Benefit Bar Title

 Get Up To 50% OFF the New Last Chance Additions
 FREE Wedgwood 2020 Snowglobe on £200+ Spend - Code WWCHRISTMAS
 Get FREE Standard Delivery On All Orders £75+

A Guide to Buying Tableware

Besides the delicious food, tableware is the main attraction of any dinner table. With this in mind, choosing the right tableware set for you and your family can be a fun (yet often confusing) experience.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at the best tableware materials, how to choose the best tableware set for your purposes, the beauty of mixing and matching tableware designs, and how to care properly for your tableware so that it’s an investment that lasts a lifetime.

What are the different types of tableware materials?

“All our tableware is made with love, made to last with sustainability in our hearts, and we want you to love it too.“

Fine China and Bone China

Bone china is a lightweight, beautiful and strong tableware material made from a mixture of China clay, China stone and Bone ash. Not only is Bone china an extremely elegant and high-quality ceramic material, but it’s also highly durable and resistant to cracks and chips, making it a perfect choice for everyday tableware use. Bone china and fine china are also microwave safe, dishwasher safe and oven safe.

Here at Wedgwood, we have an extensive range of stunningly beautiful and elegantly crafted Fine china and Bone china tableware sets that can be mixed and matched to create your own unique design flavour when it comes to your dining table. There are no rules to mixing china patterns and colours, but we recommend taking a base colour such as white and then adding colour with our patterned collections such as  Wonderlust. Explore our extensive range of Bone china tableware here.

Stoneware

At the end of the manufacturing process for stoneware tableware, a special finishing glazeadds a layer of sheen, shine and strength to the product. Not only does this give the product a smooth finished look, but it also makes it virtually impenetrable when it comes to drops, breaks and cracks. Stoneware is a strong material, however, it can’t be exposed to high heat or freezing temperatures, so it’s important to take this into account when considering purchasing a stoneware dinner set. 

Our friends at Royal Doulton have a fantastic range of stoneware tableware available, including their popular Ellen Degeneres and Gordon Ramsay collections. Explore sets like the Gordon Ramsay Maze - Light Grey 12 Piece Stoneware Dinner Set and the Ellen DeGeneres Soft White 16 Piece Dinner Set (perfect for a family of four!)

Porcelain

Porcelain is traditionally made from a silicone material called kaolin that gives porcelain products their flexibility, plasticity and strong structure. Porcelain tableware is also made from pottery stone, which gives the material its hardness and translucency, as well as its non-porous surface. Porcelain is an extremely strong tableware material, as it is:

  • Capable of being fired at up to 1200 degrees centigrade
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven safe
  • Microwave safe (however if the piece has a metallic accent, don’t put it in the microwave) 

Looking to Royal Doulton again, our friends there have been manufacturing ceramics and porcelain since 1815, so when it comes to porcelain tableware, they’re the highest quality choice. Our personal favourites from Royal Doulton’s porcelain collections include 1815 (a vibrant and colourful range of porcelain) and Pacific (rigorously tested porcelain that’s highly durable and perfect for everyday use).

What is the best dinner set for everyday use?

Gio collections serving platter on a red set table with dinner

When choosing a tableware set for everyday use, you’ll need to be focused on keeping things practical and ensuring the items you choose are durable. Your everyday tableware set will probably be exposed to chips, cracks and breakages, so opting for a beautiful fine china or bone china tableware set could be a good option. This material is world-renowned for its strength and durability, and is likely to stand up better to the chips and cracks it may be subjected to being used every day. This is especially true if your countertops are stone or granite and your tableware might be subject to some rough handling. 

When it comes to the style and colour of everyday tableware - the only limit is your imagination! You can indulge your creativity and mix and match pieces or sets to create a unique and beautiful table setting. Adding colour, texture and flair to your everyday tableware set makes every day feel that little bit more special. After all, life is an occasion, so why not celebrate it!

With everyday tableware, you also want to make sure that you’re choosing a set that’s of superior quality such as our Gio collection, which was especially designed for everyday use.

It’s a much better idea to spend a little more and choose a tableware set that’s going to last you a lifetime, rather than skimping at the beginning and then having to fork out for a new set in a few years (not to mention the cheap plates that always seem to smash in the dishwasher!)

‘Always remember that any everyday tableware can also be used for formal occasions with thoughtful mix and matching with other formal tableware and glassware pieces.’

What is in a tableware set?

‘A traditional set of tableware consists of a dinner plate, side plate, bowl, and a cup and saucer or mug. The type of tableware on a table mostly depends on the type of food being served and whether the social gathering is formal or casual.’
Dinnerware salad and accent plates from the Arris Collection on a red table

How to select a tableware set?

‘There is no wrong or right way in selecting a tableware set. However, it is important to think of the various occasions and style of occasions it will be used for, and the type of food that will be served in it. The personality of a tableware set has an important role in setting the mood of an occasion.’

There are many different items that can make up a tableware set, such as:

  • Dinner plates
  • Multi-purpose bowls for cereal, soups, noodles, stir-fries and so on
  • Side plates for salads, starters, desserts and tapas-style meals
  • Bread and butter plates
  • Mugs and teacups
  • Saucers
  • Trays
  • Serving platters
  • Knives, forks and spoons

You can have your favourite pieces that you use every day, or you can have a special set that comes in handy when hosting friends and family. The choice is up to you! 

A good idea is to buy a tableware set that accommodates the number of people in your household, such as the Wedgwood Gio Set for four people or the Wedgwood Arris Set for a single diner. 

Wedgwood tableware sets come in a host of different sizes and configurations, ranging from two to twenty-six piece sets. Here are some examples of what is included in a variety of our standard tableware set sizes.

26-Piece Tableware Set

Offering complete service for four people, as well as a rectangular tray and oval platter to really enhance your table setting.

  • 4 x dinner plates
  • 4 x 9 inch salad plates
  • 4 x bread and butter plates
  • 4 x teacups
  • 4 x saucers
  • 4 x soup/cereal bowls
  • Rectangular tray
  • Oval platter

16-Piece Tableware Set

Perfect for everyday use and offering complete dinner service for four people.

  • 4 x dinner plates
  • 4 x 9 inch salad plates
  • 4 x soup/cereal bowls
  • 4 x mugs

4-Piece Tableware Set

The perfect tableware set size for one person, this size of set includes:

  • 1 x dinner plate
  • 1 x salad plate
  • 1 x soup/cereal bowl
  • 1 x mug

Our most popular dinner sets

How to care for Wedgwood tableware properly

Wedgwood china dinner sets are strong and durable in their essence, however there are still measures you can take to make sure you are serving your family and friends on your Wedgwood china tableware for years to come.

Here are some tips for washing your Wedgwood china tableware set:

  • Wash dishes straight away to remove any acidic or sticky food residue.
  • When handwashing, wash each dish individually using a mild liquid detergent and a non-abrasive cloth. Having a plastic tuc in the sink is also a good idea, as it will protect the china from the harsh stainless steel of the sink.
  • If using a dishwasher, take care not to overload the rack, and keep metal items away from your fine bone china - even light contact can scratch, chip or crack your dishes. 

Here are some tips for keeping your Wedgwood china tableware in stunning condition:

  • Soak your pieces in white vinegar for three minutes before rinsing and towel drying them to remove hard water spots.
  • Remove coffee stains from mugs (as well as fork marks from plates) by rubbing a paste of baking soda and water over the tableware before rinsing and drying. 
  • To prevent scratching and chipping your fine bone china tableware set, put it in a fabric storage case, or put segments of fabric, tissue paper or napkins between each piece when stacking. 

You can see our full Care Guide and Detergent Guide here to ensure your Wedgwood products last the test of time.

Tableware gifting

As well as being exciting to buy for yourself, tableware sets can also make a fantastic gift for a family member or friend. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, Christmas, graduation or any kind of special occasion, gifting a loved one with a stunning piece of tableware that they will cherish and enjoy for years to come is a beautiful feeling. Browse the Wedgwood range of tableware to choose the perfect pieces for you to spoil that special someone with.