Buying Guide: Dinnerware

While food is undoubtedly the star of every meal, dinnerware is the frame that holds this work of art together. Having the right dinnerware can change the whole dining experience.

“If you have to dry the dishes / And you drop one on the floor / Maybe they won’t let you / Dry the dishes anymore.” 

Shel Silverstein, How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes

Dinnerware Buying & Care Guides

The first thing to consider before you invest in dinnerware is the material. Here are some key points about the most popular materials used for dinnerware.


  • – A hard and durable option for your everyday plate.
  • – Robust and chip-resistant. (but not Chip proof!)
  • – Microwave and Dishwasher safe
  • – Suitable for heating up in the oven up to 160 degrees
  • – Always take care not to put a cold plate in a hot oven
  • – Allow to cool completely before washing


  • – Dishwasher and Microwave Safe
  • – When it comes to everyday use, porcelain is the strongest and most durable material there is
  • – Lightweight yet durable
  • – Suitable for heating up in the oven up to 160 degrees
  • – Always take care not to put a cold plate in a hot oven
  • – Allow to cool completely before washing

New Bone China

  • – Dishwasher and Microwave Safe
  • – Finer and whiter than Porcelain
  • – Lightweight

Buying Dinnerware, where to start?

Make choosing the right dinnerware easy by asking yourself a few simple questions.

  • Purpose

  • Usage, is this for everyday usage? Will it be going in and out of the dishwasher? All of our Dinnerware at Meadows and Byrne has been selected for its durability. Stoneware is a good robust option for the everyday dinner table being fairly chip resistant. No dinnerware can be called chip proof of course, but with the proper care and storage, chips should be few and far between. Stoneware also has a more rustic and casual feel to it versus the more refined look of Porcelain.


  • Occasion, is it for casual family dining or special occasion dining? First of all, who says you have to choose! By opting for a simple white Porcelain or New Bone Dinnerware you can have the best of both worlds. Classic white allows you the freedom to use your dinnerware for both casual and formal dining. Simple changes to the setting will elevate the simplest set to a dinner party worthy of HRH the Queen of England herself!


  • Colour, to go bold or not? We all love a spot of colour and for the new season at Meadows and Byrne we have a wonderfully colourful collection to wow you. We have added subtle colour into the collections which will lift your dining experience without taking over the table or detracting from your food creations. If clean white is what interests you, you can always mix in some beautiful colourful serving ware or colourful charger plates/placemats to add the pops of colour.


  • How many place settings? Only you will know yourself how many mouths there are to feed in your house, but we would always suggest buying extra of the items that tend to get the most usage. A couple of extra mugs is always a good idea and a spare dinner plate or two would also be a good idea. This ensures that you still have a matching set should one get broken and your selected pattern is no longer available. It also means when you have guests your table setting will still match.

Finishing Touches

  • Special finishes are something you can consider for your lesser used items as these will often not be dishwasher or microwave safe. So for example, if you fall in love with the beautiful metallic trim on a dinnerware set, consider keeping this for special occasions and treasuring these pieces.

Discover the full dinnerware collections in-store or shop online today

Shop M&B Dinnerware


More about Julie

I'm Julie and I have been the Kitchen and Dining Buyer at Meadows and Byrne for over 2 years now. What inspired me to work for M&B and this department in particular? That's easy, a real passion for eating; to eat you must cook and to cook you must have a well stocked kitchen! So a passion has become a career and I have discovered gadgets that I never knew I needed as well as an unnatural enthusiasm for plates! Sustainability and the environment is also something I have a real interest in and I try to always search out the newest Eco-Friendly kitchen solutions. I do believe that a functional kitchen can have a green element in it which I try to promote.

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