When I first laid my eyes on this Provencal style dinnerware, I never imagined that it was made of melamine. The design is more refined than what we are used to when we talk about melamine plates and bowls. I love it! The Provence Melamine Dinnerware Collection includes dining plates, salad bowls and plates plus a serving bowl. Keep it in mind for wedding gifts.
You can either opt for placemats or for what a French hostess will put on her outdoor table, a nice tablecloth. For a nautical look, go with the Coral Embroidered Placemats. Or stay true to the Provencal style with the Floral Boutis table linen available in yellow or blue. I prefer the yellow motif.
+ Provence Melamine Dinnerware Collection from $39.95 to $59.95 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ Coral Embroidered Placemats $49 USD for set of 4
+ Yellow Floral Boutis Tablecloth from $59 to $69 USD
+ Blue Floral Boutis Napkins $28 for set of 4
The wedding season is approaching soon. Therefore, I started looking at wedding gift suggestions. My first finds are two serving pieces available at Horchow.
+ The Slate Cake Plate & Glass Dome can also be used to serve cheese. $125 USD
+ The Three-Tier Server is great to keep every day produces at easy reach. $140 USD
The stunning white porcelain tableware collection by Dutch designer Aldo Bakker caught me eye. His graceful pieces were studied to fulfill a specific function. He likes his pieces to be tactile. Usually, they take their meaning when you hold them in your hands.
I was intrigued by the oil platter. The two surfaces of the oil platter work together. You pour the olive oil on the horizontal dish. You turn it slightly on the side to brush your bread against the vertical dish. You end up with the right amount of oil on your bread piece.
Although I admire the concept, I wonder how effective the oil platter is in a real-life application. How long are you willing to hold the oil platter on your hand? How well the oil stays on the dish when you put it on the table?
More Serving Ware
The salt cellar seems to be the more practical of the entire collection. I imagine it as an elegant way to serve fleur de sel at the table. His water carafe rests on a table on the side instead of standing tall. You need to hold the carafe with your both hands to serve water.
I am curious. Are they are more than conversation pieces? Have any of you seen and use these pieces? If so, how do they perform?
+ Oil Platter by Aldo Bakker $169 USD
+ Salt Cellar $129
+ Water Carafe $229
+ Aldo Bakker’s Web site
The Danish studio Norm created for Menu a luxurious Carving Set and a practical Serving Set. The duo of architects designed four pieces that can be used in many ways. The melamine tray when used in combination with the carving bamboo board, or the porcelain dish and cooling pad delivers handy features.
Simply pop the cooling pad in the freezer in advance. Then, put the cooling pad between the melamine tray and the porcelain dish when you are ready to serve desserts, sushi or any cold dishes. There will be no more mess when you carve the meat thanks to the hole in the middle cross of the bamboo board. The hole allows meat juices to drip down into the tray. The melamine tray can be used as a normal tray to serve drinks. As you can see, these sets are quite versatile and clever.
You can buy the carving set (2 pieces), the cooling serving set (3 pieces) or the 4 pieces together. For the slight difference in price, the 4-piece set is the best buy.
+ Norm’s Carving Set for Menu $125 USD
+ Norm’s Cooling Set for Menu $125
+ Norm’s Hot+Cold Serving Carving Tray Set $158
Kyusu is a traditional Japanese teapot mainly used for brewing green tea. We used these teapots all the time when we were in Japan. They pour very well. Typical features include a side handle and a built-in strainer.
If you want to get yours, you can find them at Lucipia, a Japanese tea shop which operates a few stores in the USA plus an online store. Typically, a kyusu is small. I like the black Komarukyusu.
Sencha tea lovers can opt for the elegant Sawa teapot. This modern version of a Japanese sencha tea pot with an ergonomic handle and thumbprint lid allowing for easy one-handed pouring. Add 4 to 6 Sawa cups and saucers to create a wedding gift that the couple will be happy to use for many years.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 Update: My husband brought me back from San Francisco the stylishly modern SAWA teapot. I love it! It comes with two strainers: a built-in porcelain strainer on the inner edge of spout and a removable strainer for tea leaves. The one-handed pouring system works like a charm.
+ Komarukyusu black $22 USD
+ SAWA Teapot with Strainer $49
+ SAWA Sencha Cup $11
+ SAWA Saucer $13
My next discovery at SIDIM 2010 is handy for the stylish hostess. Serving food in paper cones is a popular trend these days. The cones are not just for serving French fries, you can use them to serve nuts, popcorns, fresh vegetables or fruits, and ice cream. Still, they are not many reusable cone options available on the consumer market. This is about to change with Cônes by Porcelaines Bousquet.
For serving the food, Porcelaines Bousquet proposes two wood options for communal service and one option fitted for plating. The overall look feels chic without being formal.
How Do You Store Those in your Kitchen?
Hard-paste porcelain is the type that you pass on from one generation to the next. It is quite resist. Her biggest challenge was not perfecting the form. It was how do people will store them at home. For each cone that she produced, she needs a stand to hold the cone while it cools down.When that happens, the join will shrink by up to 15%. Then, she threw away the stand. One day, the solution hit her. Why not use the stand to stack the cones? Brilliant! When you buy 4 Cônes, you get a storage stand.
Perfect Hostess and Wedding Gifts
The price of a Cône is $40 CAD. The shopstick-style wood support is sold at $20. If you buy these, you will be sure that no one bought the same wedding gift than you. Plus, I am sure that the bride and groom will use your gift. You can place your order by phone; they deliver in the United States and across Canada. Or browse the list of Canadian retailers to locate one near you. Louise Bousquest launched her hard-paste porcelain business in 2002. She operates her workshop-boutique in a small town located 45 minutes from Montreal.
+ Cône by Porcelaines Bousquet $40 CAD
+ Locate a Canadian retailer near you
If you are looking for a unique gifts for a foodie with a love of modern design, browse through the catalogue of Eva Solo. They give unique shape to everyday housewares. Eva Solo products are not cheap. There are an indulgence. Therefore, they are perfect gift ideas.
Salad Sinner by Eva Solo
The Salad Spinner reinvent the old technique of washing salad. Your grand mothers used to do that with a tea towel. Now you can do it more efficiently and more stylishly with their salad spinner. I really like the look.
After you rinse the leaves with your hands (which you must always do whichever method you use), squeeze the top of the bucket together to form a spout and pour off the water. The lettuce is now ready for spinning. You need a little bit of vertical space. Swing the bucket around in the air – this you can do either indoors or outdoors. In the process, any surplus water and dirt collects under the drainage plate.
The bucket is made of soft TPE rubber, which is approved for foods, and has a nylon cord handle. The drainage plate is made of stainless steel. The bucket is available in creamy sand, spring green and steel grey.
Other Gift Ideas
The Eva Solo’s silicone potholders are available in new colors. I like it because you simply rinse them to remove small spills or put them in the dishwasher for a thorough wash. The flexibility of silicone means that they follow the form of the pots and pans your need to carry. If you want, you can place the potholders on a hook near the stove to have them close whenever you need.
You will be the stylish camper with the thermo picnic flask. In fact, they look as amazing that you can walk the city with the half-liter water flask.
+ Salad Spinner by Eva Solo $118 USD
+ Eva Solo Flexible Potholders $45 USD for a pair
+ Mat or polished Thermo Water Flask 0.5 litter $99 USD 1L $188
You know that I am a fan of this UK store. The bright sun shining all day is the perfect setting for a picnic for two. Hopefully for us, the Blyton Picnic set is available in the States at Picnic Fun. But the styled picture of Graham and Green makes the picnicware so more desirable.
I told you about this red tin picnic set last year for Father’s Day. A removable willow tray sits inside the red tin to double the storage when needed. It is a picnic set for 2 that comes with a selection of hand crafted accessories. You get an enamel painted flask, two ceramic plates, two ceramic mugs, 3-piece metal flatware, a salt and pepper shaker set and two cute embroidered napkins.
The acrylic outdoor dinnerware is available in clear, green and lavender. You can be stylish even when you eat outdoor. Bring fresh fruit skewers and macarons at a picnic.
+ Blyton Picnic Set £85
+ Blyton Vintage Picnic Basket for 2 $160 USD
+ Picnic Blanket £65
+ Acrylic Filigree Plates £6.95 each
+ Acrylic Filigree Bowls £6.95 each
+ Retro style Plastic Cutlery £22 – also available in pink
Canada is the premier producer of maple syrup. Although the number of producers is impressive, if there is a constant is the packaging. In fact, neither the producers or the distributors make an effort to distinguish their product through packaging.
The maple leaf is used as much as possible. Some have even developed complex bottle like a glass bottle in the shape of a maple leaf. Let’s face it. It lacks good design and elegance. This is where the founders of Studio Innova in Toronto come to play. Their intent with Ninutik is to present maple syrup through the lens of design, art and sugar-making.
The Collection in a Glimpse
They experiment with maple syrup to create new way to shape traditional maple syrup food like sweet maple sugar. They shaped the maple sugar as a perfect cube, lollipops, and round and square treat of the finest maple sugar.
After a meal, serve Marvel 35 as a mignardise with an espresso, tea, or cognac. The lollies of Bouquet 10 can be enjoyed alone, dipped in chocolate, or swirled in coffee or tea. For a special event, ask about the wood platter on which you plant the lollies.
Get an easy to use, refillable and recyclable vessel for serving the maple syrup with Squeeze 250. They add a cute black cap to the most popular bottle in Chef kitchens. The bottle holds 250 ml certified organic Canada No. 1 Light pure maple syrup.
For a unique wedding gift or birthday gift, go with Vitrum 100. Artists Alissa Coe and Carly Waito hand crafted a limited-edition porcelain bowl. This gift set includes a square bowl, lid and spoon displayed in a pinstripe box. Once the 100g of Ninutik’s granulated maple sugar is finished, the bowl can be used as a refined sugar bowl. Or the happy couple can order a refill of pure granulated maple sugar online.
The online store of Ninutik ships in Canada and the United States. Stock a few since all Ninutik products make ideal gift for the hostess or any occasion.
+ Marvel 35 $16 for 8 treats: 4 round and 4 square
+ Squeeze 250 $15 CAD for
+ Bouquet 10 $16 CAD for 6 lollies
+ Vitrum 100 $100 CAD
I use a French press to make my coffee every morning. The problem is how to keep the coffee warm without redoing new batch for my second cup of coffee.
The new insulated press-filter coffee makers by Giannina may provide the solution I was looking for. Feiz design studio went one step further to keep the heat inside by installing a directional knob to close and open the spout.
The insulated press-filter coffee makers are new additions to the Giannina series. In fact, Feiz design studio redesigned the classic 1968 Giannina stovetop espresso maker plus added new elements to the collection. Besides the insulated press-filter coffee makers available in two formats, a stainless steel milk and sugar set, the fine porcelain cups and saucers, and a unique style serving tray complete the family.
I have no information on where and when the new collection will be available in store. The products were presented at the MACEF in Milan and the Ambiente in Frankfurt. Keep your eyes open because these would make wonderful wedding gifts.
+ Giannini Giannina stainless steel Espresso Maker (seems to be the latest model one but inquiry before ordering) 3-cup $105.95, 6-cup $125.95 9-cup $175.95
+ Via MoCo Loco
I found two storage solutions that will organize your life as well as your house. The first part covers essentials for entertaining. I imagine them as nice wedding gifts.
An elegant buffet set makes a great wedding gifts. The 49-Piece Admiral Buffet Set provides 8 ceramic dinner plates plus 8 salad plates with platinum rims, 32-piece 18/10 stainless steel flatware set, and a nickel-plated rack to keep it all organized. The pretty and handy. The buffet set is now on sale plus today and tomorrow, Horchow ships orders over $150 for free. In fact, Horchow’s free shipping offer expires March 25, 2009, at 6:00 A.M. CT.
Other wedding weddings at Horchow could be the Wavy Leaf Embroidered Table Linens and the Juliska Covered Candy Dishes. Both items would see many years of use. There are all new arrivals.
Simplify the Family Life
Every household needs a message center and a place to store the keys and small paper. You could add a name tag over each key hook.
I found the three-in-one ESTETISK on my last visit to IKEA. The front panel hides a key storage. It does more than that since it is painted with a magnetic chalk board paint.
+ 49-Piece Admiral Buffet Set $239 USD on sale, reg. price $300
+ Wavy Leaf Embroidered Table Linens $140-$505 USD
+ Juliska Covered Candy Dishes medium $325, large $395 USD
+ ESTETISK $29.99 USD / $44.99 CAD