“ Brand: Denby / Type: 12 piece dinnerware set „
Crockery isn't something I generally spend much time - or money - on. I've been using the same plain unbranded white set for at least 15 years but as time has passed I've found myself losing pieces and chips and cracks spoiling the look.
I don't entertain often and as there's only myself and my daughter at home I decided to get a replacement - but just get a 12 piece set. Neither of us drink tea or coffee so cups aren't necessary - all I needed was a set with 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates and 4 bowls.
I have long admired the Denby range of dinnerware but haven't been able to justify the cost whilst my old crockery set was still perfectly serviceable. With the old set now in need of replacement I was in no doubt about what brand I was going to buy - all I needed to choose was which range.
~~The Denby Range~~
Denby don't just produce tableware - their range of products include cookware and crockery. The tableware range includes a fusion line designed by Monsoon. The company sells tableware both singularly and in sets, and if a line is being discontinued they continue to stock single pieces for at least a year so you can replace broken pieces.
They have been in existence for over 200 years although they originally made their name manufacturing large earthenware bottles and foot warmers. When glass became cheaper around a hundred years ago and heavy earthenware bottles fell out favour, the company diversified into tableware. Much of what they sell nowadays is, unfortunately, not manufactured in the UK.
The Denby Ripple set I purchased is what Denby call an "Intro" set. Manufactured in China from earthenware, it contains 12 matching pieces.
I tend to prefer plain white crockery because I find generally it doesn't really date whereas a lot of patterned stuff does. Anyone remember Eternal Beau which was really popular in the early nineties? If you see it these days it just looks old fashioned, whereas plain white always looks like plain white - boring perhaps, but never old fashioned. The Ripple range seems to have been discontinued although the set I bought is still available online from Sainsburys for £70. It was available in mint and lilac as well as white.
The name "ripple" comes from the ripple effect which is evident on every piece. This is most evident on the dinner and side plates and comes from circles etched into the earthenware from the centre out. It means the plates are not completely smooth but nor are they so grooved that it makes eating from the plates a problem. On the bowl the ripple effect is on the outside and isn't as pronounced.
The dinner plate is large, with a 28 cm diameter. The plate is grooved upwards at the side which helps to stop food spilling or falling off. I have to say at this juncture that I really like the look of a larger dinner plate but it's worth mentioning the size as if you have a small microwave, there's a very good chance the plate won't fit. I have a medium sized microwave and the dinner plate just fits in with about a centimetre to spare.
The side plate is only slightly smaller than the dinner plate with a 24 cm diameter. I find this size rather versatile - it's ideal for use for serving a side salad, for a lunchtime sandwich or can even be used as a dinner plate if you want to exercise portion control as the same amount of food on the dinner plate somehow seems less with all that spare space.
The bowl is large too, with a diameter of 20 cm. I really love how the side plate has been designed in such a way that the bowl can sit perfectly in place in the middle with one of the ripple grooves completely surrounding the base. The bowls are as versatile as the side plates being the perfect size for a pasta main course, a soup lunch or for an ice cream dessert.
I've had the set now for several months and I have been impressed with the durability and quality of the set with each piece quite thick and heavy. I currently don't have a dishwasher so everything is currently washed by hand and the Denby Ripple set has washed beautifully. The set is dishwasher safe however so I will have no problems when I move home and get a dishwasher again.
The pieces are also safe to use in the microwave and can also be used in the freezer. I have used them in the microwave without issue but must admit I generally don't put my tableware in the freezer so I can't comment on that.
I have been really impressed with this set and am glad to report I have absolutely no regrets about buying Denby tableware. The ripple effect gives the plates a nice design twist without being prone to looking dated in a year or two. The pieces are designed in such a way as to be versatile with the side plate and bowl being particularly good in that regard.
The design overall is versatile however - this set looks just as good being used as everyday tableware as it would being used in a more formal setting.
The price is decent for Denby - some of their tableware sets can easily top £200 so when I encountered this one I have to say I viewed it as a bit of a bargain, even at £70. It is unfortunately tricky to track down now but I still think it's worth getting - especially when you consider Sainsbury's free delivery. The quality of the earthenware is fantastic and the glaze adds a shine which isn't too glossy yet protects the earthenware well.
My only gripe really is the fact you can only get this as a 12 piece set - if you have a large family or entertain often you will have to buy two sets and while I originally bought this because I didn't feel I needed any more pieces I am now considering buying a second one - purely to ensure I have plenty of settings for some time to come!