My Little, Very Personalized Cheval D'Orient Single-person Service
My little, very personalized Cheval d'Orient single-person service

Cheval d’Orient Bowl (Life Alterations Continued…)

Cheval d’Orient soup bowl—a treat from Hermès Faubourg St-Honoré in Paris

The new soup bowl with its harness motif (echoed in the spoon) set a top my smaller dinner plate…

My little, very personalized Cheval d’Orient service…juste pour moi. Asian covered teacup (a Gaiwan), decorative sushi plate, decorative bread plate, soup bowl, spoon, and dinner plate.


Because I can no longer seek out satisfaction and pleasure in food, eating just being too painful, meal times threaten to be depressing affairs.  My solution?  To transfer the pleasure of the tongue into the pleasure of the eye.

While in Paris, I spent some time with the porcelain at Hermès Faubourg St-Honoré.  I was seeking a small bowl from which to eat my fromage blanc or other soft foods, and I needed it to be that mythical Goldilocks size since I eat ridiculously small portions.  The gentleman helping me brought out everything he could imagine enticing me from both the Cheval d’Orient and Balcon services.  In the end, the soup bowl (the smallest in either line-up) fit in my hand perfectly.

I took back to New York one Cheval d’Orient bowl for my apartment.  And two soup bowls of the Balcon pattern for my boyfriend’s apartment.

I’ve had them for a month now, and I can say readily that they may be among my very favorite Hermès treats across these collecting years.  I use them every single day, multiple times a day, and they bring pleasure to eating, which isn’t very interesting or pleasurable by itself.  That might be a definition of the art of living.  Life isn’t always exquisite—but likely as not, there’s a way of making the unappealing beautiful, the sad marvelous, and the depressing joyful.  We just have to figure out how to transform it so.

Thank you very much, everyone, for your supportive comments and private messages upon my previous post.  Your words have meant a lot. xo

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Oh those pieces are just exquisite. I am not surprised they make eating at home so much more joyful. How could they not?!
    I tend towards unadorned white/cream plates and bowls with blue and white crockery for serving food — perhaps as a reaction to all the colour I grew up around in India. I also love the way food looks against a plain white surface. But you are definitely tempting me to add a few vibrant pieces to the mix — I usually limit myself to cups and Le Creuset cookware (another one I have you to thank for) — perhaps when I move to a different city with more spacious apartments.

  2. C, I was so happy to see your last post. I am currently in Turin (after a week in Strasbourg, and a weekend near Zurich) and we head back to the little house on the prairie on Saturday. I have been thinking so much about how to make the best out of less than ideal circumstances. You understand what I mean like only one who has lived it can. Anyway I have long resisted (for instance) a silk nightgown or expensive leather b/c they seem ridiculous in a log cabin or in my Backwater office. I don’t know if your influence is rubbing off on me, or if turning 50 (next week!) is giving me a new appreciation for *now*, but I am finally beginning to treat myself to fine things if I love them and can afford them. No more $17 dollar pieces from discount stores (unless I truly love it, then I don’t care how cheap it is).

    Anyway, I LOVE your little collection of Hermes porcelain, and have actually been looking for my own beautiful single service porcelain for work. I had hoped to find something here in Torino, but so far no luck.

    I’m also relieved to hear that you are learning to manage your illness. Chronic illness is so dreadful, but at least now you have some sort of answer, and can begin to learn to cope.

    Thinking of you, and hoping to see you next year – if not in Prague, maybe I will come see you in Paris …


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