Table setting guide

Everything from the type of table linen you need, to which glasses go with what drink, our guide should help you decipher which options are best for you

Table cloths & linens| Tableware| China| Glassware| Cutlery| Table setting

Choosing your table cloth and linens
Polycotton


Polycotton

This is hard-wearing, drapes well when used as a table cloth, and comes in stain-resistant and minimal-iron options

Cotton and linen


Cotton and linen

Cotton is durable and can be washed at high temperatures, while linen needs a gentler wash. You need to iron both

Coated vinyl and acrylic


Coated vinyl and acrylic

Both are practical and easy to wipe clean and acrylic looks just like fabric

Table protectors


Table protectors

These sit under your
table cloth and are
heat-resistant

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Choosing your plates, bowls and dishes
Earthenware

Earthenware

Strong, practical and affordable, earthenware is often a little thicker, and is perfect for everyday use

Porcelain

Porcelain

Affordable yet luxurious, porcelain is renowned for its translucency yet has an extremely tough glazed surface

Terracotta

Terracotta

Retains heat well. A high iron content gives the warm red colour

Bone and fine china

Bone and fine china

Both look delicate but are very tough. Bone china is our whitest, strongest and most translucent tableware. Fine china is creamier in look and more affordable

Stoneware

Stoneware

Fired at high temperatures, stoneware is very tough and heat-resistant. It’s perfect for serving from oven to table

Our dining ranges

Our dining ranges

If you're looking to match all of your tableware, we have over 100 dining ranges to choose from – there's a colour, style and material for every budget and taste

Why choose white bone china?
Why choose white bone china?

Beautiful and tough

High-quality white bone china is the strongest and most translucent ceramic there is. Though it looks delicate, it’s tough enough for daily use and is dishwasher safe

Everything for your table

Our white bone china comes in four designs: Cupola, Concave, Cornet and Contour. We offer every item you could need, whether you like a formal or a relaxed table setting

Create your own look

Every piece in each range has the same weight, quality, translucency and finish, so you can mix and match between designs, to create a look just right for you

New ideas

Our Contour side plates sit perfectly with Cornet dinner plates. Or why not try the Cupola pasta bowl set on top of a Concave dinner plate? The possibilities are endless

About our white bone china ranges
Cupola

Cupola

A classic choice for any occasion. Designed exclusively for John Lewis by award winning ceramic designers Queensberry Hunt

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Contour

Contour

Simple by form yet practical by nature, our Contour range will be at home within any dining scene

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Concave

Concave

Previously known as Cuisine. Slightly chunkier than the other ranges. Beautifully translucent and strong

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Cornet

Cornet

Heralds a return to the pared-back basics of food presentation - elegantly clean and simple, with a focus on the food itself

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Choosing your glassware

White wine

A narrow mouth retains the aroma of white wine, and keeps it cool

Red wine

Larger, rounded glasses amplify red wine’s rich flavours and are concentrated towards your mouth by a gently tapered rim

Champagne

Tall flutes retain the fizz in sparkling wines and keep them chilled. Coupe glasses suit sweeter champagnes

Tumblers and highballs

Ideal for short and long mixed drinks, these also double up as water glasses

Beer

Beer

Slender glasses enhance the flavours of lager, while fizzier Belgian beers are best paired with stemmed glasses. Conical pint glasses are ideal for stouts and bitter

Cocktails

Cocktails

A classic conical glass will keep cocktails cool, while the wide mouth boosts complex flavours

Type of glass

Soda glass

Affordable and extremely versatile, soda glass is perfect for everyday use

Crystal

This is a good value alternative to lead crystal and ideal for any occasion. It’s also more transparent than soda glass

Lead Crystal

Very high quality, perfect for special occasions, lead crystal has a beautiful transparency, reassuring weight and bell-like tone

SON.hyx

An exceptionally strong crystal that’s more resistant to knocks than ordinary glass

Sparkx

Environmentally responsible, ultra-clear and durable, Sparkx glass is lead-free and particularly resistant to cloudiness

Handmade

Every piece is unique, with natural quirks that add character

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Choosing your cutlery or cutlery sets
Choosing your cutlery or cutlery sets image

What do the grades mean?

Stainless steel grades show the nickel content. 18/0 contains 18% chrome and no nickel, and is the most affordable. 18/10 contains 18% chrome and 10% nickel, giving better resistance to corrosion and a highly polished finish

Staying sharp

All stainless steel knife blades are 13/10, because zero nickel gives a longer-lasting sharper edge

Stamped and forged steel

Simple stamped cutlery is good value and ideal for everyday use. Durable forged steel is always handcrafted and is the highest quality choice

Looking for silver?

Our sterling silver cutlery (available to order only) is 92.5% pure silver, and every item is hallmarked to guarantee quality. For silver pated cutlery, a coating is applied to a mixture of copper, zinc and nickel. The minimum British standard is 20 microns – our entire range of silver plated cutlery has at least a 30 micron rating. Both silver-plated and sterling silver cutlery are corrosion-resistant, but can be tarnished by sulphides in the atmosphere and in certain foods, such as egg

What should a table setting look like?

 

Whatever the occasion, casual or fomal, dinner guests will be impressed by your table setting efforts.
For a traditional look, follow the diagram on the right. Otherwise, we have lots of beautiful images
of our tableware ranges and collections to inspire you, just follow the link above.

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