Plates you won't break

Why melamine is the perfect material for dinnerware

Tough, dependable and cheap, melamine is the perfect material for dinnerware. Use it at home, take it to the park and never worry about smashing it

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Into the jungle

Habitat’s new Joelle line is a collection of tropical-patterned bowls and plates, plus a tray and tiffin box in bright blocks of colour. The range is designed to complement some of Habitat’s ceramics and soft furnishings, such as the Sabenta line of spotted pottery. Plates from £3, Habitat

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Flight of fancy

There’s an amazing thing about the granadilla. “It tastes just like foam banana sweets,” says Andy Mitchell, an agronomist for Marks & Spencer. These magical relations of the passion fruit come from Colombia, where, says Andy, they’re treasured. The granadilla is about the size of a tennis ball and bright yellow when ripe. Available in stores, £1.50 each, Marks & Spencer

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Dinner from Peru

The mangosteen is the most sculptural fruit we know of: the white flesh of its interior separates into lovely bulging sections. It’s native to Thailand and in season between March and November so look out for it in your local shops. It’s packed full of nutrients, but is sweeter than Hello Kitty playing in a pile of sugar. £7.99 for 500g, Thai Food Online

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Sold by the sale

Jonathan Adler’s homeware is mostly so pricey it’s way out of our monthly budget but his melamine dinnerwear, especially his playful Cote D’Azur range, which is on sale, is actually attainable. There are two styles of bowl and plate, a set of salad servers, and matching acrylic glasses and tray. Glasses from £4.99, Jonathan Adler

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Ciao bella

Inspired by Italy’s coastline, Lakeland’s Amalfi range features plates, bowls and a mug. We know they are from Lakeland, a shop you probably only associate with last minute Christmas shopping and buying baking equipment but these are classy and look surprisingly authentic. Plates from £3.49, Lakeland

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