Table setting contest.

I just learned about the table setting contest on Virgin Gorda from an email by Patti Harrell Hoech. It made me wonder just how elaborate the tables are set at the sumptuous Little Thatch resort, where the rates start at $10,450 per day! Can you imagine?

Then there are the simple settings that my wife Marie and I made at Little Thatch when we operated a small hotel there. We intentionally kept it low-key, down to earth, taking most things from the earth! I guess I’d better explain before I shake you up too much.

Our napkin holders (we used paper napkins) were sea-tumbled,  smooth stones we found at the end of the beach at Little Thatch. We chose only the loveliest ones. And Marie, a real flower nut, always had fresh flowers as a centerpiece on each table. These various flowers Marie grew herself. They were usually arranged in pieces of coral.

I should mention that there was no electricity on the island. So we dined by candle light. Here again, Marie knew exactly what she wanted in the way of holders. She had me contact a couple of restaurants in St. Thomas, asking them to save any wide mouth gallon jars. These she wrapped in fish net, which she then decorated with shells we had gathered. 

Here is one she made for me to decorate my chest of drawers. The ones we used in the islands had actual nets used by fishermen.


George and his wife, Marie, sailed professionally, chartering boats in the Bahamas, then in the Virgin Islands. They then leased an uninhabited island, Little Thatch, in the British Virgin Islands, and turned it into a small hotel. After six years, they left the island and bought a lovely beachfront property on Jost Van Dyke (BVI) where they built Sandcastle Hotel and the original Soggy Dollar Bar. George is now the author of Incredible Virgin Island Adventure: A True Story.

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