I love the healthier food I’ve been eating. I don’t mind the extra effort but it definitely takes a little longer to prepare. Cutting, cooking and assembling a salad with a home made dressing takes a wee bit longer than microwaving a tin of tomato soup. Because I’m focusing on quality and nutrition and really enjoying all the flavours, I want the food to look as delicious as it tastes, it should equal the effort I’ve made! My plating presentation skills leave a lot to be desired though…I can’t help but slop sauce around the plate, and without a separate (and totally useless) trendy chip basket, home made wedges are just never going to look nice. I can search plating techniques on Pinterest but when I’d like the food to actually be hot on a Tuesday night, realistically I’m not arranging beans in a pattern on the plate. 

So to help, I usually eat everything out of a large pasta type bowl. In writing this blog I realised I have such an opinion on servewear! Messy things like curry and stew and pasta look so much tidier in a bowl don’t they? I like a wide brim to rest my garlic bread / poppadum / prawn crackers on too. It also helps when your plates / bowls / cups / serving dishes compliment each other. I don’t mean match exactly but along a similar style (even if its a mix match one).
For 6 months or so I’ve been drooling over different potters throwing stunningly naturally formed ceramics with beautiful glazes and justifying them in my life. They’re generally expensive but rightly so as most of them are hand crafted and have you seen the cost of some glazes? They can be real pieces of art. Pretty much everything I came across and loved was in Australia so I hadn’t bought anything yet. Theeeeen Lydia Millen got a new dining set from Neptune and I fell in love! It has no colour and really not the natural ceramics I was looking at but just so pretty, not as expensive (its more mass produced) but not quite Asda smart price either. You have to buy them in sets online but can buy individual pieces in their stockists which works out perfectly for me since I LOVE our closest stockist Treehouse. I take my friends there like others take their friends to tourist destinations… I’ll be buying it piece by piece and of course I’ve started with the pasta bowls and they are BEAUTIFUL. 

The beautiful ones… Big and sturdy and micro/dishwasher proof.
https://www.neptune.com/collections/bowsley/
£7 – £30 per piece

The below are some of the others I’ve been swooning over: 

Daisy Cooper Ceramics
Based in Australia. Stunningly colourful earthenware. Its colourful but has a real earthiness to it. 
https://www.daisycooperceramics.com
AUD25-AUD70 per piece + shipping

Zara Home
Zara Home had so many more pretty dining sets than I realised. This one’s neutral, non uniform and the clean side of rustic. 
https://www.zarahome.com/gb/dining/tableware/complete-tableware-set/herringbone-earthenware-tableware-c1089099p301730093.html?ct=true
£5-20 per piece

Royal Doulton
Royal Doulton is one of those absolute dining set classics but I really think this set (there’s a few different colours) is really modern. 
https://www.johnlewis.com/royal-doulton-signature-boxed-1815-dinnerware-set-12-piece/coral/p5089487
£118 for a 12 piece set

Denby
Can I do a dinnerware set list without Denby? I really like the warm, natural white of this one and you know if you ever break it, it would be easily replaced.
https://www.johnlewis.com/denby-canvas-dinnerware-set-12-pieces/p3337374
£125 for 12 piece set

Next
One of the colours of the year! If its not lavender then its sage! Would be so nice on a big wooden table with plenty natural linen. What I will say is that we got a Next dining set when we moved in to our house 5 years ago and they’re all cracked and chipped and not hard wearing at all. I didn’t check but I don’t think they’re microwave or dishwasher proof so unless they’re pretty enough that you don’t mind hand washing, I would opt for a slightly higher quality set. 
https://www.next.co.uk/g24448s3/897293#897293
£40 for 12 pieces

Marks and Spencers
Isn’t this just the cutest? Floral and country and maybe more Spring than Autumn. 
https://www.marksandspencer.com/12-piece-watercolour-floral-dinner-set/p/hbp60194391?color=MULTI
£79 for 12 pieces

Anthropologie
Those that know me well know my obsession with Anthropologie’s home ranges and I can’t resist any of their serve/glass wear. I would happily take any of their dining sets but just look at how beautiful the colours are in this one. 
https://www.anthropologie.com/en-gb/shop/oriel-dessert-plate2?category=kitchen-dining-entertaining&color=045&type=REGULAR&size=One%20Size&quantity=1
£20 per piece

Anthropologie
A real French country rustic style. I’m not sure any of it will stack but would look amazing on some open shelves.
https://www.anthropologie.com/en-gb/shop/glenna-platter?category=kitchen-dining-entertaining&color=010&type=REGULAR&size=XS&quantity=1
£10-88 per piece

Anthropologie
This one’s fairly similar looking to the Royal Daulton and the Daisy Cooper (and quite a lot of other ceramics) but I have Anthropologie plates that have been used every day for 3 years, been in and out of the microwave, dishwasher, bashed 40 million times by me and still look perfect. Highly recommended.
https://www.anthropologie.com/en-gb/shop/cabarita-side-plate?category=kitchen-dining-entertaining&color=006&type=REGULAR&size=One%20Size&quantity=1
£6-20 per piece

Anthropologie
The very last one from Anthropologie – how adorable it this?! Emily In Paris eat your heart out! 
https://www.anthropologie.com/en-gb/shop/clare-v-for-anthropologie-maisonette-dessert-plate?category=kitchen-dining-entertaining&color=045&type=REGULAR&size=One%20Size&quantity=1
£16 per piece


There’s so many amazing Scottish ceramics and potters, you should definitely have a research or take a look at some of the below: 
Julia Smith
Frances Priest
Scottish Potters Association
Juliet Macleod
Hannah Spicer
Solgarrett Hanna
KJA Studio

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