Creating a memorable dining experience goes beyond food and service. Tableware has proven to be an essential part of food enjoyment with ‘plating’ now a common term thanks to our appetite for TV cooking shows. Villeroy & Boch marketing manager, Francesca Caleffi recommends taking into account your signature recipes and entertaining habits when selecting tableware, to ensure every meal is presented in style.

“The tableware we choose should represent how we live, what we like to eat and how we entertain. How many people do you serve on a regular basis? What foods do you normally prepare at home? Do you prefer larger restaurant style plates and deep bowls that can serve a range of foods, or do you prefer lots of smaller dishes for different menus? If desserts are your passion, why not select a different design for serving cakes and other sweet treats? It’s all about personalising your collection.

“Also consider the types of occasions you normally host. Are they formal dinner parties where food arrives served at the table or casual get-togethers where food is presented on a grazing table for everyone to help themselves?

“Don’t think you have to be traditional. If your food style demands lots of bowls and entrée plates, instead of dinner plates, then build your collection to match. Quality tableware should be used every day and not just saved for those ‘special’ occasions, buy a mix of pieces that suit your food choices, style and entertaining personality.

“While classic white porcelain is ideal for making food shine, mixing and matching with colour, patterns, textures and different shapes and sizes also provides the flexibility to change the look of your table from breakfast to dinner,” added Caleffi.

Villeroy & Boch offers its tableware collections in individual pieces rather than sets, allowing people to design a setting that is tailored to their own dining culture. Below is a quick guide to how different types of plates and serving ware can be used.

• Platters and tray stands: ideal for buffet style meals, barbecues or presenting shared meals as a centre piece on the dinner table. Tiered tray stands are also ideal for serving a variety of canapés at cocktail parties or recreating a high tea at home. Quality timber boards are also popular for more rustic occasions.
• Chargers and buffet plates: are slightly larger than dinner plates and often feature decorative designs and pops of colour. They add formality and interest to a setting when used to frame dinner plates and can also be used as small platters or for serving cakes.
 Dinner plates: are the staple of a tableware collection and suit traditional dining or can be used more informally in conjunction with platters for shared meals. Choose generously proportioned deep plates to present pastas, soups, desserts and meals served with a sauce for an opulent effect.
 Salad plates and small bowls: Salad plates are often used as side plates for formal entertaining and suit tapas style meals and informal entertaining. Smaller plates can also be used for different courses, from entrée to dessert or to serve accompaniments.