So far, almost all the designs on our list have been bigger purchases, but there are a few smaller pieces where it’s worth seeking out the very best quality you can, and one of those is tableware. Firstly, you interact with plates, mugs, bowls, cutlery and glassware every day, so it’s important you like the look and feel of them. Consider how a piece feels in your hands – is the handle comfortable to hold, is the cutlery well balanced? Then, choose materials that will be practical. All our crockery, for instance, is made from stoneware (we upgraded every piece a few years ago) because it’s durable in the dishwasher, can be popped in the microwave, and is much less likely to chip than earthenware. Whether it’ll fit in your dishwasher is another concern, particularly for dinner plates and stemware. Finally, think about how versatile it will be. We’d suggest getting a well-made, fairly plain set of crockery that’ll work for any occasion (try Lewes, Bowsley or Sutton) and adding more decorative pieces (like Lulworth and Olney) from there.