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When I first moved out on my own in Toronto, my second year there, I bought most of a set of coordinated earthenware. They were on sale at the Bay, and the store had already sold out of various staples of the set, including the plates, and all but two of the bowls. I filled in with bowls and plates from Zellers - it all worked fairly well together, clear, white, and a stripe of blue between them all. They looked fine together, but they weren't worth moving with.

For my birthday last year, my mother gave me the money to go out and buy a coordinated plateware pattern, something of decent quality. It was one of those errands which was never accomplished. We got by with the four increasingly chipped Ikea plates (and some smaller ones) which came with the flat, never quite enough even for a very few guests at a time.

It seems appropriate to me that we finally made the time to find a pattern that would suit after I'd finished my degree. We only spent a few hours on it*, but I'm pleased with what we brought home today. I'm mostly no longer a student, and now too, I have a plateware pattern.**

* C. despairs of the staff working in the department store we purchased these in. They were - conveniently - having a buy 3, get a 4th free sale. When calculating how much we owed, the staff person counted down each pile of eight. One, two, three - move the fourth into the "free" pile. One, two, three - move the eighth into the "free" pile. And so on, stopping to remove each fourth item from our piles.
** Denby Azure - but not the Coast part of the range. You can see what it looks like here. I don't really like the teacups, but most of the rest of the range is decent. We only bought plates and bowls to start with. There's only so much that'll fit in the cupboards at the current place.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2006 08:50 pm (UTC)
love it!! If I collected Denby I'd seriously be thinking of that pattern too.
Feb. 25th, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC)
Your comment implies you're invested in another line - so I'm curious as to what it is now!

I hope your weekend of packing isn't too hectic. You have so much going on!
Feb. 26th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
no, I don't have any "good" dishes--just a combination of basic white Debenhams own brand and charcoal-coloured ceramics from Habitat (they look great but the semi-matte finish is hell when a knife scrapes against it...).

I did once consider starting to build up a set of Denby; this would have been 10-15 years ago. I think the line I was thinking of might have been called Harlequin--the plates and cups etc were all different jewel tones.
Feb. 26th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
Not that you need more things to spend money on right now, but you might like Denby's current Storm line. Friends of ours invested in that line for their wedding, which is mostly what brought the brand to my attention in the first place - not that brand would have really mattered yesterday, when all we wanted was an option we'd be content living with.
Feb. 25th, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC)
Those are really pretty and look sturdy too!
Feb. 25th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
Re: neato!
I like the color more and more every time I wander into the kitchen and see them again!

They are quite sturdy - we went for stoneware, so we could freeze and bake with it, if whim or recipe so required, but, unlike bone china supposedly, we can't use four of the bowls to prop up the car we may someday buy. I suspect they'd crack under that weight.
Feb. 26th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
Re: neato!
Denby is wonderfully sturdy. It's what my mom got when she finally replaced her FiestaWare--my stepfather is blind, so a lot of stuff gets dropped. Denby withstands the abuse.

However, two mugs have died in service. My mom mourns for them still.
Feb. 25th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)
Good choice!
As part of our wedding list we had the Denby Imperial Blue set for eight. We got all of it plus more. We have found that it is really easy to find places to buy those all important single replacements. With it being a great design and great strength in them, we have yet to buy a replacement, but we know where to get them! We do only use them for dinner parties and other special occasions though.

The other good thing is you can add more as you go along, and they make great items to ask for for pressies!!

Well done! May you and your lovely plates enjoy many hearty meals together.
Feb. 26th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC)
Re: Good choice!
What is it about Denby and wedding lists? We went for Greenwich as I rather like the colour green. The pasta bowls tend to get used every day, as you say they are fairly hard wearing (although I have managed to break three pieces, I forget what they were).
Feb. 26th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
Re: Good choice!
Greenwich is a handsome set. We didn't see any in the stores today - I saw it when I was looking at Denby's website after coming home.

Based on the superficial informatin gathering of wandering around the stores today, I wonder if it isn't an age thing - that Denby has more designs likely to appeal to people in our age bracket and current level of somewhat informal living. The other brands seemed more likely to have more seriously formal or gilded lines, as well as more modern and non-symmetric lines.
Feb. 26th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: Good choice!
Thank you!

What do you eat off of on a daily basis, then?
Feb. 26th, 2006 10:29 am (UTC)
Re: Good choice!
Cheap stuff from Tesco - we have a habit of breaking things in our family. We also don't use the Denby when my sister is here, she really would break something!
Feb. 25th, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
I have a Royal Doulton dinner service (wedding present) that hasn't emeged from its boxes since my divorce. T'lemur and I mostly use less flashy stuff even when entertaining.
Feb. 26th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)
me... damn LJ security
Feb. 26th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC)
Are your other plates coordinated with each other too? Although it wasn't part of our thought process at the store today, in retrospect it seems like a good thing that we bought a somewhat less formal pattern, as these are intended as our everyday plates and bowls.

Looking through other comments, it sounds as if a number of people have coordinated formalware, but it's less clear to me what they're all doing on a daily basis then.
Feb. 26th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
This is where it gets complicated. The core of our every day china is a Wedgewood stoneware set that I bought 25 years ago. The pattern is discontinued and attrition has taken its toll. It has been supplemented by non matching but sympathetic stoneware in the most eroded areas. We also have another set of large and small plates that are quite different; they match in shape; to each other not the Wedgewood, and are in various quite bright colours. We also have assorted sets of rice bowls, serving bowls and Japanese tea cups..
Feb. 26th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
My mother-in-law wants Royal Doulton because it's what Hyacinth Bucket on "Keeping Up Appearances" has.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 26th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC)
Yep! I think I did well coordinating them, and they were only a little chipped after several years use when you got them. I'm glad you like them.
Feb. 26th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
Hey, you have Denby! My plateware pattern is Denby Boston, which I think has been discontinued since I got married. It's pretty simple, white with a blue rim.

I think my fancy plateware is Spode.
Feb. 26th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
Now I feel like a big outsider in the china wars ... Although, I do have, sitting at my uncle's house, my great-grandmother's wedding china ... hm. But after the divorce, I went looking for something affordable and decent, and somehow ended up with a set of very plain, serviceable white dishes that match anything. A set for 12 for $50. With my luck, it'll be so sturdy that I'll never have a good excuse to replace it!
Feb. 27th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
I have snowflake pattern. No two alike.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )