Image: Alabasta trays from the fantastic online Scandinavian Design Shop: Hus & Hem
There’s nothing like being stuck in bed to make you appreciate a pretty bed tray! Thoughtful treats and beautiful presentation are such a lift when you’re under the weather, and a tray in bed can encompass all that. I’m in good company for this belief too. In Betsy and the Great World, Betsy is initially friendless and horribly homesick in Munich. It takes the kindness of a maid at her lodgings to notice and bring her a tray in bed. It’s the first gesture of friendship in the new city that Betsy receives, and it makes all the difference:
Presently Hanni came back with a tray full of cold meat, bread and butter, salad, stewed fruit, and tea…everything there had been at supper, and more! Pickles and jam!
Betsy ate ravenously while Hanni replaced the pictures, turned back Betsy’s bed, turned over the wet pillow, and plumped it up invitingly.
Chapter 9, Miss Surprise’s Surprise – Betsy and the Great World, Maud Hart Lovelace
It’s not just when you’re sick or recovering either that such indulgences are so wonderful: a lovely breakfast, tea or supper tray can lift you spirits any old day of the week. Probably because it’s so often just myself (or myself and daughter) I have a real pash for drink and food on trays! It has a bit of a ceremony about it that I like. Which tray? Which china? Which napkin? And of course less is never more for me, even in having a choice of trays. I enjoy plenty of different styles to suit my mood and the seasons. I’m especially fond of the pictorial Swedish Birchwood type for everyday which can be popped in the dishwasher if anything gets spilt and nowadays are so often covered with gorgeous designs.
Michael Angove’s Dill and Cherry Spoon Trays (above) from Hus and Hem again
Of course beautiful silver trays with tray linen daintily set with my daughter’s Brambly Hedge tea china and a bud vase with a couple of sweet peas or lilies of the valley peaking out are fondly remembered from her childhood. Nowadays though I’m happy with a less formal special mug, plate and tray and a chair outside in the garden if the day is as sunny as it was this morning.
Image: Emelie Eek’s Coffee Break Tray
My present quota of trays is looking rather worn and uninspiring though! Whenever I visit art galleries or museums I’m always drawn to any trays they have in their selection. I don’t care if it’s a bit twee or crass, I should have bought this David Hockney tray! It would bring back the sunshine of his recent exhibition at the Royal Academy for no great expense whenever I trot it out and could have been guiltlessly “passed on” to local charity shop when I was ready for a change again. I see it’s still available online via the Tate Shop Online, but recently my eye has been caught by beautiful must-have trays all over. Spoilt for choice – how nice is that! Which one would you buy?
For an arty mood:
Image: David Hockney’s Felled Trees 2008 at the Royal Academy
And for whimsical moods:
Image: Pippi Longstocking Trays
Image: Moomin Butterfly Tray available from Cloudberry Living online
Finally surreal and very Who Killed Cock Robinish: