TABLE SETTING & TABLEWARE
Everything from the type of table linen you need to which glasses go with what drink, our guide will help you choose what’s best for you.
CHOOSING YOUR TABLE LINEN
Discover your options to protect your table and add colour to your setting
Polycotton is hard-wearing, drapes well when used as a tablecloth and comes in stain-resistant and minimal-iron options
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
Both are practical and easy to wipe clean. Acrylic looks just like fabric
These sit under your tablecloth and are heat-resistant
CHOOSING YOUR PLATES, BOWLS AND DISHES
Different materials or substrates make a difference to the look and feel of your tableware.
Strong, practical and affordable, earthenware is often a little thicker, and is perfect for everyday use
Affordable yet luxurious, porcelain is renowned for its translucency yet has an extremely tough glazed surface
Terracotta retains heat well. A high iron content gives the warm red colour
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
Fired at high temperatures, stoneware is very tough and heat-resistant. It’s perfect for serving from oven to table
our dining ranges
If you're looking for matching tableware, we have over 100 dining ranges to choose from – there's a colour, style and material for every budget and taste
Our Dining Ranges
Our white dining ranges are classic, clean and simple, enabling a focus on the food itself
Designed exclusively for John Lewis & Partners by award-winning ceramic designers Queensberry Hunt
Simple by form yet practical by nature, our Contour range will be at home on any dining table
Previously known as Cuisine. Slightly chunkier than the other ranges, beautifully translucent and strong
Previously knows as Conical, the range is an elegant return to pared-back food presentation
WHY CHOOSE WHITE BONE CHINA?
Apart from its classic versatility, discover other benefits of keeping things simple.
BEAUTIFUL & 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
We offer every item you could need in four designs, 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
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
CHOOSING YOUR GLASSWARE
The right shape of glass will make a difference to the taste and aroma of drinks.
TYPES OF GLASS
The type of glass used makes a difference to price, weight and durability
Affordable and extremely versatile, soda glass is perfect for everyday use
This is a good value alternative to lead crystal and ideal for any occasion. It’s also more transparent than soda glass
Very high quality, perfect for special occasions, lead crystal has a beautiful transparency, reassuring weight and bell-like tone
An exceptionally strong crystal that’s more resistant to knocks than ordinary glass
Environmentally responsible, ultra-clear and durable, Sparkx glass is lead-free and particularly resistant to cloudiness
Every piece is unique, with natural quirks that add character
CHOOSING YOUR CUTLERY OR CUTLERY SETS
Our cutlery selection is available in a wide range of prices - if you want to buy the best to last, here's what makes the difference.
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
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
Our sterling silver cutlery (available to order online only; on display at John Lewis & Partners Oxford Street) is 92.5% pure silver, with every item hallmarked to guarantee quality for 25 years.
For silver-plated 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 yolk or lemon.
You can wash silver cutlery by hand or in the dishwasher, but it mustn't be mixed with stainless steel in the basket. Avoid detergents containing lemon, and remove as soon as the cycle has finished and hand dry.
CARING FOR YOUR CUTLERY
Whichever sort of cutlery you choose, with a little effort it’s easy to care for, so you can keep it gleaming and tarnish-free when it’s not in use.
CLEANING STAINLESS STEEL CUTLERY
Stainless steel is stain-resistant but not stain-proof. The highest quality stainless steel contains 18% chrome for durability and protection against corrosion, as well as 10% nickel for lustre and resistance to high temperatures. Knife blades contain 13% chrome and no nickel for a longer lasting, sharper edge.
- Wash stainless steel separately from silver and sterling silver-plated cutlery, as contact while wet can result in a chemical reaction that damages silver
- Restore shine with stainless steel polish
- Take special care with knives, as the higher percentage of chrome makes them more prone to corrosion
CLEANING SILVER CUTLERY
Sterling silver and silver-plated cutlery is corrosion-resistant, though it can be tarnished by sulphides in the atmosphere and in certain foods, such as egg. Silver is a soft metal, which scratches easily, though with proper care over time it can develop a beautiful sheen.
- Use dip or polish on a silver cloth to clean tarnished silver, following manufacturer's’ instructions
- Restore shine with a soft, dry cloth and store in an anti-tarnish roll or canteen
We sell cutlery cleaner, while Silverware sells anti-tarnish rolls and canteens, which are designed for larger collections of cutlery. They’re usually lined with a soft fabric like flock to protect the cutlery from scuffs and tarnishing.
- Unless clearly marked, all our cutlery patterns are dishwasher-safe
- Always use liquid detergent, not powder
- Don’t use wire wool or abrasive cleaners
WHAT SHOULD A TABLE SETTING LOOK LIKE?
Here's an easy guide to the conventional way to set a table
We have lots of beautiful images of all our tableware ranges and collections to inspire you