O que acham disto? Têm um serviço bom? Comprado ou herdado? Usam-no de facto? Têm sítio para o arrumar? Gostava de saber as vossas opiniões a este respeito!
As I’m getting our belongings ready for packing, I wonder whether it still makes sense to have a special dinnerware set nowadays — you know, a porcelain set reserved for special events. I realise this may be a very Portuguese (and a very bourgeois) subject but I thought I’d discuss it here anyway. My special china set is the Goa set by Vista Alegre and I got it over the years: one piece for Christmas, another one for my birthday. Before I got married my mother made a check list and bought me whatever was still missing. I used to hate it when I was 13; now I quite like it because it reminds me of the Portuguese legacy in the orient, and vice-versa. But in five years of marriage how many times have I put it to use? On Christmas day? Easter? On one or two special occasions?
Talking to a friend that just got married, I asked him if he was going to include a porcelain set “for best” in his wedding list (as well as another set for everyday use). “Naturally” was his immediate reaction. And I wondered whether it still makes sense — in this day and age of small flats and practically no domestic help — to buy two dinnerware sets. Wouldn’t it be best to choose just one good-quality set, preferably white and with very classic lines, and then accessorise the table according to the moment in question. An embroidered linen tablecloth and stem glassware for Christmas; a statement cloth (in a strong colour) and more relaxed glassware for a dinner amongst friends; and so forth.
What do you think of this? Do you own a special dinnerware set? Did you buy it or did you inherit it? Do you actually use it? Have you got the space to store it? I’d love to hear your opinions on this subject. And just a quick note to all you non-Portuguese readers: while I was translating this post I kept thinking “everyone will find the whole thing ridiculous” but believe me when I tell you that normal people do own this kind of thing in Portugal. It’s a very traditional country and we still entertain our friends and family (and sometimes some special guests) at home.
(photo: Tiago Cabral)