Introduction to Dinnerware Sets
A complete dinner service includes all of the pieces necessary to serve a full course meal, including flatware, stemware, and dinnerware. The core components of a dinner service are place settings for all of the guests, as well as serving pieces like platters and sauceboats. Here is a rundown of all the pieces that make up a complete set of china.
The Dinner Plate
The dinner plate is the largest and most versatile piece of dinnerware in a service. It can be used for salads, main courses, and desserts. A good dinner plate should measure about 10-12 inches in diameter.
The Salad Plate
The salad plate is smaller than the dinner plate, measuring about 8-9 inches in diameter. It is used for salads and appetizers. Some salad plates have compartments to keep foods separate.
The Bread and Butter Plate
The bread and butter plate is even smaller than the salad plate, measuring about 6-7 inches in diameter. As its name suggests, it is primarily used for bread and butter, but can also be used for dessert or as an impromptu tray for holding utensils or napkins.
The Cup and Saucer
A cup and saucer is a staple of tea service, but can also be used for coffee or other beverages. A complete cup and saucer set includes a teacup with matching saucer. The saucer can also be used as a small tray for cookies or other snacks. Cups and saucers are usually made from porcelain or bone china.
Customarily, each guest has their own cup and saucer, although it is becoming more common to see sets that include only one cup and saucer per place setting with the assumption that guests will share.
A complete set of china contains all of the pieces necessary to serve a full course meal to guests. It includes place settings for all of the guests as well as serving pieces like platters and sauceboats. The core components of every set are dinner plates, salad plates, bread and butter plates, cups, and saucers. With such a wide variety of pieces included, china sets provide everything you need to entertain family and friends in style!