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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

stain resistance symbol

Polycotton

Polycotton is hard-wearing, drapes well when used as a tablecloth and comes in stain-resistant and minimal-iron options

iron symbol

Cotton and linen

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

wipe clean symbol

Coated vinyl and acrylic

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

heat-resistant symbol

Table protectors

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.

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

terracota

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

dining ranges

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

CUPOLA

Designed exclusively for John Lewis & Partners by award-winning ceramic designers Queensberry Hunt

CONTOUR

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

CONCAVE

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

CORNET

Previously knows as Conical, the range is an elegant return to pared-back food presentation

china table setting

WHY CHOOSE WHITE BONE CHINA?

Apart from its classic versatility, discover other benefits of keeping things simple.

Beautiful & tough

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

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

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

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

CHOOSING YOUR GLASSWARE

The right shape of glass will make a difference to the taste and aroma of drinks.

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

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

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

TYPES OF GLASS

The type of glass used makes a difference to price, weight and durability

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

cutlery setting

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

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

Silver cutlery

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.

Stainless Steel Cutlery

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
Silver Cutlery

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.

Tip

 
  • 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

table setting diagram

We have lots of beautiful images of all our tableware ranges and collections to inspire you