My last post about using your good things, has made me think a little more about China. And I've become slightly obsessed with the need to have a new dinner service. Don't get excited, I won't be ordering any time soon. The small matter of an upcoming expensive house renovation, lack of a Dining room, or a Butlers pantry to store it all in for that matter, will definitely keep the credit cards in my purse. In addition, we don't have easy access in Australia to many of the truly beautiful designs out there in the world.

So, if I had to choose my fantasy dinner setting, these are some of my picks:

Herend's "Queen Victoria"
Via

Faux Fuchsia's friend Zsa Zsa ("Hungarian to the stars") has a rather hefty collection of Herend, including these pieces of Queen Victoria, which FF posted pictures of after my post on Good Things, no doubt to cause me sleepless nights of envy. Zsa Zsa's collection in Australia would only be rivalled by Pixie Skase, who as you may remember fled Australia in the late 80's after her husband Christopher's company Quintex collapsed. They sailed off on their luxury yacht to a life in exile in Mallorca, Spain with Louis Vuitton duffel bags stuffed full of the Herend china they had lifted from Hardy Bros jewellers (owned by Quintex at the time). I can't say I blame them for that, it would have been very hard to leave behind. Here's part of Zsa Zsa's collection in her private museum in Brisbane. I'm also confident in saying that Zsa Zsa's collection did not come from such nefarious means as Pixie's.



Herend's "Queen Victoria" been endorsed by royalty for over 150 years now (it recieved its name as Queen Victoria purchased a set on display at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London). Hungary presented Prince William and Kate Middleton with a newly re-coloured service for their wedding. It's called "Royal Garden" and is in purples and greens. Very pretty. I just love the butterflies. I'm also now wishing Hungary had sent me a gift for my Wedding: it would have been very gratefully recieved, and I would have written them a lovely thank you note.



Jenni, who writes the lovely blog South Acres Farm filled with beautiful images of places she owns (and her friends beautiful homes) mentioned in my comments section her love of Herend's Rothschild Birds. It's so beautiful as well, I would have a hard time choosing. 
Via

And in a totally different style, as I wrote in an earlier post on Isis Ceramics, I wouldn't mind a personalised set of their beautiful hand painted designs incorporating places that are important to Mr AV and I.



I was also rather taken with this set by Bernardaud "Constance" with its pretty neoclassical design



Then I found these beautiful Fortuny plates, which would look stunning in a more modern/ textured/ layered/ Italian style interior. Not too classical, but the patterns are just beautiful.

Via Architectural Digest
And then moving onto crystal, you definitely need beautiful crystal to complete the table. Like these pretty Waterford wine glasses which work so well with the pink china.



Or for before dinner drinks a side table with some lovely Baccarat crystal would be nice, this is a more masculine style, which I quite like the style of for drinks.





Or some beautiful glasses by William Yeoward crystal


I so enjoyed reading in the comments about other people's dinner sets, and the happy memories that they have had around the dinner table - Romy's beautiful "Cornucopia" setting by Wedgwood, Patricia and Kate's Spode "Italian Garden", Fiona's Pillyvuyt set, Patricia's "Old Luxembourgh" by V&B.

So doesn't this post make everyone throw out their big white plates and embrace the decorative again? And if you were starting from scratch, what would you choose?

26 comments:

  1. Dear Heidi

    Have turned quite viridian because of Zsa Zsa's Herend collection. Also Jenni's Rothschild pattern. When we had coffee and pastries at the Herend restaurant, they served mine in the beautiful bird pattern. Sat for much longer at table than needed, just to enjoy gazing at the fabulous china in my hands. Also love the Yeoward crystal above.

    We have some very pretty Murano wine glasses in deep blue with an ornate flower and arabesque pattern in dull gold that look rather nice with the Spode blue and white. But only used with trusted guests! (Brought home in hand luggage.)

    I almost wrote that I haven't a single white plate when I remembered my parents' Wedgwood dinner service, very classical and quite beautiful, cream-white with fluted decoration and gold bands. Think it was one of their wedding presents. When I was a child it was always used at Christmas and for best until too many pieces were broken and couldn't be replaced. But for sentimental reasons it's at the back of one of my cupboards, though never used now. When I open the cupboard and look at the plates I see my father at the head of the table, carefully carving roasts and pouring wine. He died when I was 18 so these are mixed sad and happy memories, quite vivid, from a long time ago.

    If starting again I think I'd be thrilled with either the Victoria or the bird pattern Herend. And a good excuse to re-visit Hungary!

    With best wishes, Pamela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Pamela, isn't it amazing how an object can conjure up a memory so easily, even from so many years past. You were very young to lose your Father - how difficult that must have been for you.
      I like the sound of the Herend factory. I have Budapest on my list of places to visit, and I think a side trip to Herend would be a must. I can't imaging eating off such beautiful and expensive plates in the cafe - surely they would be seconds? xx

      Delete
    2. Dear Heidi
      Possibly, I guess. It never occurred to us they might be. If so, the imperfections must have been very very minor. But their quality control is really high level so I imagine even the tiniest blemish would be weeded out and the restaurant might be a good place to use them.

      If you're thinking of visiting Hungary, can give you the contact details for a really good tour guide/driver we found on the net. We did all our Hungarian travels with him in a very comfortable air conditioned vehicle with glass roof. A very nice man and v reliable. He has sample day trips for visitors but if you want something special he'll go out of his way to organise for you. As our DIL's parents were both born in Hungary we asked him to take us on a day trip to their birthplaces and former homes. It was magic. One of the places was v. difficult to find and would've been impossible without him. A wonderful day, places well off the beaten tourist track and really lovely. He also took us out into the suburbs at the edge of Budapest to pay a (pre-arranged) visit to the home of our DIL's uncle. The family had all gathered there for our arrival and treated us like long lost relatives. We all, including Zoltan our guide, had a wonderful evening.

      The day we went to the Herend complex (very beautiful place with lovely gardens) he also took us to Lake Balaton, a pretty holiday area our DIL's father had loved.

      Budapest is really lovely and well worth a visit (don't think it's as crowded with tourists as Prague). It's also very close to Vienna. Zoltan drove us there, via more interesting old towns. From hotel to hotel, all bags loaded for us. Worth doing with a family too, if you're planning to combine Budapest with a visit to Vienna. We love V for its wonderful galleries and museums, opera house and wonderful walking streets lined with fashion boutiques and old coffee and pastry haunts. It also has great parks and gardens. One of husband's cousins lives there with wife and young children. They love it too. Their fabulous daughter (12) now has native speaker level German and French (English of course) is learning Latin and will soon begin either Italian or Spanish. Loves her school and is doing very well. We were so impressed. Best wishes, Pamela

      Delete
    3. Your trip to Hungary sounds so wonderful Pamela. I am very, very keen to go overseas soon, but I know that our youngest is still too young to cope easily with a long distant flight (well, he'd cope, I'm not sure the rest of us would). In a couple of years, hopefully we'll all go. I would love to go to Vienna as well - have youu read "The Hare with Amber Eyes"? or another fascinating book by an Australian "Good Living Street" After I read those books I was desperate to go and see Vienna , it has such an interesting history/ Art/ music scene. I was last there when I was 4, so can't say I remember a lot....! xx

      Delete
    4. Dear Heidi, I guess, you might need to give it a year or two then. As you were four when you last went to Vienna, this must have been the age when your parents were happy to travel with small children. I once had to fly from UK to Oz with our son when he was about 12 months and it was surprisingly fine, but we were probably just lucky.

      Haven't read "The Hare with Amber Eyes", will look for it. Read "Good Living Street" after seeing the Vienna exhibition at the Melbourne Art Gallery and then had dinner with friends last year at their apartment in Wohllebengasse, actually almost opposite the apartment building where the book is set.

      We were lucky to be in Vienna last during a Klimt anniversary and had a wonderful time at the special exhibitions. Fabulous galleries/museums in Vienna, I specially like the Kunsthistorischemuseum, but there are so many. The love story of Franz Josef and Sissi is also fascinating - she was kind of like an Austrian Princess Diana. We always stay at the Hotel Konigin Elisabeth which has large portraits of Sissi and Franz Josef - and is really well located. On an earlier visit we were very lucky to get last minute tickets to a wonderful production of La Traviata at the Staatsoper. Best wishes, Pamela

      Delete
    5. I last travelled long haul with my oldest when he was 21 month old, and it was dreadful - he was jet lagged for 9 days/ nights and very hard work on the flight. My youngest is improving at entertaining himself for longer than 10 minutes, but we still have a way to go - trying to explain jet lag to a toddler doesn't really work! Definitely read "The Hare with Amber Eyes" - it is so beautifully written, and so interesting a story. The family were incredibly wealthy with an amazing Art collection (most of which is now in the Met). It was my favourite book of the year! xx

      Delete
  2. Hello Heidi, thank you for the shout-out! I must admit that if I were to do it again, I'd get something more neutral, with perhaps a gold or platinum band. However, I do like all your picks above, especially the gorgeous Herend. Friends of ours moved to Hungary over 20 years ago for work and at that time they bought a huge amount of Herend, mostly the figurines (all sorts of creatures, all sizes). That stuff is worth a fortune now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patricia, it's definitely gone up since your friends bought - how lucky they were to have bought back then. One of the benefits of a foreign posting are the souvenirs that you bring back. That's interesting that you'd choose something simpler now - I've sort of gone the opposite as I'm slightly bored with my plates (white with a thin blue rim and impressions of little dots in the china on the border). xx

      Delete
  3. Dear Heidi.... UH oh!!.... I think you have started something here... your beautiful images.. especially the William Yeoward and the drinks tray... all too gorgeous for words!! I have always loved pattern. I have had a set of Portmeirion for years and years and it is still bright and beautiful! We visited Portmeirion in Wales years ago too... enchanting. On the farm I use Johnsons "Friendly Village" every day ... it's brown transferware with sweet pics of village scenes. I just love the sumptuous layered beauty of colour, crystal, napery and flowers. I would rather buy a beautiful crystal vase for the table than a piece of jewelry!! If Budapest is on the list then you should visit Prague as well and visit the Moser store... their crystal is lead free! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is something very special about the beautiful plates and crystal - it would definitely transport you from your ordinary everyday life to sit down at a table set like that! Portmeirion the village has lots of different Architectural styles of houses if I remember correctly? Some eccentric Welshman in the early 1800's built it? It would be a wonderful place to visit. I have been to Prague, and loved it, but didn't buy any crystal - never saw the Moser store (or maybe did, but can't remember as it was 14 years ago). I seem to remember the streets full of Bohemia crystal, which wasn't quite the same...! xx

      Delete
  4. Fantasy! If I had my dinner set to do all over again I'd have an individual place setting of each of the really beautiful flower designs from across all companies. Grounded with crisp white napery and silverware I think it would look stunning, don't you? However, it's too late for me as we are too heavily invested in Cornucopia...although I'm thinking of ramping up the accents in the near future. Planning a trip to Ireland this year so may have to plan for a day trip to Waterford for souvenirs! Hope you are having a lovely weekend! Rx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would think that you would choose a flowery set. And a harlequin set would be beautiful (and not such a problem if you break any). Waterford souvenirs are a must if you're off to Ireland. Make sure you stay at Ballymaloe House, which is divine (even if only for a night). It's not far from Waterford on the way to Kerry, and has a famous Cookery school attached to it. The food in the restaurant is sublime, as is the hotel - it was really just perfection, and still one of my favourite memories from all those years ago xx

      Delete
  5. Back when I got married, I was into very plain and very white.
    I was aghast that someone bought me fancy crystal glasses and not plain ones- Oh how times have changed! Wishing that I had let my FIL talk me into the fancy Oneida cutlery set with all the extras, instead of the plain RODD one I wanted! Now I am all about flowers and butterflies and pretty! I would love any of those dinner sets- they are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're lucky someone ignored your wishes Deanne and bought you some crystal! I think the reason why I initially didn't like crystal was the same reason - I liked plain glasses at the time (and didn't want to worry about breakages).xx

      Delete
  6. Love the Herend china! I also love Villeroy and Boch Samarkand cobalt blue classic buffet plates and the other colours in this range. Their salad plates have pictures of camels;elephants;horses etc on them. The colours are stunning and I have used them when I have had a Moroccan theme party. I also used them at Christmas and just used the camel plates with the cobalt blue plates. Very different. I love to do something different each year for Christmas. My 21 year old son just hosted and cooked a Moroccan dinner party and used the plates again. We can recommend the Ottolenghi recipes books for some fantastic middle eastern food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leah, I'm not familiar with the Samarkand plates from V&B - I'll have to go and check them out....if the blues go with my set I could add them in, they sound lovely. I have the first Ottolenghi cookbook and love it - particularly all the salad/ vegetable ideas and the parmesan cheese biscuits are so good to keep in the freezer for when you have unexpected guests for a drink. xx

      Delete
  7. We were lucky enough to go to the Ottolenghi restaurant in Islington. The multi- vegetable paella recipe in "Plenty" is also fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard good reviews on the second cookbook, I'll have to put it on the to buy list. It doesn't seem that we can get the Samarkand plates here in Australia - I had a look on the website, and they are beautiful - perfect for a Moroccan themed party.

      Delete
  8. When I married (the first time) 39 years ago I wanted something timeless and selected Royal Doulton Val d'or; white with a gold trim. It has endured longer than the marriage! Although I do love the beautiful designs you've posted I don't think I'd ever be so brave...I can add any colour or style of linen to my setting and create a new look at a fraction of the cost. I do collect beautiful tea, cup & saucer sets though so indulge my love of pattern and colour there!
    x KL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a lovely set KL, and you're right, very timeless. You did very well to pick something that has lasted for so long, style wise. xx

      Delete
  9. ZZ will be thrilled will all this attention.

    Her Grandma in Budapest is always gifting her things and of course when they go back to Hungary they always get moe pieces. Plus she is always findign things at the Salvos by Herend! Which the Salvos do not realise are valuable! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whaaaaat? Herend at the Salvos? How can this be? This is clearly the problem with Adelaide - not enough Hungarian immigrants to find Herend in the Op Shops.

      I'm afraid Zsa Zsa will now forever be linked with Pixie Skase thanks to my blog - I've had a couple of google searches for Pixie Skase in the traffic stats since I wrote this post!!!

      Delete
  10. Love love love Rothchilds Birds.. and Constance...

    That story about Pixie Skase was a bit naughty .. when I think of people on the run I think of a duffle bag with some warm clothes and knickers - not breathtaking breakables!!

    x

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's hard to pick, isn't it!

    Life on the run was fairly luxurious for the Skase's. I think the LV bags also contained a lot of Christofle silver as well!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. After reading this post, I sheepishly opened my cupboard doors to all my big white plates and went on a research mission for a new decorative dinner set. Herend Cornucopia and dare I say it Versace Butterfly Garden Le Jardin were my favourites among MANY.... I have not updated my dinner set since the big white square plates were the 'in thing' (if they actually ever were!). It's definitely on my wish list to buy as a belated wedding gift to myself :) Great post. K xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh - sounds like a lovely self-wedding gift K! Those are both beautiful sets, and you should be able to source them in Melbourne I'd think. The white dinner plate is absolutely fine, but sometimes it's nice to have something special to use, especially if you've got friends over (even casually). xx

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search This Blog

About Me

My photo
Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
Powered by Blogger.

Follow by Email

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

Followers

Things to read....

.