This is a picture of the tea set part of my Wedding Registry china - Villeroy and Boch's Tipo Blue. When I selected the china, around 13 years ago, I chose it because I thought it would be fairly classic. I have always loved blue and white, and my kitchen was themed around those colours.


Lo and behold, the year after my wedding, they discontinued it. No problem, the shops were still full of it, and my Mother in Law in particular was very good about giving me missing pieces for Birthdays and Christmases for a few years to complete my set, until suddenly there was no more in the stores.


I wasn't particularly concerned, as I had a 12 person setting, with plenty of extras such as sandwich plates and serving bowls, and my setting included soup bowls, cereal bowls and all sorts of other things. Unfortunately there has been a little bit of attrition with the Dinner plates, and my main plates are now down to 9. I have searched eBay, and the various china finding websites on and off for the past 6 years, trying to find the elusive 3 plates I am missing. And so, I was delighted to find 7 plates listed in the UK on eBay early last week, with their measurements and condition noted as excellent. So I snapped up all 7. Today the box arrived, plates carefully wrapped, and with great excitement I pulled them out to find.......

They were chargers.

Dinner plate on the left, Charger on the right

We never had these available on the Australian market, so I didn't know that they existed. For this reason, I didn't bother to measure my dinner plates to compare. Silly me. I hate to say it but I have been feeling smug about my purchase all week, congratulating myself for snapping up all 7 to future proof my setting. Sigh. I don't think that I'll ever use my new purchases as chargers, and certainly I loath an over large dinner plate (nothing more easily able to fatten you up than a large dinner plate with all that space to fill with your serving). So I think they will become serving plates, or something to use for pre dinner hors d'oeuvres or nibbles perhaps.

the charger covers my rattan place mats it's so big

Entree, Main and Charger
As discussed fairly extensively in the comments section of my post Using your Good Things, I took advice from my Scottish Aunt (purveyor of all things stylish), who suggested that rather than splitting my registry between a boring cheap everyday set of china, and a "good" and expensive set, that I should go for the middle ground, and dress it up for best. Her rationale was that you'd use it more and enjoy it more, and that it had to be dishwasher safe. It has worked well in exactly that way. I use the blue Villeroy & Boch water glasses when we have people over, and our sterling silver cutlery rather than the everyday Stainless Steel for best. The plates are not particularly exciting, but they are good quality, and feel nice to use, and I still like them 13 years later.


So, my hunt for replacement dinner plates continues, and I'm now the somewhat sad owner of 7 new platters that go with my set. At least I'm all set the next time we have someone over for drinks!

26 comments:

  1. I like your thinking Heidi... you'll be coordinated and prepared to host with all the nibbles and platter plates that you need!
    I think your choice in dinner set proves that classics stand the test of time. Love the water glasses too.
    K x

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    1. fingers crossed I find some plates sometime soon! But yes, in the meantime I'll be hosting drinks parties in style xx

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  2. I love it all and can't see why they stopped making it. It looks so classic.

    I wouldn't have thought to measure my plates either! Definitely set for serving plates though. I have never quite got the point of chargers. Is that bad?

    Take care.

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    1. No, I don't understand the point of chargers either. It seems to be an American thing..... maybe someone reading this might comment and explain. The lesson I've learnt is that there was a whole bunch of stuff that we never got out here. I guess they only bring in what they think will sell in Australia. They did bring out a white version immediately after they discontinued my set, but they only kept that for a couple of years as well - my set was around for 10 years, so I had thought it was permanent. I live in hope that they'll bring the blue back! xx

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    2. Have you tried this site

      http://www.chinafinders.com.au

      Apparently it is good but I have never had to use it.

      T

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    3. Thanks T, yes I've registered on there, plus Replacements.com as well, but unfortunately none of them have had dinner plates. Very sad! xx

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  3. Dear Heidi
    If any more of the dinner plates are broken and you can't replace them with like, you could consider using a harlequin set of dinner plates, eg some of the Spode blue and white Italian - and look around for others that might also work. Not quite what you had in mind, but better than having to give up a dinner set you're happy with. Bad luck about the chargers!
    I remember an American diplomat who had a beautiful harlequin service. So many pieces had been broken in her travels to postings and by staff in her kitchens that she'd decided to just have sets of dinner, entree, bread and butter etc in a range of colours and patterns that worked together - and it all looked gorgeous. But not minimalist. Best wishes, Pamela

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    1. Hello Pamela, I do have 4 Spode blue and white plates, and I have used them in the past for dessert plates, but I might press them into service if I get desperate as dinner plates. I did buy the same plate in the plain white x2 6 years ago, so I have settings for 11 (and our table only seats 10 anyway), but a harlequin service may be a good idea if I don't manage to find more, or lose a few more dinner plates in the meantime. xx

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  4. So the question is are you now not only in the quest to complete your dinner plates but also complete the set with the remaining charger plates as well? I love porcelain but I decided ages ago knowing mishaps happen and I get a bit fanatical looking for the lid of a teapot of a certain set that nothing would match! But I don't understand why on earth they would discontinue a set like yours. It is so classic! Perhaps you could get Mr AV to find some spares whilst in London? Sure he would love that...but seriously they might have some...I wish you luck in procuring whatever your collection is missing! Xx

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    1. No - no more chargers for me! I think the 7 will be plenty!! Also highly unlikely Mr AV would manage to find the spares.... he has difficulty buying me an eyeshadow palette in the duty free, let alone finding (and carrying) plates home with him! xx

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  5. Hello, Heidi, bad luck about the chargers. I know they're a bit superfluous but I like the fact that when you remove the plate after each course, there is still something in front of you marking your place. I was going to suggest that you use them to serve large salads in the Summer but if they cover your placemats, they must be really big ! Shame they were discontinued, that's the way it goes nowadays... and that pattern is really beautiful too !xx

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    1. Ah SB, are the chargers a French thing then? Each country seems to set their table differently, so some things never made it here as we tend to follow the English style of table setting. They are quite big, but will make a good platter I think xx

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  6. What great advice your Aunt gave,,Im one who has silver packed away tarnishing as we speak as well as my grandmother's wedding china and it should be used.

    I went on ebay to try and replace my ivy pattern by Wedgwood,(the pattern was on china used by Napoleon on St Helena) and it all looked so different that I didn't want to buy any of it. Not that I need more of this stuff really.

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    1. Definitely use your nice things smr! Your china sounds absolutely lovely, but how frustrating that the colouring is now different. Keep an eye out on the local auction houses (they always do their listings online now, which is very handy) as they often have old sets of china come up, and it sells very cheaply too.

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  7. How frustrating about the chargers... I suspect that chargers are just a way for the manufacturers to get a few extra cents. For some of the patterns they look amazing and contrast/complement the actual dinner plate, so make the whole setting look great. I have some simple deep berry coloured lacquer ones from Vietnam that I use at Christmas and wintery dinner parties. Fairly low cost way of helping my everyday dinner set glam-up for special occasions. I didn't get a set of special plates when I got married... I did get 8 places of the Haviland Limoges Amaryllis pattern but just for tea with dessert plates and a few different serving dishes. I thought that I might expand this one to add a few more dessert plates and get bowls and dinner plates - probably should get on with it in case they discontinue!

    I hope that the renovations are going well. I tried to comment on your previous post but kept on being bumped off my wifi and gave up! Loved the outfit btw.

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    1. Your lacquer ones sound lovely - I have two silver lacquer ones from Vietnam as well that I've used when setting the table for Mr AV and I on a birthday or something. Your limoges tea service sounds beautiful.
      Nothing happening on the renovations - they were supposed to start today, but we're STILL waiting for the building permit. I'm not sure what is taking the guy so long to approve it. They are now going to start tomorrow.... frustrating! xx

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  8. What is the diameter of your dinner plates, Heidi? I can then keep my eye out for them as I search the internet for a VB vase I am after. Good luck with the demo this week. We started the demo for our renovations three years ago today. My husband spray painted where all the underground service cables were located (and told the guys not to dig there) and of course, the bull-dozer guy started digging where he wasn't supposed to and cut through our underground security cables and the house alarm went into melt down mode ... happy days!! Jo xx

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    1. That would be fantastic if you did Jo - they are 26cm across. We had a similar problem with our main water line when they were demolishing our veranda 2 years ago - 3 times they cut through it, and the plumber would be called out (and we were expected to pay for it!). Frustrating! xx

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  9. Great idea that didn't come out in the wash which is such a shame. Love the crisp, understated elegance of your dinner set...though it looks very dressed up with the beautiful blue glasses! Rx

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    1. When the white plate was at the height of fashion, it wasn't looking so fashionable, but I'm so glad I've got it now - I do think it's fairly timeless. And if you love blue and white, you always do. xx

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  10. Having a look at your older posts and came upon your parents' garden (and house) stunning, I love the Japanese influences .I really must get to Adelaide one of these days. I loved the pictures of your children in the garden, when they are much older they will show them to their children and be able to share the garden with them.

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    1. It is a beautiful garden - there are some stunning gardens in Stirling. I'm going on a garden tour next month to another historic Hills Station garden and can't wait! The other photos that Shona took of my children (which had their faces in it, so won't appear on the blog) were so, so beautiful. You just can't go wrong with such a lovely backdrop. xx

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  11. Love your dinner set.

    I only recently learned what a charger was, from reading FF's blog. Then I realised that what I bought our dinner set from Country Road 5 or so years ago, the... what I thought were platters are actually chargers. That's what it said on the sticker, but I just assumed a charger was another name for a platter. Doh! It's ok for round cakes, but unfortunately I much prefer square/rectangle platters as they stack up against each other better on the table and I can fit a lot more... But they will do for now...

    Have an amazing long weekend!

    B

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    1. Ha! How funny B!! The problem with chargers is that they don't fit in the dishwasher easily. I don't think I could commit to the washing up factor to use them as actual chargers that often.... they are much more likely to be used as a cake plate. Interesting that CR are selling them too! xx

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  12. Very sweet and fresh !! So far i haven't payed enough attention on porcelaine myself but you inspire me to do so now :) It looks lovely :)

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    1. Thank you, I think blue and white is very fresh too. And clearly timeless as I've had it for so long! xx

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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
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