Tableware Buying Guide

Whether you are seeking perfect porcelain for special occasion or elegant earthenware for everyday use, it can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to choosing the correct tableware. But we at Leekes are here to help with our guide on the important things to consider.

Material Matters

The material of your tableware will effect the overall quality and price, so it can help to have an idea of what you are looking for prior to your purchase.

Porcelain

An elegant yet practical option. Porcelain is crafted from clay fired at high temperatures for a high gloss, bright white finish. Despite appearance, porcelain is very tough and is usually dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe making it perfect for busy family kitchens.

Stoneware

The most popular choice for modern tableware, stoneware is durable and affordable so is perfectly practical. Made from refined clay at high temperatures, stoneware can withstand high temperatures so is ideal for serving oven to table recipes and offers and clean, chip resistant finish.

Bone & Fine China

Delicate yet strong, bone china has a vivid white, almost translucent finish which makes it perfect for special occasions whereas the non porous surface leave a chip resistant finish so you no longer need to keep your good china locked away. Fine China usually looks creamier than bone china and is thinner and more translucent however it is also very durable. Most modern fine china is dishwasher safe.

Earthenware

This traditional form of dinnerware is extremely hard-wearing, making it ideal for everyday use. Made from unrefined clay at low temperatures, earthenware crockery offers natural, rustic tones.

Feeding The Family

Now that you have the material chosen, it is important to consider the size and style of your tableware. How much crockery you will need will depend on the size of your family and how often you entertain. You want to ensure you have enough dishes for all of your family feasts, plus extras in the event of surprise guests or when you are waiting for the dishwasher to finish.

Try to tailor the style of your crockery to the types of meals your family eat. For example, most tableware sets will come with dinner plates, side plates, mugs and soup bowls. However you may need additional dishes such as pasta bowls, cups and saucers.

How to Lay the Perfect Table Setting

1. Bread and Butter Plate
2. Butter Knife
3. Dessert Knife
4. Dessert Spoon
5. Cake Fork
6. Water Goblet

7. Champagne flute
8. Wine Glass (Rosé)
9. Wine Glass (Red)
10. Wine Glass (White)
11. Napkin
12. Salad fork

13. Fish fork
14. Dinner fork
15. Soup bowl
16. Salad plate
17. Service or dinner plate
18. Dinner knife

19. Fish knife
20. Soup spoon
21. Salad knife
22. Tea/coffee saucer
23. Tea/coffee cup
24. Tea spoon

Caring for your Tableware

Perfect Table Setting

Caring for your crockery may seem like a self explanatory task, but matching your tableware to your lifestyle is great way to ensure that you make the right purchase for you.

Cleaning

If you have a dishwasher it is important to ensure that your new tableware is dishwasher safe. Usually this can be found on the base of your plate or mug. It is also a good idea to check that your dishes will fit comfortably in the dishwasher, and aren’t too large.

Microwave

If you are inclined to reheat food in the microwave it is important to check that the tableware of your choice is safe to do so. Again, as with the dishwasher the suitability message is usually found at the base of your item. With most modern tableware now being microwave safe, this may be something that you overlook, but it is still something you should consider. Not to forget that anything with a metallic design or trim will unlikely be safe to use in the microwave.

Storage

Storage is often an afterthought in the buying process, however getting home to find that your dishes don’t fit in their usual spot can be quite an inconvenience. To be on the safe side it is always best to have an idea of the size of your cupboards so that you can check that the largest dishes can fit in easily. A standard dinner plate is usually between 27-29cm.

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