When it comes to buying certain things for the home, like bed linen, cutlery, kitchen knives and tableware, we believe in quality over quantity.
A decent set of fine bone china tableware will bring you joy everyday, forever. It's easy to explain why:
First, it's extremely thin & elegant.
Second, it glows white and warm on the table.
And finally, it's incredibly strong and robust for day-to-day life.
Josiah Spode first started selling fine bone china in the early 19th century. It's a particularly English type of porcelain with high levels of calcium in the mixture (originally real animal bone ash), which mean it is stronger than other types of porcelain and considerably more chip resistant. This in turn means each piece can be made more thinly, offering elegant silhouettes that become translucent in the light.
When it comes to buying a set of dinner plates for yourself, there are four key things to consider: lifestyle, material, price and quantity.
How often do you eat at home? Do you entertain a lot? Do you have kids? All these are important questions when you are buying tableware.
Usually you have to make a choice between robust, mass produced plates for the kids' breakfast and elegant plates for grown up dinner parties. The trouble is finding the space for multiple dinner services in a single home.
If you choose fine bone china, however, you can tick all the boxes at once. It's difficult for customers to believe, but this elegant tableware is actually the strongest you will find. Knock our pudding plate against the dishwasher and nothing will happen to it. Knock a pottery plate against a dishwasher? There goes a chunk.
For day-to-night dinnerware look no further. Xavier Britain's Millefleur & Kelling plates look just as fabulous on a breakfast tray as they do on a candlelit table. And for those who prefer less colour, the Simple Rim tableware is a household classic that looks wonderful alongside the French Grey side plates for a splash of gold in the evening.
The material your crockery is made from will significantly affect its durability.
Earthenware is creamy white in colour and is easy to chip.
Stoneware is tougher, chip-resistant and oven-proof to around 250°C. It is also quite chunky aesthetically.
Porcelain has a bright white colour and is delicate to touch, but can survive the oven, freezer, microwave and oven.
Fine bone china is a warm white colour, and very thin and strong. High calcium levels make it translucent when held up to the light. It is chip resistant, dishwasher & microwave safe - and fine in the oven, freezer etc.
Why would you buy clunky pottery or fragile porcelain when you could have a fine bone china dinner set that will last a lifetime or longer? To us, it's an easy question with an obvious answer but we are Xavier Britain - specialists in fine bone china!
Like most homeware, the price of dinner plate sets can vary greatly. For some dinner sets you might pay less than a pound per piece whereas others can cost over £90 per piece. Most of want something beautiful without spending a fortune - and we want it to last.
Xavier Britain's tableware sit somewhere in the middle. They aren't a bargain, but nor are they a fortune.
Please bear in find a few considerations when looking at our tableware:
When you buy, you buy once but for life. Quite frankly, it's not a great business for us as because we are fairly confident we'll never see you again!
Each piece is made and decorated by hand, from clay, to glaze and the hand-painted banding.
The colours are produced by traditional ceramic lithographic printing. This means they will last for centuries - literally. The is the same transfer technique used by Spode and his wares are going strong at antique fairs 200 years later.
Everything is made in England from the finest makers and artisans in the industry. This is proper English fine bone china and better won't be found anywhere in the world. Our quality control is equally high-standard so you will only get the best.
We always recommend getting a couple of extra plates than your perfect number, just in case you have a busy day and the dishwasher isn't unloaded, or you have an extra large Christmas lunch.
If you want to buy a large dinner service (six or more in multiple sizes) please get in touch as we will offer a discount.