When it comes to dinnerware, it’s worth investing in quality — but that doesn’t mean you should store your “good plates” away in the cupboard for special occasions.
“I personally believe in using your good dinnerware (unless you have children who tend to break things) as much as you can,” Justine Murphy, director of Kitchen Warehouse, says. “If you don’t get to enjoy it what is the point?”
Paddy McCarthy, owner of Table Culture in Subiaco, agrees. “If you love it, use it. Some mornings I feed my four-and-a-half-year-old porridge in a Wedgwood Chinoiserie bowl!”
“Brands such as Wedgwood and Royal Doulton offer two-year replacement on any breakages, simply to encourage the user not to be afraid to use their good china every day.”
Myer’s head tabletop buyer Siobhan Vivian says there has been a marked decrease in people purchasing formal table settings.
“Rather, I believe there is more a change in thinking. ‘Good china’ doesn’t need to be ‘formal china’ — I think it’s important to buy good quality pieces, regardless of the design or composition, because they will last longer and be more resilient in everyday usage,” she says.
MIX & MATCH
To update your tableware, Mr McCarthy says to consider your good-quality set as a base for adding colour, pattern and texture.
“While white is a great canvas for food, I think we are ready for some fun on our tables,” he says.
“Have a couple of options in your cupboard to take your base china from casual to spectacular.”
Look for smaller extras to inject some personality, suggests Ms Murphy. “Think of your tabletop in the same way you think of fashion and add colour or texture with dipping bowls, platters, placemats, flowers and candles,” she says.
SHARING IS CARING
“The way food is fashioned and eaten definitely impacts on the tableware people use,” Ms Murphy says.
“We have seen a big trend in the past 10 years of people enjoying shared food opposed to having food served up on individual plates.
“This has resulted in increased sales of larger platters and paddle/chopping boards … and more recently balti dishes and tapas-style servingware.”