For a family brunch, incorporating an Easter bunny or hen into your tablescape is sure to start Easter morning with a smile …
Like Santa Claus and Christmas, the Easter Bunny is a mysterious figure with no obvious connections to the Christian celebration. One theory is the symbol of the rabbit stems from the pagan festival of Eostre, always celebrated around the spring equinox. Eostre was the goddess of dawn and fertility whose animal symbol was a rabbit.
Other sources say the Easter bunny derives from the German egg-laying hare called the “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws”. German children traditionally made nests in which this creature could lay its coloured eggs. When German immigrants arrived in America in the 1700s these traditions were spread across the US and further afield.
Regardless of its origin, the Easter bunny provides a fun theme to anchor a tablescape. In its simplest form, keeping an all white tablecloth and china on which Butler’s Chocolate Bunnies can sit always looks chic. For a more elevated version, china bunnies – from Herend’s iconic bunnies to Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit figurines – also make good centrepieces. Many hostesses, including Mrs Alice, have been collecting bunny paraphernalia for decades. It’s always advisable to keep an eye out for bargain bunnies at flea markets, garden centres and also pick up collectibles and decorations from stores such as Søstrene Grene.
A quick way to add colour and interest to a tablescape is by making Easter bunny cookies and getting the whole family to engage in their decoration. Of course, seeing who can last the longest without actually eating their chocolate Easter bunny is another idea for family fun – though this year resistance is possibly at an all time low!
Butlers Chocolate Milk Chocolate Bunny, €9, (click and collect or buy in-store only)
Decorating with hens – even live ones such as the infamous tablescape by Debo, the Duchess of Devonshire – is a perennial Easter favourite. Pastels and pampas grasses is a theme which is trending, especially for a simple breakfast setting.
Eggs are representative of new life, and it’s believed that decorating eggs for Easter dates back to the 13th century. Formerly churches had their congregations abstain from eggs during Lent, allowing them to be consumed again on Easter. Meanwhile in 19th-century Russia, the aristocracy started exchanging ornately decorated eggs, often jewel encrusted, at Easter.
Mixing different types of eggs, whether enamel, glass, papier mâché, real or chocolate is always elegant for tablescapes. Louise Kennedy has some fabulous Fabergé-inspired eggs on her website, or watch Fiona Leahy decorate her boiled eggs with an impressive marbling effect using nailpolish, @fionaleahydesign. The rule of thumb is the more eggs the merrier. Pick up a selection of Butler’s Easter eggs in good supermarkets or at the Butler’s cafes on your essential shopping trip this weekend.
Butlers Chocolates Bunny Egg Tin, €6, (click and collect or buy in-store)
Butlers Chocolates Medium Wrapped Egg, €12.50, (click and collect or buy in-store)
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