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Sep 22, 2006 07:03 PM

Best Choice Dinnerware

I'm looking for a set of dinnerware that I can use everyday for both casual and formal entertaining - without being worried about chipping and breaking the pieces. I would like something that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion. I'm looking specifically at the PB White Collection from PotteryBarn, but know nothing about the quality. Does anybody know anything about the quality of Pottery Barn dinnerware, or have any other suggestions for a quality set of beautiful dishes, preferably white?

Link to PB White Collection:

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  1. I've been very happy with my Villeroy & Boch set - the pattern is Manoir, but has been discontiued, as has its successor, Chambord, I just discovered. I love the shapes and my dishes have held up well over the past ten years of almost daily use - some knife scraches on a couple plates (probably my fault for not having steak knives) but no chips. One thing to find out is how long the manufacturer intends to have pieces available, as patterns do get discontinued.

    A good source is Ross Simon - lowest prices I found.

    1. Never buy a "Set", if you do break a piece it is almost impossible to replace. Bone china which appears to be the most delicate is actually some of the strongest dinnerware you can buy. Porcelain is next, then stoneware. Earthenware and ironstone are made from soft clays and chip most easily. They are also porous so a chipped area can absorb juices etc and breed bacteria.

      If I could have ony one "set" of dinerware I would go with something like Wedgwood White. If is fine bone china very simple and can be dresed up or dresed down. It is not going to go out of style or look dated. Fortunately or unfortunately I am a china junkie and as a former china buyer and sales person have accumulated quite a collection of patterns but I still have a dozen plain white bone china dinner plates. Mine are a no name English generic that I got at a Royal Doulton outlet. jillp who posts on CH will agree. She is as bad as I am about china. Luckily she has a dozen Wedgwood White plate which are almost indentical to mine. When we have parties we frequently borrow from each other. Service for 24? No problem. I am never sorry to have those.

      Plain white all dressed up:

      2 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        I agree about the "sets" - I too am a china junkie and, for example, in my every day dishes, I don't have any cups and saucers. Instead, I've put together a set for tea, in a different pattern, and a set for dessert/demitasse. And I don't have any bread and butter plates, other than ones that are part of inherited sets.

        1. re: Candy

          Not sure what you mean by a set, but what I would avoid is falling in love with something at Target and not buying enough to cover breakage.

          Any 'name' manufacturer is totally possible to replace at Replacements, eBay, and a variety of other sources.

          I'm a confessed dinnerware junkie, and my approach these days when building a new pattern is to buy just what I need rather than looking for everything that was ever made. That's fun, but it leads to storage problems, trust me on this :D

        2. I do indeed love my Wedgwood White bone china. I've been using it for 25 years and have chipped one dinner plate and one salad, and I use it about 300 nights out of the year. And all I have are dinner and salad plates in that pattern.

          1. I love my Lenox Continental Dining china. They are incredibly thin but wonderfully durable because they are made from bone chine. We use them as our everyday plates and stick them in the dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, etc. None have chipped. Although I have only had them for about 2 years, I don't expect they will be any worse for the wear in 2o years.


            1. Think it through and decide first of all if you want earthenware, stoneware, china, fine china and so on. How many pieces, if they have a pattern, including breakage for future replacement. Then do you want (as my wife and I did) regular plates (about 11") and larger plates (about 12 - 13"), sometimes called buffet plates, and salad plates, bread plates, bowls, salad bowls, cups, saucers and such extra as sugar and creamer pieces, as well as serving bowls or plates, soup tureens. Then decide what you want to pay for the whole deal, and look at patterns, gold, silver, platinum edging and/or engraved surfaces. Hope that helps at least as a checklist. Complicated. It drove my wife and myself crazy for about three months before we decided on a pattern, etc.