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Tableware Australia

What is Tableware and Crockery?

The dinner table is a beautiful place to be. Gathered with loved ones to share a meal, there are a few things that can turn your meal into a special part of the day – like your choice of tableware. Tableware refers to any dishware used for table setting and serving food. This extensive category is generally broken down into 5 group types: 

  • Dinnerware – Dinnerware commonly consists of dinner plates, side plates, and bowls. These are essential pieces for everyday dining and is also commonly referred to as crockery.
  • Servingware – Serveware usually refers to accessories used for serving appetisers, snacks, sharing platters, salads, casseroles, soup pots, or other dishes required to present food in the middle of the table.
  • Drinkware – Drinkware comprises anything that can be drunk from along with the serving vessels to pour liquids out of. Your drinkware is best paired with your beverage: mugs for tea or coffee, cups for juices, and glassware for cocktails, wine, whiskey, or water.
  • Cutlery – Cutlery consists of dinner forks, spoons, and knives. Generally, these are accessories used to scoop or cut food into smaller pieces. 
  • Napery – Napery refers to household linen such as placemats, napkins, and coasters. These can add a level of elegance to formal sit-down dinners, protect your table surface, and bring warmth to a table set for even the smallest of gatherings. 

 

First Impression Matters: Why Set Your Table?

Your table is an essential aspect for day-to-day use and special occasions. The right table setting and crockery can complement the visual elements of your dishes and the general theme of your dinner to elevate your meal to a memorable experience. 

Your choice of tableware can also set the right mood for the holiday season. For instance, gold, greens and reds work well for Christmas, orange hues and earthy tones for a fabulous autumn gathering, bright and colourful with patterns and designs for a garden party, and pastels for a whimsical Easter brunch. 

So, whether it’s a fancy dinner party to impress your relatives or a casual cocktail soiree with close friends, we believe that every dining experience should leave a good first and last impression. The good news? You don’t need to be an etiquette enthusiast to ace your setting!

 

What Are the Different Materials for Tableware and Crockery?

Before deciding on a crockery brand, colour, and style, start by considering the type of material you’d want to place at your table. Manufacturers create a variety of materials, however they are not all equally durable. Consider some of these top used materials for your tableware:

Bone China – classy and sophisticated, bone china is perfect to set the tone and ideal to glam up your table in style. Bone china may seem thinner and lighter, but it is surprisingly one of the most durable ceramic options that is also dishwasher safe.

Porcelain – the most common type of crockery, porcelain offerings come in different weight and colour, and are usually more affordable than bone china. Porcelain crockery is ideal for elegant dinners and special occasions while being an incredibly versatile option for everyday use.

Stoneware – the ideal casual crockery for a warm and wholesome ambience, ideal for everyday use and entertaining. Stoneware comes with a thicker built and generally features a beautiful glazed finish that makes it dishwasher safe. 

Earthenware – the most affordable of all ceramic materials, earthenware offers a more casual appeal to your dining scene.

Melamine – a great option for picnic and beach outings, melamine is also the ideal choice for kids’ tableware as it is unbreakable and extremely durable. Melamine crockery is also designed to mimic ceramic crockery, making it a versatile choice for casual entertaining and outdoor use. 

 

Popular Tableware Brands We Love and Trust

Tableware brands are abundant on the market. Here’s a few that have consistently earned their keeps on our radar over the years. We know, love, and trust these brands as they offer high quality, functional and stylish tableware pieces suitable for all occasions:

  • Ecology – the eco tableware choice for the environmentally conscious home chef. Inspired by Australian ecology, Ecology’s range of earthy tableware features natural tones and hand-drawn designs in celebration of all that is organic and fluid. From manufacturing to packaging, the brand reduces their environmental impact through an eco-friendly product development process without compromising on style and practicality.

  • Maxwell & Williams is an Australian iconic tableware brand. Producing various dinner sets, cutlery and table pieces for decades, the brand has earned a reputation for providing fashion-forward, quality tableware at an affordable price point. Recent years has seen the brand collaborate with famous Australian artists and designer on various tableware collections.

  • Salt & Pepper – contemporary Australian designed crockery and table pieces ideal for all occasions. From family home dinners, outdoor summer BBQ parties to family picnics, you can trust that each Salt & Pepper collection will bring a unique flair to your table.

  • Robert Gordon – stunning and elegant bespoke Australian designed pottery to inspire and curate a beautiful dining scene for your home. Robert Gordon’s homeware and tableware are twice fired for added durability before being finished with a unique gloss that ensures each piece does not absorb any moisture.

  • Noritake – high-quality crockery featuring both Japanese and Western design influences. Perfect for sophisticated dinners and formal affairs.

  • Royal Doulton – fine British tableware designed to bring both modern-day charm and old-world craftsmanship to your dining moments. Royal Doulton’s diverse selection of chinaware is made for all cooks, entertainers, and hostesses to use in all occasions. 

 

  • Wedgwood – the brand of choice among royal families and heads of state worldwide, Wedgwood’s stunning tableware is perfect for sophisticated dinners, fancy afternoon hi-teas, and casual brunches. Discover a wide range of awe-inspiring designs fitting for both indoor and outdoor entertaining.

 

How to Tell if My Tableware is High Quality?

There’s a number of ways to determine whether your tableware is of a high quality, here are a few main characteristics to look for: 

  • Your tableware does not have cracks on the surface of your ceramics
  • Your tableware does not have pin marks (small holes – particularly on ceramics)
  • Your tableware has a smooth and even glaze, with no bumps or scratches
  • Your tableware stacks up evenly – uneven rims can cause plates to be uneven
  • Your tableware’s colour, shape, and style is consistent and proportionate unless stated otherwaise

 

Setting the Table For the Right Mood

While there are no rules for the perfect table setting, the amount of possible combinations that you can put together for a well-appointed table seems almost like a dizzying assemblage. Our expert tip is that there’s no need to get off your bike about building the perfect table setting. Instead, start by considering these tableware essentials:

Once your basics are taken care of, exercise your creativity by exploring which additional tableware or accessory can enhance your dining scene and complete your table setting:

 

Things to consider when buying your Tableware

When purchased correctly, crockery will last you many years of use. Consider the following factors before making your purchase to save you the trouble of buying something you’ll end up disliking: 

Size, shape and colour – choose an appropriate size and shape based on your daily meals and cupboard space. Also, make comparisons with existing tableware such as your cutlery and serveware. Are your forks and knives too long for your plates or will the colour of your new purchases look dull on your dining table? 

Style – unless you can afford two crockery sets (one casual and one formal), you can always opt for something that’s casual enough for everyday dining but also nice enough for a special dinner celebration. Our go-to recommendation is always timeless classic white dinnerware that’s free of intricate designs. Apart from its versatility for all occasions, classic white pieces also make the perfect blank canvas to style your food.

Care conditions – bear in mind that not all tableware pieces are dishwasher safe. Still, most are. Be safe by checking or sending an enquiry to our Customer Service team for a quick clarification. 

Price – variations in brand and material will cause dining pieces to differ in pricing, so be aware and do your research before purchasing your preferred tableware. In general, bone china is considered the most expensive material among all crockery materials. Porcelain is less expensive than bone china, while stoneware is more affordable than both bone china and porcelain. Melamine is both the cheapest and most durable material of all. 

 

Should you consider a dinner set or individual Crockery?

Purchasing dinner sets are a convenient way to ensure you’re equipped with all the essentials to set your table. Dinner sets are also more likely to be cost-effective than buying multiple individual pieces. Some may want to consider selecting a dinner set that will remain in production for years to come. This offers the option to easily replace any broken pieces or grow your collection with ease. 

Purchasing cockery piece by piece (open stock) is a costlier option, but this choice offers you the freedom to personally pick and assemble each piece to curate your own unique dinner setting. This alternative is perfect for those who prefer to mix and match their selection to style their table for different occasions. 

Whether large or small sets, we have a wide selection of dinner sets to cater to any occasion from simple to sophisticated dinners, laidback luncheons to soulful suppers. 

  

FAQs when shopping Tableware:

Why is tableware sometimes called crockery?

Crockery is commonly referred to as various types of tableware such as plates, bowls, and dishes used to hold condiments. Traditionally, crockery is made from a variety of natural materials composed of fine particle clay fired at a high temperature to create a durable, non-porous piece.

What is the difference between dinnerware and tableware?

Tableware is a broad term for all dining pieces used to set, display, and serve food and drinks at a table. Under this umbrella term is dinnerware, which refers to the serving dishes used to serve your meals. Dinnerware can include dinner plates, side plates, soup bowls, salad bowls, dessert plates, and saucers. 

What comes in a standard dinner set?

A standard 16-piece dinner set typically consists of:

  • 4x dinner plates
  • 4x side plates
  • 4x dinner bowls
  • 4x mugs

A 12-piece dinner set usually consists of:

  • 4x dinner plates
  • 4x side plates
  • 4x multipurpose bowl

When considering how many pieces to buy, think about how many place settings you want and how much you want to spend. Dinner sets range from 4- to 36-piece sets. A general rule of thumb: 4- to 6-piece dinner sets are suitable for couples or singles who live in small apartments; 8 to 12 place settings work well for a family of four or five; those with bigger families and those who regularly host dinner parties should consider purchasing 12- to 18-piece sets.