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China Choices, and Breakage

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SecondAct

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I see quite a few of you use really beautiful china for serving your guests. What are your reasons for choosing your particular china? Are you choosing a china style that matches your B&B? The reason I ask is, we have been drawn to historic and somewhat rustic B&Bs (haven't acquired a place yet - gosh, I'll be so glad when I don't have to be in THAT category anymore) yet I have a complete set of Royal Albert Old Country Roses with lots of accessory pieces and so it would make sense to use those. I wonder how important it is to have service that really matches the style of the B&B or if it's not important at all. Do you feel it's super important to have all the pieces match or do you mix and match? I also wonder about breakage. How often do you deal with cherished pieces of china getting broken? Do you replace with the same? I can't remember if I read it here or somewhere else that the owner used an assortment of interesting pieces from different tea services and that repeat guests looked forward to using what they thought was "their" pattern of china. Sorry if I have too many thoughts/questions going in one post. Always interested in what all of you have to say.
 

gillumhouse

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First of all if you cherish it - DO NOT USE IT in B & B!!!
I had the Pfaltzgraff Yorktown pattern and all the pieces so that is what I used and still use (I will be happy to leave that for the new owners!). Last yera I found a lovely set (enough for 4 place settings with some extras - the five cups limits me to a max of 5 places) of china from the Steubenville Pottery - the City I was born in. That is what I use for dinners or special breakfasts such as my newlyweds.
Breakage: DH has a cow when he breaks something (he is the dish washer) mostly because he puts it down to his "failing body". MY attitude toward breakage is I hope it was dirty when it broke - I hate to break a clean dish, wasted effort washing it! I have replaced the Fostoria goblets that have broken but most of my goblets are from WV glass houses that are now closed and cannot be replaced. It is only dishes! Whoopdedoo!
I love being able to set an elegant table, but will not waste time crying over dishes.
I think it would be neat - and if I were to have a farmhouse or "rustic" setting B & B, I think I might accumulate dishes at yard sales and do a different place setting for each guest if 4 or more dining but would probably do same dishes if just 2. With the Fiestaware they often give each person a different color. Quite frankly it is a "to each his own" as long as the dishes are not chipped and cracked.
Whatever is precious to you stays on the innkeeper's side of the house because if it can break, it will. My kids took care of the crying over dishes stage of my life.
 

Willowpondgj

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We started out using fancy dishes, two drawbacks, all my Desert Rose was getting broken (my grandma rolling in her grave with every crash) and all the china with silver trim can't be nuked or put in the dishwasher, and I ain't handwashing people! So I switched to a plain ivory everyday dish set, which rarely gets broken, dishwasher safe, goes with all the linens and I can replace it any day of the week at Ross for a fraction of the cost of the froo froo stuff.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I use the Royal Albert Old Country Rose china every day for my guests. Our place is sort of rustic elegance if there is such a thing! These dishes are not family heirlooms, so I have no sentimental attachment to them, but I do love them! Since they have been washed in the dishwasher for many, many years, the gold edging tends to wear off a bit, but I think it just enhances the rustic element. Guests LOVE that we use these dishes and it makes them feel special. Many, many times I've been told that there is some family connection/memory involved with this pattern.
The only time our dishes have ever been broken was by myself or my DH in the kitchen. It's only happened a couple of times in the past decade. You can find replacement dishes in a lot of places. Costco periodically sells a set of 4 for a couple hundred bucks. I've also gotten single replacement bowls, etc at TJ Maxx, some home stores and thrift stores.
If the dishes are not family heirlooms, then I suggest using them. By the way, Oneida makes a stainless steel setting called Damask Rose, which has a rose on the end of the silverware and matches the theme perfectly.
Best of luck on your dream of becoming an innkeeper!
 

seashanty

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do you love the royal albert?
would it make you happy to see it in use, to present it at table?
would you be heart broken if it gets chipped? (i had very little breakage, but did have 'chippage')
would your delight at using the dishes that 'make sense' overshadow worry about them being broken or chipped? that's what you need to consider.
my place was very eclectic, harbor village and elegant did not fit there. i got the blueberry dishes from ll bean - they made me happy (most important) and they were very popular with guests -- they were also heavy by the way. since my style there was casual, i also used random dishes - big pottery serving bowls and platters - it worked for me.
there is a lot of discussion about using personal possessions throughout your b&b. if you would be sad, angry or upset if something gets damaged or goes missing, do not use it. but if having those things surround you makes you happy and would outweigh the risk, go for it. i packed away (for safety) a number of things that i missed having around. have just discovered some were damaged in storage and might not be repairable. what a waste. big life lesson for me.
 

Morticia

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If you're using the words 'cherished' and 'breakage' in the same sentence you may not want to use that china. The dishes I use are locally made and came with the inn. I have no particular attachment to them. However, the dinner size plate is hovering around $30 each for a replacement. The only person who has ever broken a piece of the service was a housekeeper we had a few years ago. She dropped ALL of the cereal bowls on the floor in one swell foop. I did not replace them with the same pattern, but got a complementary bowl instead at a much lower price.
It's nice if the breakfast service 'goes' with the inn. My pottery plates would not go in a lacy Victorian setting at all.
If you're looking at 'rustic' I would definitely think 'mix & match' with the plates having something in common. All florals, all white, something like that and have them about the same 'weight' so they look good together. I would love to do a mix & match here.
 

SecondAct

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If you're using the words 'cherished' and 'breakage' in the same sentence you may not want to use that china. The dishes I use are locally made and came with the inn. I have no particular attachment to them. However, the dinner size plate is hovering around $30 each for a replacement. The only person who has ever broken a piece of the service was a housekeeper we had a few years ago. She dropped ALL of the cereal bowls on the floor in one swell foop. I did not replace them with the same pattern, but got a complementary bowl instead at a much lower price.
It's nice if the breakfast service 'goes' with the inn. My pottery plates would not go in a lacy Victorian setting at all.
If you're looking at 'rustic' I would definitely think 'mix & match' with the plates having something in common. All florals, all white, something like that and have them about the same 'weight' so they look good together. I would love to do a mix & match here..
Actually, the Old Country Roses I have are not cherished in the sense of having sentimental value. They are also not being used and I think that's a travesty. I was raised by the generation that thought you should only use your best stuff on special occasions and there's so much stuff around here for which the occasions apparently weren't special enough.
I was thinking "cherished" as, meaning that they were either of considerable monetary value or that you might find difficult to replace, due either to patterns being discontinued, not readily available or having too high of a cost. I would definitely not put anything that was personally important to me to use in the inn if I couldn't handle it being broken or turning up missing, but I was wondering was everyone else's take was on that.
I like the mix and match with a common thread, good idea.
 

ginocat

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I have always used white china. I like white - you can mix and match pieces. White allows you to create beautiful presentations!
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Our place is very casual and southwestern, so none of our furnishing choices are very formal. It just wouldn't look right here.
We're more rustic southwest, with emphasis on warm, harmonious, inviting colors without going overboard. We don't want to assault our guest's senses. We're in the lower to middle average room rate range, so we think its important to keep things in proportion to what our average guest's expectations are.
This a typical placesetting that I just threw our there, without the pastry plate, condiments, S&P shakers, etc...
 

Cathy

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We have a Talavera pottery set (or two) .. they have the colour green in common so we can if needed mix and match. We use pieces that do not match the set for serving, etc, but they are all Talavera pottery.
Fits in perfectly with our Mexican B&B. I have a beautiful (everyday set) of Johnson and Johnson Blue Willow ... would never work here.
We use Mexican woven table cloths and napkins. Our napkins we mix and match ... each one is a different colour. Our guests love it and we are surprised when our Mexican guests ask where we get our linens (can't really say these are linens) and place settings.
If you are looking for rustic pottery, you might be interested in this type of pottery.
 

SecondAct

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Our place is very casual and southwestern, so none of our furnishing choices are very formal. It just wouldn't look right here.
We're more rustic southwest, with emphasis on warm, harmonious, inviting colors without going overboard. We don't want to assault our guest's senses. We're in the lower to middle average room rate range, so we think its important to keep things in proportion to what our average guest's expectations are.
This a typical placesetting that I just threw our there, without the pastry plate, condiments, S&P shakers, etc...
.
Your place setting style makes perfect sense with the sense I get of your place. Thanks for the visual! :)
 

SecondAct

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We have a Talavera pottery set (or two) .. they have the colour green in common so we can if needed mix and match. We use pieces that do not match the set for serving, etc, but they are all Talavera pottery.
Fits in perfectly with our Mexican B&B. I have a beautiful (everyday set) of Johnson and Johnson Blue Willow ... would never work here.
We use Mexican woven table cloths and napkins. Our napkins we mix and match ... each one is a different colour. Our guests love it and we are surprised when our Mexican guests ask where we get our linens (can't really say these are linens) and place settings.
If you are looking for rustic pottery, you might be interested in this type of pottery..
Have seen Talavera pottery and it's really bright and cheerful. It's a little too "busy" for my taste, but must make for a dramatic table. I think someone on here, or maybe on the old forum, also said they can rotate their colors as they have 2 different sets they use.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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We have a Talavera pottery set (or two) .. they have the colour green in common so we can if needed mix and match. We use pieces that do not match the set for serving, etc, but they are all Talavera pottery.
Fits in perfectly with our Mexican B&B. I have a beautiful (everyday set) of Johnson and Johnson Blue Willow ... would never work here.
We use Mexican woven table cloths and napkins. Our napkins we mix and match ... each one is a different colour. Our guests love it and we are surprised when our Mexican guests ask where we get our linens (can't really say these are linens) and place settings.
If you are looking for rustic pottery, you might be interested in this type of pottery..
Have seen Talavera pottery and it's really bright and cheerful. It's a little too "busy" for my taste, but must make for a dramatic table. I think someone on here, or maybe on the old forum, also said they can rotate their colors as they have 2 different sets they use.
.
Thanks for the kind words. We've used Talavera tiles, sinks, etc. all over but using some restraint on the color choices.
Here is the sink area of a bathroom I put in one guest room. The washy green Talavera tile I used on the backsplash is what the entire shower stall was done in also.

I've also done this plaque that is on the wall right next to our fornt entrance door. That was so fun I created these trivets for the tea kettle and coffee decanter to rest on.


 

SecondAct

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We have a Talavera pottery set (or two) .. they have the colour green in common so we can if needed mix and match. We use pieces that do not match the set for serving, etc, but they are all Talavera pottery.
Fits in perfectly with our Mexican B&B. I have a beautiful (everyday set) of Johnson and Johnson Blue Willow ... would never work here.
We use Mexican woven table cloths and napkins. Our napkins we mix and match ... each one is a different colour. Our guests love it and we are surprised when our Mexican guests ask where we get our linens (can't really say these are linens) and place settings.
If you are looking for rustic pottery, you might be interested in this type of pottery..
Have seen Talavera pottery and it's really bright and cheerful. It's a little too "busy" for my taste, but must make for a dramatic table. I think someone on here, or maybe on the old forum, also said they can rotate their colors as they have 2 different sets they use.
.
Thanks for the kind words. We've used Talavera tiles, sinks, etc. all over but using some restraint on the color choices.
Here is the sink area of a bathroom I put in one guest room. The washy green Talavera tile I used on the backsplash is what the entire shower stall was done in also.

I've also done this plaque that is on the wall right next to our fornt entrance door. That was so fun I created these trivets for the tea kettle and coffee decanter to rest on.


.
You done good! Really nice effects.

 

Penelope

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We have a Talavera pottery set (or two) .. they have the colour green in common so we can if needed mix and match. We use pieces that do not match the set for serving, etc, but they are all Talavera pottery.
Fits in perfectly with our Mexican B&B. I have a beautiful (everyday set) of Johnson and Johnson Blue Willow ... would never work here.
We use Mexican woven table cloths and napkins. Our napkins we mix and match ... each one is a different colour. Our guests love it and we are surprised when our Mexican guests ask where we get our linens (can't really say these are linens) and place settings.
If you are looking for rustic pottery, you might be interested in this type of pottery..
Have seen Talavera pottery and it's really bright and cheerful. It's a little too "busy" for my taste, but must make for a dramatic table. I think someone on here, or maybe on the old forum, also said they can rotate their colors as they have 2 different sets they use.
.
Thanks for the kind words. We've used Talavera tiles, sinks, etc. all over but using some restraint on the color choices.
Here is the sink area of a bathroom I put in one guest room. The washy green Talavera tile I used on the backsplash is what the entire shower stall was done in also.

I've also done this plaque that is on the wall right next to our fornt entrance door. That was so fun I created these trivets for the tea kettle and coffee decanter to rest on.


.
That is very nice. I like the colors. You do very fine work

 

egoodell

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Since I have a couple of antique family china sets for personal use, I use my mother's favorite Sunday dinner china for our guests. It is Rosenthal Maria and has done well so far. Since it is often for sale on ebay I keep buying backups.
Riki
 

Country Girl

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I use Mikasa Garden Harvest pattern which works really well here. I must admit that if something breaks it's usually by me so I don't have really expensive china. I also am a pottery hound and am always looking for great coffee mugs, preferably made by a local potter. These I mix and match which works out great.
 

Samster

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I would go with what you like and what suits the feel of your place. The fact that you love your dishes will come across to your guests. When we had an offer on a place in TX, I had visions of colorful Fiestaware and a whole different thing than here.
I have a couple of sets (one red/white toile & a blue/white Finlandia) that I use most often about 9 months of the year. I use Johnson Bros Friendly Village a lot during the Winter and I have a set of Christmas china. Rarely, I'll use my wedding china which is a Noritake pattern that's white with a mostly blue rim but it has a silver edge on it. I'm looking for just the right white set of dishes that I can mix up with the pink and blue. I keep finding other cute little dishes to use for all kinds of things that go with all the china either at yard sales or Pier One. I have some glass dishes in red and blue that I use to do fruit plates vs compotes.
The fruit compotes are what are taking a beating here. I've broken several of those and gotten sturdier Anchor Hocking replacements. I don't use my fine crystal routinely because it's very thin and the Health Dept really wants everything put in the dishwasher here. Guests usually remark on how the place settings are different every day. Setting the table and cooking are definitely more fun than ironing or cleaning the showers, tubs, and toilets.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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This is the truth. Just like linens - - the cheapest linens go on and on but the expensive ones get destroyed and ruined when they are new right off the bat. Mother Murphy's law.
Vintage china lasts, and you want to enjoy it, so use it! Breakage happens. It is not the guests, it is the chief dishwasher (moi)
Here is your quote for the day:
"Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God." Mary Manin Morrissey
 

SecondAct

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This is the truth. Just like linens - - the cheapest linens go on and on but the expensive ones get destroyed and ruined when they are new right off the bat. Mother Murphy's law.
Vintage china lasts, and you want to enjoy it, so use it! Breakage happens. It is not the guests, it is the chief dishwasher (moi)
Here is your quote for the day:
"Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God." Mary Manin Morrissey.
Exactly ... very well said!
 

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