Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Nappe à carreaux

Cafe table for two, Paris,original art, 5" x 7"

When we see red checkered tablecloths

Cafe Le Buci Paris,original art, 5" x 7"

We start thinking of French cafes.

Cafe Marie Stuart Paris,original art, 5" x 7"

Even though "gingham" originally comes from Indonesia, was assimilated by the Dutch and finally was produced in the mills of Manchester, England..

It has an inherently Frenchie flavor to it. Bonnard used it innumerable times in his intimate, homey paintings

"Homey" is the word to this fabric's fame. Bonne Maman puts a faux red checked fabric lid on all of it's confitures.

 At the Sunday Marche on rue Montmartre, red checks line the tables of freshly home-made foods like these cooking lentilles

Red checked fabric is called Nappe à carreaux in France? Most traditional wine bistros will dress their tables in red checks

Do red checks connote a wine restaurant?

Like the bistro we went to in the 7th arrondissement because red wine stains come out easily or blend in on red checked tablecloths?

Dejeuner on a cafe terrace without red checked cloths? Forgettaboutit!

Red checks show up on a lot of cafe chairs. The red patterns set off so well a Parisien's stylish neutral or black clothing.

Red-checkered egg cups anyone?
Definitely very cheering first thing in the morning

Like red cherries and apples, red checks give you a lift.
Throw out those anti-depressents and get some red dishes instead!

And cafe au lait bols to boot at boutique Sabre - 4, rue des Quatre Vents 75006

At all-round department store, BHV, you can find faux red checked dish towels(torchon) and bols "stickers" to cheer up your kitchen. Where are the real ones when you need them?

A red checkered fraiser gateaux!


  1. This is all so quaint & charming! Love that dog underneath the table!!!

  2. Very nice Carol. I'd like to pop right into the picture of the cafe table...

  3. This is a lovely dream.

  4. oh so much lovely red! well done!

  5. Red + white. Checks + dots. Love them!! ; )

  6. I love the watercolors at the opening! So cute!

  7. il est beau ton reportage sur les nappes a carreaux rouge et blanc.

    joyeuses Pâques avec des œufs rouges et blancs???!!!

  8. wow. never thought of that before. Now that i think about it..that is so true. In all the food markets ive been to, in 7th, saxe-breteuil, rue raspail, place monge in 5th, oh many of them have decorated their stalls in those red checkered cloth! cool.

  9. i think the red checks and red would look awesome with your new eiffel tower theme...
    i love RED.

  10. That's a GREAT idea Good Life in Virginia! It hadn't occured me as I was pulling this post together :)
    All those blacks and greys of the new Eiffel Tower decor can definitely use a splash of red check to spruce it up.
    Carolg :)

  11. And I thought red-checkered table clothes were only used in casual Italian restaurants! ;-)

  12. Thanks for the red and white study - why does it look so classy when translated in french design? I think I'm going to play around with those colors in ceramics.

    Love the photos

  13. That the French think red-checkered is cool. *giggle*
    And I grew up thinking that was Tyrolean kitsch.

  14. I'm reserving that table for two!

  15. So chic, reminds me of my French grammar book illustrations . I was a schoolgirl on the other side of the world, dreaming of being at that table one day.

  16. After a week's absence I now made the tour of your last posts! Again completely impressed and amazed by your perfect Paris feeling, so well expressed in words, photos, paintings!!! I don't think anybody could do it better! I will continue to do my best to recommend it to all friends!

    (Looking forward to your metro painting! :-))

  17. Ah, la nappe à carreaux, c'est tellement français! I hope you bought one for your New York home.

  18. Those lentils are so tiny they look like corriander seeds.

  19. It's called vichy!

    Oh and remember Brigitte Bardot got married with a pink vichy dress! It was such a scandal, but it looked nice! Definitely very French.

  20. I took ill in a restaurant in Paris last year and the owners gave me a red/white checked napkin to wipe my brow. They let me keep it and it ended up on a piece of Ghost Furniture which is now with an artist in London. You just made me want it back :(


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