Classic Tableware Essentials

Stock your china cabinet with these classic tableware essentials and you will be ready for any occasion!

Classic tableware essentials to stock in your china cabinet to be ready for any occassion

Are your parents-in-law headed over for Sunday supper unexpectedly?

A last minute surprise birthday party to throw?

Church Bible study coming over for coffee and cake?

Be prepared for any of these occasions with the right classic tableware essentials fully stocked in your china cabinet and you will have everything you need to entertain in style!

? Except the food of course…that’s a different post!

Here are My 10 Classic Tableware Essentials:

Serving Platters, Trays & Stands

Whether you serve family style or buffet for a gathering, you always need platters, trays and stands! A cake stand is one those wise investments that will help you serve a variety of desserts in style from cookies to pies and of course cakes.

Opt for an elegant glass or white ceramic one to let the cake get all the attention!

Choose an elegant cake stand like this white ceramic one with acanthus leaf design for serving desserts

Classic tableware essentials include silverplate and glass serving dishes like this pickle or relish server

Specialty Silver & Glass Servingware

Wow guests with timeless silver and glass serving dishes for specialty foods like pickles, jams, jellies, dressings, and other sauces.

Charming Small Plates For Hors D’oeuvres & Desserts

Whether you are serving appetizers, desserts, or little tidbits with tea you need a set of small plates. These can be great fun to mix and match, so find a couple different patterns that coordinate with your main china and buy various quantities. Then mix them all up at your next party!

Small floral plates are essential for serving desserts, tea, and appetizers

vintage gold tassel candlestick holders


Every good hostess knows candlelight can make the atmosphere at a dinner party complete! When looking for holders to stock your china cabinet I would invest in an elegant traditional pair in silver or brass and a more funky, whimsical pair like these good tassels or a Chinoiserie porcelain.

A Charming Tea Set

Maybe we don’t enjoy afternoon tea like the Brits do, but we totally should! And always when serving tea to guests use a lovely tea pot and pretty tea cups!

Opt for a pattern that compliments your main china in the same hue or motifs. Silver is always timeless, but romantic floral porcelains are also an excellent choice.

pale blue and gold Coalport teaset with dessert plates are definitely a classic tableware essential

lilac hobnail glasses are a styling drinks glass to keep in your cabinet for entertaining essentials


A variety of glassware is essential for entertaining. I recommend collecting at least 3 types of glassware:

  • Large goblet or high ball style glass for water and iced tea
  • A wine goblet
  • A stylish lowball or cocktail glass

These could be colored, etched, or hobnail depending on your own personal style.

Table Linens

I keep a variety of linens in my china cabinet ready to go for entertaining from patterned table runners and full cloths to several size napkins. However, the linens I use most are:

  • 3 colors of dinner napkins: a white, a red, and a fun pattern (monograms don’t hurt either!)
  • A full length white table cloth
  • Geometric and floral patterned table runners

These linens will serve you for everything from holiday meals to baby showers!

Table linens are important to keep ready for guests

Classic tableware essentials: keep a variety of vessels for flowers like this brass lion head caddy

Vessels for Florals

You just can’t have a gorgeous tablescape without some pretty florals! Stock a couple of different vases and cachepots to create your arrangements. I like a vintage brass or silver caddy, a crystal vase, ginger jar, and a wicker basket for variety!

Floral China

Nothing could be more of a classic tableware essential than pretty floral china! Look for patterns with elegant borders and in timeless color combos like pink and green, gilt and white, blue and white, or blue and pink.

You can go ultra romantic and Victorian with sprays of blooms or more refined and simplistic with Georgian flower baskets or botanicals.

Classic tableware for entertaining - Minton floral plates in aqua and pink

Silverplate repouse forks

Versatile Flatware

I keep three types of flatware in my china cabinet for entertaining:

  • A vintage silverplate set for formal occasions
  • A chic gold plated set for holiday meals
  • A casual summery bamboo handled set for more simple gatherings

Don’t forget to collect the serving pieces to match so you have spoons, forks, and ladels to serve with!

Stock your china cabinet lovelies with this week’s Instagram flash sale full of the classic tableware essentials pictured in this post!

The party starts at 8PM EST!

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