The Buyer's Guide to Outdoor Plates

As the days get warmer and the evenings get longer, we’re excited for al fresco feasts, from picnics in the park to BBQ feasts. But with outdoor dining comes the need for outdoor plates! Read on to discover what outdoor plates are made of and which are the best ones to buy.

What are outdoor plates?

Outdoor tableware needs to be robust and durable enough to carry to picnics, and use come sunshine, wind or rain. Ceramic or stoneware plates are not recommended for outdoor use - if they are dropped, they are likely to shatter. They are also quite heavy for carrying. Enamelware and melamine are both great materials to use for outdoor dining plates.

What are outdoor plates made of?

The best outdoor plates are made of enamelware or melamine. Enamelware is robust and very unlikely to shatter - this makes it great for plates that are going to be carried to picnics and camping trips. Melamine is lightweight and durable, excellent for carrying as well as using in all weather conditions.

What is an alternative to melamine?

Melamine is a synthetic compound that can be easily moulded and used to make cooking materials and plates. It is durable and heat-resistant making it a practical choice for outdoor tableware.

However, melamine cannot be recycled and will never decompose (one of its ingredients is formaldehyde), and so is not an environmentally friendly choice. 

Enamelware or plastic is a great alternative to melamine for outdoor plates. Enamel is porcelain which has been fused to steel, making it durable and long-lasting. Although enamelware is very unlikely to shatter, it is best to avoid knocks and bumps as the outer coating can chip.

Which are the best outdoor plates to buy?

Best outdoor plate for dinner parties

This pink Colour Pop enamel plate is the perfect summer accessory for picnics and outdoor feasts. The delicate pink dip-effect and black paint splatters make it a stunning way to serve anything from BBQ prawns to pasta pomodoro. Plus, it’s oven-safe - cook indoors, eat outdoors. 

Black Melamine Rectangle Serving Plate, 30x15cm

Best melamine outdoor dinnerware for parties

This rectangle plate is a smart way to present a cheese selection or charcuterie platter, or for serving canapes at an al fresco dinner party. The outdoor plate is lightweight and hard-wearing, ideal for both home and restaurant use.

Best picnic tableware for outdoor dining

The Champs Elysees picnic hamper comes with everything you need for a luxurious picnic for two, including porcelain plates, stainless steel cutlery and wine glasses. You can keep all accessories in their place with the dedicated leather straps, and it also includes two straps on the inside to hold a standard bottle of wine. 

Best outdoor plate for garden lunches

Take this purple Colour Pop enamel plate outdoors, and enjoy a picnic or garden lunch. The dusty purple looks great mixed with other colours from our selection of bright and colourful enamel products. Use it for vibrant antipasti, classic picnic sarnies and beautiful fresh salads.

Shop all outdoor tableware here, and discover our best BBQ recipes here.


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