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Old 06-29-2004, 03:16 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Just outside the Beltway
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Considering Portmeirion "Botanic Garden" dinnerware

I recently moved into a new home. One thing I did for myself was pass along all my Dollar Store dishes to Goodwill. I now have 4 dinnerplates and feel it is time to get some nice dishes for myself. I am sick to death of willy nilly dishes that do not match, much less go together...I feel like I am camping or in my first home, but I will be 50 this year and it is time to quit this "cheap is the only criteria" stuff!

I like the Portmeirion pattern "Botanic Garden." I am wondering if anyone here has this dinnerware and if you have any words of wisdom to pass along...

For me, this would be a significant investment, even though I have found it at a reasonable price at CaplanDuval.com. Still, I have never spent this kind of money for a set of dishes and part of me thinks this is just silly to spend more than I think is "proper" for some dishes. On the other hand, I treated myself to a fruit bowl in this pattern and absolutely loved that bowl (I ate my cereal from it every morning), until my ex broke it...

I found a pattern by Mikasa called "Garden Bloom" which is an obvious rip-off of "Botanic Garden" as well as considerably cheaper, but I hesitate to buy something else when I actually think the Portmeirion stuff is an investment, or at least, a high quality product that commands a higher price.

This decision is going to have to go on hold for awhile as my move cost more bucks than I estimated. I thought I'd throw this out and see what others think of the Portmeirion company, the pattern and the value (or non-value) of these dishes.

Thanks a lot, y'all.
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Old 06-29-2004, 06:36 PM
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Location: Central Va
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I really like the Portmeirion dishes as well, enough that I considered getting them myself. Other than the strenuous objections of my husband, the reason I decided not to is that I have found is that I get really tired of eating off of a pattern. Some foods look good on the pattern, some foods look not so good with it. After a while, I just get sick of looking at the same colors.

So, if I were getting new china, I would get a nice, good quality neutral (white). Then you can get nice salad plates, or soup bowls, etc. to change the feel of the table when it suits you.

Just my 2 cents.
Old 06-29-2004, 06:57 PM
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Location: Chili-con-valley
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My 2 cents is that dinnerware with pictures on it distracts from the food, where as a simple design or plane plates do not.
Incidentally Portmerion is the town in Wales where the Prisoner TV series was shot.
Old 06-29-2004, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 7,763
Very pretty! I'd not heard of Portmeirion before and looked up the Botanic Garden pattern...I really like it.

If it were me, I'd opt for purchasing the plain white dinner plates that they offer. Then I'd get key pieces in the pattern. Serving platters and bowls, butter dish, salt and pepper shaker if they have them. I'd likely also get the patterned tea cups and saucers.

That way your set table is not too busy. The plain pieces will allow people to more fully appreciate the beauty of your patterned pieces.
Old 06-30-2004, 08:24 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Thanks for the suggestions!

I actually don't mind eating off patterned dinnerware...in fact, the appeal of Botanic Garden is that every piece is different (kind of like Audubon prints without the sometimes weird looking animals). This is why the Mikasa stuff pales for me...the dinner plates are all the same, the salad plates are all the same, etc.

Wish I was going to Wales...they have a seconds outlet there, but they don't ship overseas (drat).

I didn't know "The Prisoner" was filmed in Portmeirion...I'll have to look carefully at the background town the next time I watch.
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Old 06-30-2004, 09:00 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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I've been to Portmeirion—lovely, bizarre little town—so I guess I ate off their dishes. Didn't make much of an impression, though I recall one Nouvelle Cuisine veal dish that I dubbed Meathenge.
Old 06-30-2004, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eve
I've been to Portmeirion—lovely, bizarre little town—so I guess I ate off their dishes. Didn't make much of an impression, though I recall one Nouvelle Cuisine veal dish that I dubbed Meathenge.
BTW, how is the name of the town pronounced? I'm sure I'm mangling it...

Meathenge...hmmmmm....I tend to avoid Nouvelle Cuisine as the entire meal looks like a garnish to me.
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Old 06-30-2004, 10:23 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 38
I have some dishes, bowls, and cups from Portmeirion's "Dawn" pattern (soup bowls, cereal bowls, bread, salad and dinner plates, mugs, etc.) and I really like them. "Dawn" is a pretty pattern and I like the fact that it's slightly different for each type of bowl, dish, etc.

When I moved two and a half years ago, I only had enough tableware for myself. Even though I live by myself, I occasionally have people over. I decided that as long as I was going to buy some new tableware, I would get enough for four settings and I would get a pattern that I liked which was sturdy enough for daily use. I was tired of having mismatched tableware that screamed "newly minted college graduate." This was a way to "establish" myself, however minor, and it was also a way for me to indulge my love of beautiful things. I don't wear jewelry or otherwise adorn myself, and I'm not much for decorating my place--I'd rather have the things that I actually use be beautiful.

Besides, it felt nice to be complimented on my dishes.

I don't mind eating off of patterned dishes. Also, the Dawn pattern runs along the rim of the dishes and bowls, so the part of the dish or bowl that the food would touch is white.

I've had this stuff for about two years, use it constantly, put it in my dishwasher, and haven't had a problem yet.
Old 06-30-2004, 10:59 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicsGal
BTW, how is the name of the town pronounced? I'm sure I'm mangling it...
Well, with my American accent, it's "Port-MEER-ee-on," but the Welsh would probably cringe. My Mom and I spent a week there a few summers ago: the loveliest time is just at dusk, when they close the gates and shoo all the day-trippers out, so the few people staying over have the run of the town and can stroll through the follies and pathways and ruins.

Just don't try to leave w/o paying your bill, or they send those huge white bubbles after you . . .
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