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Tempting Tableware: Dress your Dinner-Party Table with the Best Plates Around

If staying in truly is the new going out, then make sure your table service is up to scratch with our full-week guide to the best dinner sets.

The key to a memorable dinner party is ambiance. Usually, much time and planning is given to the entrée, the wine pairing, whether to serve cheese or dessert. But all of this work means nothing without the right atmosphere.

The guest list will, of course, make or break any event. Choose a group that's too familiar, and the night – though enjoyable – will meld into many others. Too unconnected, and a sense of unease may infiltrate through to coffee. The ideal table is a loose mix of people from within the same orbit, acquaintances who may easily upgrade to friends, or likeminded strangers whose conversation you can easily guide throughout the night.

It's important to environ these tender connections with a well-laid and considered table. While certain guests will welcome finger food and small sharing plates with gusto, there are those who will be mortified by anything less than a full formal service. First impressions matter – something which is just as true of your dinner table as it is of your guests.

To help you strike the right chord on any day of the week, we present seven of the best dinner sets for every type of party.

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Tuesday suppers are largely uneventful affairs, that is unless you elevate them with a set of Wedgewood fine bone china.

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A fine set of tapas plates to break up the midweek doldrums.

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A warm grey glaze in robust stoneware, ideal for al-fresco dining.

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A bright yellow rim and abstract splatters prove a fine backdrop for a lively Friday-night soirée. 

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While Fornasetti's porcelain dinner plates are ostensibly for wall hanging, they also make a for a decadent conversation starter.  

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A traditional dinner-plate set for a traditional Sunday lunch, resplendent with individual fruit and floral designs.

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