France is renowned throughout the world for its cuisine and also for its know-how in tableware! Earthenware makers, glass-makers, silversmiths, cutlers and porcelain manufacturers…these craftsmen continue the tradition of fine crockery, refined tableware sets or creative silverware. Using manufacturing techniques which are sometimes ancestral, with products that are typical of a region, these table “decorators” create objects stamped with their professionalism and their art, that have managed to evolve with time, trends and everyone’s tastes…without forgetting the objective of being able to satisfy every budget.
Where to buy themThere is nothing simpler than renewing your dinner set, changing your crockery and finding new cutlery! Major manufacturers are well-established and can be found in specialist stores (multi-brand retailers), in department stores, as well as different shops that are affiliated to a brand (Guy Degrenne, Philippe Deshoulières, Varages, Daum, Baccarat, Christofle, etc.) or in manufacturers’ factory outlets shops, which are generally established on the production site. The latter will allow you to benefit from discounts on the collections ranging from 15 to 40%.
The art of porcelain and earthenware Poterie Emile Henry (Bourgogne) [Emile Henry Oven and Tableware] (Burgundy) Saône-et-Loire, Marcigny) The Emile Henry brand has been manufacturing modern and elegant oven and tableware since 1850. Today it has been certified as being in conformance with the ISO 9001 quality standard. It is the only factory of this kind in France. Dishes for gratins, cake-making, salad bowls, mugs, jugs, plates, earthenware vessels, spice jars, bowls, soufflé dishes, mini casseroles, etc.: this huge range of products is listed by the biggest retailers and used by the greatest restaurant owners.
Faïencerie HB-Henriot (Bretagne), [The HB-Henriot Earthenware Factory] (Brittany, Finistère, Quimper) Whenever earthenware in Brittany is being discussed, the name of the Henriot Family is always mentioned! It has been producing articles with a unique style since 1690, which can be found throughout the region. With its cornflower colours and its very unusual little characters, the brand’s articles (bowls, crockery, plates, etc.) have established themselves through time as an “institution” of Breton heritage.
Manufacture Bretagne Céramique Industrie - Appolia [Appolia- The Breton Ceramic Ware Factory ] (Brittany, Morbihan, Languidic) The Appolia brand principally specializes in the manufacture of ceramic ware for the culinary arts and showcases casseroles, dishes, cake moulds, plates, earthenware vessels, salad bowls, etc. that are part of completely innovative and renewed collections. Their shapes, their colours and their styles are unequalled.
Porcelainier Philippe Deshoulières (Centre) [The Philippe Deshoulières Porcelain Factory ] (Centre, Cher, Foëcy) The Deshoulières Group was established in 1826 and today it is one of the biggest in the French market. This factory is innovative and for a long time it has been successfully taking advantage of modernity in the style of its collections and in the choice of its colours. It has specialized in top-of-the-range tableware and is now also breaking new ground as it has introduced the art of design in its crockery range by calling on leading designers..
Porcelainier Pillivuyt [The Pillivuyt Porcelain Factury] (Centre, Cher, Mehun-sur-Yèvre) Established more than two centuries ago in Cher, the region of potters, the House of Pillivuyt specializes in porcelain and ceramics. It makes and designs sets of crockery, in a more modern way while still respecting the 10 design stages of the past. Its renowned seal is still placed on each of the items made, ensuring a know-how which has been recognized time and time again.Poterie Renault [The Renault Pottery] (Centre, Cher, Argent-sur-Sauldre) Since 1847, five generations of the Renault family have produced stoneware for the table with items such as: dishes, salad bowls, vases, earthenware vessels, ramekins, jars, jugs, etc. The collection has a regional and traditional style which has shaped its success. It is made up of two ranges: a line of basic stoneware and another one featuring salt-glazed stoneware.
Faïencerie de Gien [The Gien Earthenware Factory] (Centre, Loiret, Gien) The speciality of the town, earthenware has been made in the region since the beginning of the 19th century. With beautifully crafted dinner sets and crockery items, etc. the Gien “style” is still symbolized by an elegant and precise design, which has been used for a great number of princely dinners throughout Europe. Today the range is aiming towards top-of-the range decorative table objects while still continuing to produce mass-market goods that are accessible to everyone.
Porcelainier Royal Limoges [The Royal Limoges Porcelain Factory] (Limousin, Haute-Vienne, Limoges) This is the oldest factory in the city which has existed since 1797. It has produced its own paste and made and decorated its own porcelain in Limoges from the beginning. Boasting the unique small logo which allows them to be recognized, the brand’s articles adorn the finest tables of Parisian hotels.
Porcelainier Legle [The Legle Porcelain Factory] (Limousin, Haute-Vienne, Limoges) The Legle Porcelain Factory of Limoges was founded in 1953 and produces tableware collections that can be recognized by their original shapes and their wide range of colours, with more than 25 shades available. Some of the product ranges offered by this company are enhanced by a gold or platinum rim. Legle is still family-run and differentiates itself by its modernity and its elegance.
Porcelainier Bernardaud [The Bernardaud Porcelain Factory] (Limousin, Haute-Vienne, Limoges) The Bernardaud factory continues to be one of the most famous ones in Limoges. Its collections inspired by leading designers, with refined and colourful styles, have made the brand famous throughout the world. With dinner sets enhanced with gold rims, elegance continues to be one of this company’s trademarks.Porcelainier Virebent [The Virebent Porcelain Factory] (Midi-Pyrénées, Lot, Puy-l’Evêque) Established in the centre of France, in the county of Lot since 1924, the factory produces porcelain objects that are unique due to the originality of their designs. Bottles, plates and bowls, etc. display bright colours and irregular shapes making the collection beautiful and unique.Faïencerie Montgolfier-Etang [The Montgolfier-Etang Earthenware Factory] (Pays de la Loire, Maine et Loire, Durtal) Montgolfier or the art of uncompromising design! This brand specializes in the manufacture of top-of-the range decorative objects and crockery. It has been adopted by the most renowned restaurant owners worldwide and used on their tables, with its own unique and creative style, made up of “crumpled” crockery or polygonal shapes.
Faïencerie Varages [The Varages Earthenware Factory] (Provence Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Var, Varages) The village of Varages in Provence has been manufacturing earthenware since 1695 and its name has become a brand since then. These Provençal articles of crockery, with warm colours, combine ancestral manufacturing techniques with noble materials and modern design. Lastly, there are 11 collections of plates and dishes available in 17 colours.
Porcelainier Revol [The Revol Porcelain Factory] (Rhône-Alpes, Drôme, Saint-Uze) The Revol family first created table crockery in Saint-Uze over two centuries ago. The aesthetically –styled, high quality crockery articles perfectly succeed in combining the know-how of the past, with modern forms and a current-day design. With simple lines and a quality design, this range has won over the greatest chefs.
Céramistes Jars [Jars Ceramists] (Rhône-Alpes, Drôme, Anneyron) Water, air, fire and earth are the elements required by a potter. The renowned Jars ceramic brand is well aware of this and has been manufacturing stoneware products for more than 150 years. Its collections with designs that are reminiscent of plants and nature have been able to evolve over time to become even more elegant and original today.The art of crystal-making Cristallerie Royale de Champagne [The Royal Glassworks of Champagne] (Champagne, Aude, Bayel) The crystal-making activity of Bayel, a small village in Champagne, was established in 1678 and went on to become one of the biggest “mouth-blown crystal” factories in France. There are many different models which are creative, elegant and often highly original such as glasses, flutes, vases, bar glassware, decorative objects, etc.
Cristallerie La Rochère [La Rochère Glassworks] (Franche-Comté, Haute-Saône, Passavant la Rochère) La Rochère was founded in 1475 which makes it the oldest glass factory that is still in operation. It offers an original range of objects for the table, which are customized and accessible to everyone: small smoked-glass dishes, coloured plates, candlesticks, glasses, bubble glasses, carafes, etc. The glassworks have technical know-how and boast a modern stamp which makes its collection unique and particularly beautiful.
Cristallerie Daum [The Daum Glassworks] (Lorraine, Meurthe-Moselle, Nancy) This is definitely one of the most famous glassworks in the world. It has displayed a know-how that has never been equalled since it was established more than 130 years ago. Each creation is a unique work, due to its colours, sheen, elegance, and the precision of its cutting. Daum is principally focused on decorative objects and has called on the greatest artists to design its products (vases, lamps, statuettes, candlesticks, etc.)Cristallerie Baccarat [The Baccarat Glassworks] (Lorraine, Meurthe-Moselle, Baccarat) Baccarat is a benchmark in terms of the manufacture of crystalware throughout the world. This company showcases jewellery, decorative objects and standard lamps, as well as an extremely elegant range of carafes, plates, bar glasses and tasting glasses created exclusively for the brand by leading designers (including Philippe Starck). They are quite simply exceptionally elegant.
Cristallerie Lalique [The Lalique Glassworks] (Lorraine, Alsace, Wingen sur Moder) The House of Lalique was established by René Lalique at the end of the 19th century and originally designed jewellery. Since then it has evolved to the manufacture of crystal and top-of-the-range tableware. Today the brand’s master craftsmen are known as “sculptors of light”. These rare objects alone adorn a room, and the company’s range of articles for the table (glasses, carafes, coasters, etc.) profit from finesse, elegance and originality.
Coutellerie Jean Dubost [Jean Dubost Cutlery] (Auvergne, Puy de Dôme, Viscomtat) The Jean Dubost Group has been making table knives since 1920. Today it designs, manufactures and represents the knives of Thiers or Laguiole, through, among others, the brands of Le Pradel or Le Thiers, named after the town of cutlers. With the widest range of prices and products on offer, from the simplest to the most luxurious model, it is easy to find a knife that is to your liking.
Orfèvrerie Puiforcat [Puiforcat Silverware] (Ile de France, Paris) Since 1820, Puiforcat has worked with luxury metals, manufacturing collections of decorative objects for the home as well as an elegant range of products for the table such as cutlery, champagne buckets, sauceboats, bowls, trays, saltcellars, metal tumblers, caviar sets, etc. With extremely refined lines, Puiforcat has established a stamp of quality and of excellence for its products. It also offers a collection of porcelain plates which is equally beautiful.Orfèvrerie Christofle [Christofle Silverware] (Ile de France, Paris) Since the middle of the 19th century, the House of Christofle has created top-of-the-range silver objects as well as serving items for the table: candlesticks, dishes, sauceboats, dish covers, trays, cutlery, knife rests, etc. Produced by leading creators and designers, their refined range is befitting of the brand’s renown.Forge de Laguiole [The Forge of Laguiole] (Midi-Pyrénées, Aveyron, Laguiole) The Laguiole knife is internationally renowned due to its appeal as a symbol of local and cultural heritage, its history and the quality of its manufacture, with its tapered blade. The “Laguiole” knife exists in a wide range of prices and styles, from the most simple and authentic to the most elegant and sophisticated, created by designers such as Philippe Stark, Wilmotte or Raffy.
Orfèvrerie Guy Degrenne [Guy Degrenne Silverware] (Normandie, Calvados, Vire) This mass-market brand, which has been renowned for its tableware since the end of the 1960s, initially made cutlery. The brand still manufactures this speciality but it has extended its product line with new ranges of objects for the table including crockery, glassware and kitchen linen. Its reputation has been firmly established along with the variety, the design and the durability of its products.
Orfèvrerie Ercuis [Ercuis Silverware] (Picardie, Oise, Ercuis) The Ercuis brand of silverware was established in 1867. It takes its name from the village where its goods have always been manufactured. Its collections of cutlery, dishes, candlesticks, trays, etc. have made it famous throughout Europe due to the quality and the finesse of the work carried out on the products.
Coutellerie Opinel [Opinel Cutlery] (Rhône-Alpes, Savoie, Chambéry) In 1870, Joseph Opinel made a folding mountain knife which was to become legendary. Today all of the French people are familiar with this efficient and practical knife with its simple blade. It comes in a variety of ranges for the table which are more refined and elegant than the initial model. In spite of everything, Opinel has maintained its famous competitive prices for knives that are accessible to everyone.