely. Thanks.

11:19AM PDT on Jul 15, 2011


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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