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The Tableware Buying Guide

Whether you’re planning a formal event or a simple supper with friends and family, the dinnerware set (or tableware set) is a crucial component of any dining experience. The appropriate tableware selection can improve not only the visual appeal of your dining table but also the quality of your dinner party or supper. It might be overwhelming to choose the best dinnerware set for your needs with so many available on the market, but this guide will help you through the various types of sets and their materials. 

In this helpful guide, we will also assist you in selecting the best dinnerware for your home that will wow your visitors and provide a distinctive touch to each meal. We will explore the best dinnerware sets from some of our favourite brands. And, of course, give you examples of excellent dinnerware sets available right here at Milly’s Store. 

Types of tableware

Let's quickly review the numerous kinds of tableware that are available before getting into the details.

  • Dinnerware: Supplied in sets or as loose items so you can build your individual style set, including plates, bowls and tea/coffee ware. 
  • Cutlery: includes all the different sizes of knives, forks and spoons as well as serving pieces such as salad servers. Sometimes referred to as flatware.
  • Glassware: This category includes anything from champagne flutes to wine glasses and tumblers.
  • Serveware: Serving platters, vegetable dishes, gravy boats & stands and even butter dishes, among others, are included in the serveware category.

Choosing the right dinnerware for your home

When choosing the perfect set for your dinner table, you must consider the material for durability, design for your aesthetic and choose a brand you know you can trust. Luckily, we’ve collated all of this information below.

Dinnerware materials

Dinnerware is made in a selection of high-quality materials, including porcelain, ceramic, stoneware, glass, or stoneware. Each of these materials houses its own benefits. The most popular dinnerware are bone china and porcelain; this is no surprise. 

  • Bone china: Bone china is created by mixing bone ash with porcelain, giving it a delicate appearance while still making it strong and light. 
  • Porcelain: Porcelain is fired at high temperatures to produce a beautiful, non-porous, and chip-resistant material. 
  • Stoneware: Stoneware is a type of ceramic that is fired at a lower temperature and has a more unpolished and natural appearance. It is one of the most durable types of ceramic. 
  • Glass: Glass tableware is renowned for its fashionable and exquisite appearance, particularly for formal occasions.
  • Melamine: Melamine is a synthetic material that is portable, inexpensive, and ideal for outdoor or informal dining.

What is included in a traditional dinnerware set?

A traditional dinnerware set typically includes a variety of plates, bowls, and sometimes mugs or cups. The exact pieces and quantities may vary depending on the set, but a popular example would be a set that includes:

  • Dinner plates: Dinner plates are used for the main course of a meal and are normally the largest plates in the set.
  • Salad or dessert plates: These are smaller than dinner plates and are used for salads, desserts, or smaller portions.
  • Soup bowls: These are bowls with a wider opening that are used for soups, stews, or cereals.
  • Mugs or tea cups: A few sets come with mugs or cups that are used for hot drinks like coffee or tea.

Some dinnerware sets may additionally include items like serving platters, serving bowls, or gravy boats in addition to these essentials. 

The best dinnerware sets

The best dinnerware sets are those that provide all the items you require while being visually appealing and durable. Here at Milly’s Store, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality dinnerware options. 

Sophie Conran

For many, a timeless white porcelain dinner set is a firm favourite. Sophie Conran, a renowned British designer, curates the most elegant dinnerware sets that tick all the boxes. If this sounds like something that would be the right fit for your home, we suggest seeing the classic Sophie Conran Dinner Set.


Wedgwood is renowned for their elegant and timeless designs. They were one of the first manufacturers of bone china and are now the home of the eclectic Vera Wang and Jasper Conran collections. See the full range of Wedgwood tables and 

Sara Miller

Sara Miller London dinnerware lines are well-known for their distinctive and whimsical patterns. They are also crafted with premium materials, making them suitable for any event. The show-stopping 12 Piece Chelsea Collection Dinner Set is exquisitely designed and crafted to wow every guest at your dinner party.

The above are just some of our favourite sets, we supply many more beautiful dinnerware sets by luxury designers. Including the esteemed Villeroy & Boch and Royal Worcester

See the Royal Worcester Serendipity Set for excellent quality bone china at an affordable price.

Completing your tableware set

Now you’re fully equipped with dinner sets, you will need to think about completing your tableware set with glassware and serveware. Luckily for you, we offer all of these important tableware components. 

We offer a selection of the highest quality wine glasses, flutes, tumblers, and more in our glassware collection. From well-known brands such as Joules, Dartington, Sophie Conran and plenty more. If you’re searching for those all-important serving utensils, be sure to see our serving cutlery and sets.

Milly’s Store: The home of industry-leading kitchen accessories.

We hope you found this guide helpful. For all the latest kitchen accessories, news, and guides, see our helpful culinary blog

Shop dinnerware sets at Milly’s Store today. If you find a dinnerware set we offer for a lower price anywhere else, we’ll price-match you! See our price-match guarantee for more details. 


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