Boat-proof tableware

When I was first furnishing L’escale as a comfortable floating home, I searched high and low for attractive, robust ‘crockery’.  It needed to be durable, pleasant to use and easy to store.  I didn’t want some natty nautical design picnicware, and it didn’t need to be dishwasher or microwave safe.

In desperation I resorted to a couple of boxed sets from an online shop for caravan supplies, which in two years of daily use have scratched and stained.  They feel pretty flimsy, too.

In a moment of delicious serendipity in a café in Amsterdam, we were served good cake on a plate that was definitely not ceramic.  Once all the crumbs were ‘cleared’, I turned the plate over to discover ‘zuperzozial’, which I discovered was an arm of Cap Venture BV, a Dutch design and wholesale company with a huge range of interesting, new and funky products.  Included in the list is a collection of tableware made from bamboo and corn, reinforced with melamine resin, in a great range of colours and items: plates, bowls, mugs, trays, sugar and milk sets etc.  It’s very lightweight, and the only possible drawback is that it has an unusual surface texture, which we’re getting used to.

My next challenge was to source the stuff, and after failing spectacularly with the list of stockists on the website, I e-mailed direct and had a quick and very helpful response.  Thus it was, one cold sunny Winter’s day, I had an excuse to visit a suburb of Amsterdam I hadn’t previously explored, where I found Divine & Delicious on Haarlemmermeerstraat, a fabulous cook shop and my idea of Heaven for retail therapy.

L’escale‘s galley now looks much smarter with a matching collection of side plates and breakfast/soup bowls, complementing dinner plates from Lakeland (but that’s a-whole-nother story), and pasta bowls from M&S that match nothing but are well-loved and well used.