Choosing the right dinnerware set is all about finding the right items to match the tone of how you like to eat and entertain...
When you envision eating dinner or having a dinner party, the second thought that usually comes to mind (after the food on your plate, of course) is what kind of dinnerware set you’ll be using as the vessel for feeding your friends and family.
Choosing the right dinnerware set is all about finding the right items to match the tone of how you like to eat and entertain; whether it be formal, casual, traditional, contemporary or outdoors.
The bowls, plates, cutlery and accessories you choose as the dinnerware for your home should strike a balance between style and practicality, meaning they should not only suit the aesthetic of your home, but also the way you like to eat.
So, whether you’re choosing dinnerware that is made from bone china, porcelain or another material, we’ve put together an easy dinnerware buying guide so you can decide what you need to have as part of your dinnerware set collection. We’ve also included tips on how to look after your dinnerware properly, to ensure you enjoy it for many years to come.
Porcelain is traditionally made from kaolin (a silicate material that gives porcelain its plasticity, structure and pentunse) and pottery stone (giving the ceramic its translucency or hardness). Porcelain has a non-porous surface and is fired at 1200 degrees centigrade, meaning it’s resistant to extremely high temperatures. It’s typically dishwasher, microwave and oven safe, however some pieces may have metallic accents, so make sure to check on the product description to ensure it is microwavable safe.
Here at Royal Doulton, we have been manufacturing ceramics and porcelain since 1815, so when it comes to porcelain dinnerware you’re in safe hands. The majority of dinnerware across our collections is made from chip-resistant porcelain and all porcelain pieces are microwave safe and oven safe up to 100C.
Our personal favourites from porcelain collections include:
Ideal for everyday family use, stoneware dinner sets get set with a special finishing glaze, giving them a smooth look and making them virtually impenetrable when it comes to chipping. However, stoneware cannot be exposed to high heat or freezing temperatures, so it’s important to be careful to maintain your stoneware dinner sets.
Just like Porcelain, our Stoneware dinnerware pieces are all microwavable safe (unless there are any metal patterns or finishes), and also oven-safe up to 100C.
‘Melamine dinnerware’ refers to any dinnerware that has melamine resin present within it. Melamine resin is created by combining melamine (and organic compound) with formaldehyde using a combination of heat and pressure. Melamine dinnerware is heat resistant, fire resistant, and extremely durable when it comes to drops and breakages.
What is bone china?
Bone china is a durable, lightweight and elegant material that is made from china clay, china stone and bone ash. It was traditionally considered to be the highest quality ceramic used for tableware, and perfect for both everyday use and special occasions due to the fact that it’s chip resistant (as well as stunningly beautiful).
Is bone china microwave safe?
Like the other materials covered in this guide, generally speaking, yes! However, it will depend on whether the pattern or finish contains metal.
If bone china dinnerware is your material of choice, we recommend our friends over at Wedgwood and Royal Albert. Both also part of the Fiskars family, Wedgwood and Royal Albert are world leading manufacturers in Bone China Dinnerware and Teaware so you’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of patterns and exceptional quality!
All Royal Doulton dinner sets are durable and chip-resistant, however there are still measures you can take to make sure you serve your family and friends on the same favourite Royal Doulton dinnerware for years to come.
Royal Doulton dinnerware sets are:
Here are some tips for washing your Royal Doulton dinnerware set:
Here are some tips for keeping your Royal Doulton tableware in stunning condition:
It’s handy to have dinnerware that will suit both casual everyday use and more formal scenarios. You can experiment with different styles of dinnerware that showcase your personality and complement your home’s decor, which is why we offer lots of mix and match options at Royal Doulton.
Choosing hand-decorated, patterned, solid or banded dinnerware makes a bold design statement, but opting for neutral dinnerware like whites and greys will always be the most versatile option. Be adventurous, but consider options for pieces that are ‘stylish’ rather than ‘trendy’, as you’ll want an investment like this to remain fashionable for years to come.
Another consideration when purchasing dinnerware is your preferred shape. Square, oblong and oval items tend to have an edgier and more contemporary feel, whereas round shapes maintain a classic appeal. Items with a rim tend to feel more formal and are used when consuming foods that may splash, and ‘coupe’ items (without a rim) are for more informal occasions where the food can be eaten without cutting or general difficulty.
Your shelf size
It’s a great idea to make sure you have enough dinnerware sets for both everyday use and situations where you are hosting/entertaining, however you’ll need to consider where you’re going to store these items. Take a look at the size of your shelf space, and aim to buy dinnerware sets that will fit spaciously into these areas. Collections from the Royal Doulton 1815 families are all based on the same shapes, just different designs - so they’re easy to stack in the smallest of spaces!
As you can see, there are many things to take into account when purchasing your very own dinnerware set. We hope this dinnerware buying guide has helped you to narrow down your search or feel more empowered and clear on your decisions when choosing dinnerware.