Posh (plastic) plates

February 17, 2011

For years, our boring-but-practical melamine ‘picnic-ware’ has suffered. It’s shoved in the hardest-to-reach kitchen cupboards, unloved. Reserved for picnics and camping, it’s pulled out once or twice a year, used and abused (if it doesn’t melt beside the campfire, it gets scratched by sand or lost in the park…) then left to gather dust somewhere cobwebby and dark. But recently, melamine has had a make-over; It’s still cheap, but now it’s chic. In fact, some of it is so chic, it’s worthy of being hung on your wall with a sticky disc as art – I’m thinking of the likes of Thomas Paul at Supernice and the African-style French Bull range. Note to self: Melamine plates are fab for hanging because they’re light – very handy if you have plasterboard walls. Anyway, The National Gallery has cottoned on to all this, and has just released a collection of the poshest plastic plates we’ve ever seen…

…with portraits from the likes of Rembrandt and Cranach. You’ll find them all at Whitbread Wilkinson (AKA W2 Products) in May. Fabulous for a decadent dinner party. Perfect for your very own home ‘gallery’ – paint a wall dark grey or neon pink (?!) for a contemporary feel, hang them up, then try to memorise who’s who to impress your guests. The big platter is £12, dinner plates are £6 each and side plates £5 each. Just watch out for the eyes; You know they’ll follow you around the room… – Ellie