The Art of Tablescaping
309 pages

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309 pages

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    You can set your table—or you can ’scape it.

    When Bugsy Drake stepped onboard the yacht as Second Stew on Bravo’s Below Deck Med, she showed the world the magic of tablescaping. With the help of some unconventional centerpieces, a few artfully folded napkins, well-placed lighting, and a generous sprinkling of décor, tablescaping is the art of transforming a meal into an adventure that your guests will never forget. Bugsy’s gorgeous, over-the-top themes have captivated guests and earned her legions of devoted fans. Now she’s ready to share her passion and talent for creating unforgettable dining experiences, honed during nearly a decade working on the world’s most exclusive yachts and private islands.

    Featuring step-by-step instructions for building your own enchanting events, The Art of Tablescaping is packed full of inventive ideas and design hacks, on-the-job stories and lessons learned. Get inspired by some of Bugsy’s most iconic tablescapes, from rustic outdoor gatherings to glam-as-all-get-out soirees, then follow her tips for getting your own party started.

    You don’t need to have the superpowers of a Chief Stew to make a simple dinner party into a lasting memory—just your creativity, a sense of fun, and a few tips from the Queen of Theme herself.

    This is a great gift!

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    Publié par
    Date de parution 10 mai 2021
    Nombre de lectures 5
    EAN13 9781954854208
    Langue English
    Poids de l'ouvrage 20 Mo

    Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0650€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


    Copyright © 2021 by Bugsy Drake
    All rights reserved.
    No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

    Published by Flashpoint Books, Seattle, WA
    Produced by Girl Friday Productions
    Design: Rachel Marek Photo research: Micah Schmidt Editorial: Emilie Sandoz-Voyer Production editorial: Dave Valencia Project management: Leah Tracosas Jenness
    All photos © Alexa Merico except as noted below.
    © Daniel Zuliani: front cover ; pages 2 , 224
    © Bugsy Drake: pages 12 – 18 , 26 (left), 27 , 28 , 30 , 32 (bottom), 38 ( here , right ), 39 , 40 (bottom), 43 (top), 48 , 49 , 54 – 57 , 58 , 62 , 63 , 64–65 ( here , here , left ), 70 , 71 , 73 , 213 , 216 , 217
    ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-7348802-2-9 ISBN (ebook): 978-1-954854-2-0-8
    First edition

    For Chris, the amazing man who inspired my dream of theme! Thank you for teaching me to live life to the fullest and to always follow my passion!
    With love, Bugs


    Foreword by Captain Sandy Yawn
    Build Your Table
    The Essential Elements
    The Foundation
    Shapes, Angles & Texture
    The Centerpiece
    Height & Placement
    Bling & Sparkle
    Fun & Whimsical
    Shopping For Your Table
    Checklists & Prompts
    About the Author

    I first met Bugsy in 2015 on the motor yacht Sirocco. She was second stew on that boat. Witnessing her passion for tablescapes was every captain’s dream, because it was an extension of her passion for providing incredible, top-of-the-line guest experience.
    Bugsy is the true queen of tablescapes. Having worked with her, I can say that witnessing her tablescapes is every captain’s dream. They are a true extension of her passion in providing incredible, top-of-the-line guest experiences.
    Yachts are not built to hold piles and piles of decorations, but Bugsy’s creativity eliminates that need. From simple lunches to last-minute parties, Bugsy exceeds my expectations. I always think, “OK, well, that’s got to be the biggest, the best, the most incredible tablescape she can do”—but then she blows me away again with her unique creativity.
    I’m blessed to routinely work with crews of people who love what they do, and it shows. When someone loves what they do, it pours into their passions. It comes from their soul.
    This book represents Bugsy’s creativity, uniqueness, and positive energy. I’m honored to be a part of it, and I’m thrilled that people beyond our charters finally get to learn from the Bugsy I know and respect—the best of the best, and the queen of theme.
    Captain Sandy Yawn

    I ’m Bugsy. If you’ve seen me on Below Deck Mediterranean, you already know a few things about me: I’m from South Africa; I can talk to anyone; I adore anything glam—especially OTT hair clips (for you Americans, those are barrettes); and I’m known for my love of tablescaping.
    What you may not know about me is that I come by my affinity for hospitality naturally. Until I was ten years old, I lived in a little town called Linbro Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. My ever-creative mum ran an incredible farmyard there as a children’s party venue, which eventually developed into a multifunction event space. Later, we moved to Ballito, a small coastal town where my family still lives today. After we kids moved away, my mother turned our family home into a boutique B&B and wedding venue. While the jump from South Africa to the open sea might seem like a surprising life path, that early experience gave me a love of meeting new people and providing them with memories for a lifetime. As a child I also spent time visiting the sea and going on safari, and that inspired my passion for travel and being on the water. So, not so surprising after all!
    In combination, all of these experiences and interests led to my chief stewardess superpower: creating the most luxe, most over-the-top, extraordinary tablescapes on land or sea!
    If you don’t know me from Below Deck , I’ll take a brief pause right here because you might be wondering what on earth I’m talking about. What in the heck is a tablescape? In its simplest form, a tablescape is a table setting—but really it’s so much more. It’s the essence of your evening, the theme around which your menu, drinks, lighting, attire, and especially your conversation can revolve. A tablescape is the story you are telling, and it’s the journey you and your guests are taking. It’s a way to transform a simple meal into a lifetime memory. If I sound hyperbolic, forgive me, but I am really and truly passionate about the power of the tablescape.
    Finding My Way to Tablescaping
    My own journey into yachting and tablescaping was a pleasant accident. A friend suggested I work on a yacht for a season to earn some travel money before I got into the “real” working world, but I fell in love with the experience immediately. My first yachting job was on an eighty-meter yacht that traveled between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. I was fortunate to be part of an awesome twenty-one-person crew. We hosted a lot of theme parties on the boat. It really opened my eyes to this world of entertainment and experience-making for the guests.

    In that first job I was a junior stewardess, really a junior-junior! I was pretty much kicked into the laundry and cabins for the entire first year. But I quickly realized there were ways I could create a totally cool experience for the guests even from there. I asked my chief stew if I could write nice little notes and put them beside our guests’ beds. When they went to sleep at night the notes would be a small reminder of their incredible day by including a reference to an activity they had enjoyed. Using a small part of my creative flair and reminding them of special experiences brought joy for me to something as mundane as turndowns in a cabin.

    It was on that same yacht that I had my first professional tablescaping experience—and it didn’t go according to plan. My chief stew asked me to try my hand at creating a tablescape. I think the color scheme I went with was purple and gold, and I kind of went overboard. The chief stew shut me down and told me it was too extreme. Initially, I thought, Well, I’m obviously not very good at setting tables, but I wanted to prove myself.
    During my eight years in the yachting industry, I have crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice!
    A few years later, in my first role as chief stewardess, I was asked to put together an event in St. Tropez. I had an unlimited budget for a party of forty people. I picked a blue-and-white color scheme and dove in. I ordered two incredible ice sculptures—they were so big we had to use a crane to get them on board—and hung a huge blue orchid curtain that stretched across the entire deck. I think I spent somewhere around forty thousand euros on the party, and the client was just blown away. It was freakin’ awesome! It was a challenge, for sure—I had the deckhands wiping up all the water as the ice sculptures melted in the heat! But that was a defining moment for me. From then on, I became more and more keen to excel in the tablescaping and entertaining space.

    On Board and On TV
    When I first joined Below Deck , I was very self-conscious about being in front of the camera. I’m an outgoing person, but it can be overwhelming when you have a camera in front of your face, and you know you are going to be broadcast everywhere. Anything you do wrong will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people, so I didn’t really open myself up to the viewers during that first season (season 2). I’m a very unique character; I’m out there and I have a lot of quirks. Going back on the show for season 5 allowed me to return with a more confident mentality. I wanted to show the world who I was and to be true to myself. Whatever your opinion of me, like me or not, I had to be myself!

    It was exciting that the show’s producers focused so much on the tablescapes in season 5. Themes are a huge part of charters, and the guests are always requesting them. I wanted to show the world how we tablescape as stews. I wanted to bring that WOW factor into people’s living rooms, because I didn’t think tablescapes and entertaining always got enough credit on the show. I went out one day and bought a whole lot of décor. My goal was to always create that extra WOW factor—to go above and beyond in an attempt to get noticed. And boy, did I! I joke sometimes that some of my ’scapes could be considered the best two hundred euros I ever spent.

    Creativity Unlocked
    I’ve dedicated this book to Chris, who inspired me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. He is an incredible man, and I was so privileged to work for him. I’d been the chief stew on his yacht for about a year, and when he decided to sell it, he asked me to come and manage the hospitality on his private island in the Bahamas. It was a life-changing opportunity. There, I headed up everything that had to do with hospitality and guest relations. I learned to provision—procuring items for a private island where our only mode of transport was by boat or seaplane.

    I hosted dozens of fun parties there, and my boss absolutely loved a theme. He was the one who truly inspired my dream for theme. Chris provided me with a reasonable budget and a small team to work with

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