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Feast on this

Smita Tripathi | June 19, 2004

If the wine is French and the food Italian then the crockery just has to be European -- be it Rosenthal or Villeroy and Boch from Germany, Bvlgari or Versace from Italy, or Wedgwood or Royal Doulton from England.

Of course, serving dinner in such exquisite crockery means you should be willing to shell out between Rs 300,000 to Rs 800,000 for a dinner set for eight people.

Till a few years back, the only place you could buy such exotic, expensive crockery was at private sales held at foreign embassies. Or may be Mrs Gupta would bring back a tea set from her trip to Europe and you could buy it off her at double the price. And if you were really desperate for a brand name you could hunt in the grey market.

Well, that's all in the past now. Indians have the money and are willing to spend it. The world's top luxury brands have figured that out and they aren't ignoring the rich Indian any longer.

So the top crockery and glassware brands are available right here. Last week Wedgwood went on sale in India and Royal Doulton made its appearance two months ago. Other brands like like Villeroy and Boch have been here much longer.

Villeroy and Boch is currently available in Delhi and Mumbai while Rosenthal, Royal Doulton and Wedgwood are available only in Delhi.

Twenty to 30 per cent of these collections are available off the shelf while the rest can be ordered from catalogues. Place an order with the exclusive distributor and he will deliver the dinner set of your dreams to your door step within three weeks.

Says Rajiv Singhal of Ritu Overseas the exclusive distributor of Villeroy and Boch, "In special cases we have even made deliveries within a week. But generally the lead time is two to three weeks."

While Rosenthal, Bvlgari, Versace, Royal Doulton and Wedgwood are all available as complete dinner sets for six people or eight, Villeroy and Boch is sold per piece. So, you can mix and match your dinner set, if you are so inclined.

So just how much do you need to pay to own one of these exquisite porcelain tableware sets? Anywhere between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 800,000 depending upon the brand and the collection. So while a Wedgwood Sterling dinner service for eight costs Rs 275,000, the Versace Red Medusa collection costs Rs 800,000.

The collection includes a tea set for eight people along with a dinner set for eight people. That's a lot of crockery -- between 75 to 90 pieces.

If a clumsy guest breaks a piece you can order a replacement separately. If the collection is still in production, the piece will reach you within a couple of weeks. If not, an effort will be made to make the piece available to you.

Says Ravi Chawla of Ravissant, exclusive distributors for Wedgwood and Royal Doulton, "We contact the various stockists across the world and even search for it in our archives. If possible, we make the piece available to the customer."

If you would prefer to buy just a tea set, consider Royal Doulton's Victoria Strawberry Gold. A tea set for six people costs Rs 345,000. Of course, keep in mind that you are also paying for the gold plating on the tea cups.

If you feel dinner should be a contemporary and trendy affair, take a look at Villeroy and Boch's New Wave collection. The collection which was launched in 2001 in Frankfurt, is one of the most popular ranges ever introduced by the company.

The unique shapes and sizes of the plates and bowls sets the collection apart from the traditional look. A dinner plate costs between Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,800.

And of course, people who serve dinner in classy crockery, must serve drinks in glasses to match. So you have the Versace wine glasses for Rs 10,900 a piece and the Bvlgari glasses for Rs 19,500 a piece. On the slightly lower side you can pick up a couple of Royal Doulton champagne glasses for Rs 7,100.

Considering that your table won't be complete without the right cutlery, you can pick up Rosenthal cutlery at Rs 2,000 a piece. But if you are looking at something really stylish take a look at Ravissant's in-house collection of silver cutlery. The price ranges between Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 a piece.

Well, now that your table is set, you just need smart, stylish guests to match.



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