I swear drinking water or orange juice from a goblet tastes different than drinking out of tumbler. I’ve always noticed that the right bowl or plate makes a meal taste better. Even if it’s all in your mind, it’s there. When you’re eating a rustic meal in the country side of an exotic location, a banana leaf plate makes the experience authentic and delicious. When you’re eating at home, the right plate or bowl for the job makes all the difference.
Since as long as I started dreaming about my own kitchen and dinner parties, I’ve wanted a slightly off centre dinner set. Something that is not too ornate or stuffy and has an earthy character. My ideal dinner set would frame a rustic and hearty feast. It would not suggest fine dining and it’s also not so busy that it competes with the food.
Flatmates always leave kitchen items behind when they move out so whenever we cleaned out of a flat, we also moved the flat kitchen stuff that had been left behind over the years on to our next flat. Our current dinnerware collection includes a strata stack of mismatched items that we have inherited over 6 properties. It’s more like a hodge podge collection of Auckland flats plus some wedding gifts from loved ones.
To be fair, I kind of like mismatched pieces and if I were to start fresh, I might look at buying some pieces from one collection to compliment pieces from another collection.
Here are my picks of organic and nature inspired dinnerware available here in New Zealand. All prices are in New Zealand dollars.
Wonki Ware have a huge range of various plates, bowls (pasta, dessert and salad), platters of all shapes and sizes, cups, saucers and teapots with various finishes including plain, sand and lace and different colours including white, duck egg (grey) and black. You can mix and match pieces with different finishes within a colour or even mix colours within the same finish. I love the idea of getting all white but with different finishes mixed through the collection. Pieces in the ranges are priced from $18NZ to $80NZ each
Collections include: Beach Sand, Baroque Lace, Fancy Lace and Three Lines
Visit their website at wonkiware.co.za
Even as a kid I loved wandering around Freedom Furniture with my family. My sister and I would pick out pieces we wanted for our dream homes. Freedom Furniture have 4 collections that would suit this round-up. They are the deep blue Bali, eggshell Lanay, cream and black Styx and grey Cascade Collections.
Visit their website at freedomfurniture.co.nz
This dark blue collection features variations in black and brown as well as square and round shapes to mix and match with. I can see these at home on top of a dark teak dining table.
dinner plate (28cm) $7.95NZ
side plate (22cm) $6.95NZ
round bowls (10, 20, 34cm) $2.95, $6.95, $29.95NZ
square plate (22cm) $6.95NZ
square bowl (14cm) $6.95NZ
This collection features raised borders of organic lines in soft eggshell hue.
dinner plate (29cm) $11.95NZ
cereal bowl (15cm) $7.95
side plate (24cm) $8.95NZ
This black and cream graphic collection features a border hand drawn black lines.
dinner plate (28cm) $8.95NZ
bowl (15cm) $6.95NZ
side plate (20cm) $7.95NZ
This medium grey collection features reminds me of a drop of water rippling through a pool of water.
dinner plate (25cm) $9.95NZ
cereal bowl (17.5cm) $7.95NZ
side plate (20cm) $7.95NZ
This range is available in three colours: Beach White, Lavender and Ice Blue. The contrasting rim is most obvious on the beach white variation and gives the pieces a lovely patina.
Visit their website at briscoes.co.nz
dinner plate (27.5cm) $9.99NZ
side/salad plate (24cm) $8.99NZ
cereal bowl (14cm) $8.99NZ
bowl (18cm) $8.99NZ
soup bowl (22cm) $9.99NZ
This pinstripe collection available at Stevens made of square dots originating from a central point remind me of crosscut logs of wood. The black and white print is very striking and would look fantastic on a black or white table setting. At $3NZ a piece, they are also the cheapest of all the pieces I found. A set of 6 bowls and 6 plates would set you back just $36NZ.
Visit their website at stevens.co.nz
bowl (14cm) $3NZ
plate (21cm) $3NZ
Living and Giving
Ayra Glass Collection
The Ayra glass collection is made from Turkish glass and has a pleated design with a silver rim. While I love the finish, I’m not sure that a clear plate or bowl looks very good with food in it. Maybe that’s just me.
Visit their website at livingandgiving.co.nz
dinner plate (28cm) $34.99
soup bowl $19.99NZ
charger plate (34cm) $64.99NZ
These Thimi made pieces are thrown on the wheel by the Associate for Craft Producers. ACP’s pottery comes from Thimi, Nepal. Thimi is well known for earthenware (terracotta/ceramics) and other handicrafts.
Visit their website at tradeaid.org.nz
Thimi large plate (25cm) $17.99NZ
Thimi white bowl (18cm) $14.99NZ
White V-shape bowl with teal inner (15cm) $16.99NZ
This small bowl with a chopstick rest has a white glaze on the outside and stunning iridescent crackle glaze on the inside. Perfect for complementing the other pieces in the range. Hand crafted by the artisans working with Craft Link in Vietnam.
The Sinousa Collection from Auckland company Citta are serve ware, come in colours oyster and charcoal and feature a unique organic shape.
Visit their website at cittadesign.com
bowls (10cm, 22cm 33cm) $19.90NZ, $39.90NZ, $115NZ
platter (36cm) $89.90NZ
I totally agree with you Genie. I LOVE to drink out of a nice crystal goblet, even if it’s just lime and water! A very nice collection of dish ware. I am a firm believer that the dish DOES indeed make a difference, with the exception that I prefer putting food on white, so that the food can shine. My everyday dishes are long over due to be replaced, but sadly it was one of the last things my MIL gave us as a gift and JT is reluctant to part with it (Mikasa with yellow or blue trim) — I just don’t love it anymore.
White is definitely a classic that will stand the test of time. I would probably go with white if I were to buy. A wonky white 🙂
That would definitely be my advice to you, Genie, white is safe and then you could always add a colourful dish to it. Our wedding china is white with a gold trim, but now I wish it didn’t have the trim as it is wearing off from the dishwasher (I know, shame on me), but I still love it, 26 years later.
26 years! That’s some fantastic longevity. On the china and the marriage 🙂
Beautiful pieces! I agree: the right dishware makes all the difference.
I *so* agree with you on the ‘plating’ issue … it is an idea few grasp.
Thanks for dropping by sybaritica, I think most people can tell the difference between good plating and bad, but they generally don’t care.
Agreed. I love the Citta Designs. I keep all of my styling props and pieces on these 4 huge cube book shelves. I feel like you would love it 🙂 It’s things that I have collected over the past 10 years or so. Some antique, some quirky. I keep saying that I’ll buy I nice cutlery set but I have still been using my crappy IKEA sets. Hah!
Your shelves sound wonderful. You should take a photo of them. I’d love a display cabinet of some kind to house all the pieces I want to collect.