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Dishes | Manolo's Basement of the Bargains
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Crystal Clarity

Every once in a while a deal comes along that just makes you see more clearly how good shopping for deals on the internet can be. Today, I have one of them for you.

Crystal Cake Stand You see that cake stand? Pretty, isn’t it? I think it’s quite lovely and dignified. It would work for any occasion from a birthday party to a bridal tea to the finale of your dinner for the boss.

How much would you pay for it? Well, the manufacturers want you to pay $140.00 for the 12″ round, 5.5″ tall hand washable crystal beauty. But you’re not going to pay that much, no siree!

You’re going to head straight for Horchow where it’s on two incredible sales at once. You see, this lovely stand got added to the Special  Value list, where the price got knocked down to just $69.90. Now that’s a good deal. But wait, there’s more! If you order before 12/20, you’ll find it’s being featured as a weekly special, bringing the price tag down to a measly $48.90!

But wait, it gets better still! Now through 12/17 (that’s just one more day, folks),  everything on the entire site is on sale  25% – 30% off plus free shipping with code 1DAYDEC!

So hurry on down, because you don’t want to miss deals like this. Santa might put you on his naughty list for that. Twistie certainly will.

The Root of the Matter

I don’t know about you, but I have a great fondness for root vegetables. I love to eat them and I think they just look cool, too. Apparently New York City artist John Derian who turned a series of meticulously detailed 19th century French botanical prints into a series of handsome yet whimsical trays, agrees with me.

John Derian Carrot Platter

In addition to this carrot platter, there’s a kohlrabi, beet, turnips, and more in the series. Each one is a lovely potential accent to your table or your wall.The prints are decoupaged and topped with glass, and backed with felt. The trays are food safe, but remember not to immerse them completely in water.

Originally each tray ran $188.00, but they are currently on sale at the New York Botanical Gardens Gift Shop for just $112.80 each. Oh, and if you have a membership, the price on each goes down to a mere $101.52.

Rutabaga, anyone?

No One Ever Painted a Red Hat Like Vermeer

That happens to be true, you know. It also happens to be a quote used on a set of dishes by Rosanna. Her daughter, Francesca, was the one who said it, apparently, and used it on the set celebrating European Masters entitled Portrait of a Young Artist.

Rosanna Portrait of a Young Artist Set

The design features scenes of Paris and Rome, postcards, stamps, and museum ticket stubs to create a cheerful, if slightly wistful, tribute. The tribute, however, does have a hopeful aspect, too, since a portion of the proceeds from this set are being donated to arts programs in the Seattle Public Schools.

Of course, the whole set – or parts thereof – would make a great Mother’s Day, wedding, birthday, or Christmas gift that gives back to the community as well.

And then there’s the bit where you can save money at the same time. You see, the set is 50% off right now! Get the Tea for One single serving teapot and mug or the set of four dessert plates for $15.00 (regular price, $30.00) or the set of four mugs for just $20.00 (regular price $40.00). Whichever set you choose comes cleverly packed in a suitcase-shaped box for presentation.

Talk about your guilt-free dessert! Eating off of these plates would make me feel positively smug.

That, and it would make me want to take a European tour of museums.

Friday Finds Under Fifty: The Hippity Hoppity Edition

It’s spring and I can’t help thinking of rabbits.

And, of course, I can’t help thinking about bargains, too. Here are the few of the bunny bargains I’ve found for your shopping pleasure.

We start our journey at Cooking.com, where I found this adorable
Chef’n Grabbit Salt Grinder
, complete with lovely long bunny ears.

Chef'n Grabbit Grinder, Salt How cute is that? Not to mention practical. Oh, and it also comes in a pepper grinder version. They normally sell for $24.95 each, but right now at Cooking.com you can get them for $17.99 apiece.


A Class Ending

Dinner is over. It’s gone well, but now it’s time for dessert. You have the perfect taste treat to serve, but what is it going to go on? I have a suggestion, if you don’t mind:

Ralph Lauren Black Tie Dessert Plates These charming black tie dessert plates are by Ralph Lauren, and they’d be the perfect end to a lovely dinner. Each set consists of one each of the four patterns. The 6″diameter is just perfect for a slice of cake or pie, an arrangement of fruits, or for a smattering of bon bons.

Whatever you serve, it’s bound to look its best on this background.

As for the price, well, once upon a time the set of four plates would have set you back $100.00. Right now, though, you can get them direct from Ralph Lauren for a mere $74.99, or 25% off.

Pass the Portmeirion

When I wake up and see a cloudy, dreary, potentially rainy day outside, there is nothing I long for more than the chance to lay on the sofa with a cup of good tea, a plate piled high with dainty finger foods, and a bit of Jane Austen. And when I imagine this, here is what the cup and plate look like:

Portmeirion Up the Garden Path Teacup and Plate This teacup, saucer, and plate set from Portmeirion is in the Up the Garden Path pattern based on the writings of Laura Stoddard and the illustrations in her books. Delicate shades of pink, ivory, and other soft pastels result in a pattern that’s restful, with an air of the old-fashioned about it.

The set comes beautifully gift boxed, which is nice whether you intend to give it to yourself or to someone else. All pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe, too. For all it looks so delicate, Portmeirion dishes are built to last even in the face of some adversity.

Best of all, right now Amazon has this charming set on sale. The list price for the set of cup, saucer, and dessert plate is $28.75, but right now you can get it for just $20.00.

Why at that price, you can afford to get a set for yourself, and a few to give away.

Oh, and if Jane Austen isn’t your thing, I think it would go admirably with nearly any romantic novel or film.

Call a Spode a Spode

Now through September 2, Amazon is having a Labor Day sale on over 400 fabulous items. Choose from furniture, artwork, appliances, pet supplies and more.

What do I like? Take a look at this deal!

Spode Blue Willow Tea Set This Spode tea set is made in the Blue Italian pattern first developed in 1816. Unlike the antique version, though, this set is dishwasher and microwave safe. It’s still just as pretty as the original and bound to become a family heirloom.

Originally priced at $325.00, it’s now on sale for a mere $54.99! That’s a savings of 83%!

Set includes: one 12-cup teapot, one 12oz. creamer, and one 12oz. lidded sugar bowl. Just add tea cups and cucumber sandwiches!

Ooh La La in Black and White

Do you need to find a gift for a couple getting married, student moving away from home for the first time, or just about anyone you know who isn’t averse to a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa in the morning? Want to give something pretty and practical but inexpensive?

How about this:

Rosanna Parisian Wallpaper Mug Set Rosanna’s Parisian Wallpaper Mug set is the perfect thing to solve your gift-giving dilemma. Four elegant 10oz. stoneware coffee mugs come packed in an attractive matching hatbox. Just add a colorful ribbon and wait for the thank you note!

Oh, and did I mention the price? The regular retail price on this set is just $30.00, which is more than reasonable. I would certainly pay that to put a smile on the face of someone I care about. On the other hand, I could go to Amazon, get the same set for just $9.00, and put the same smile on even more faces.

You do the math. I’ve got mugs to buy.

Childs’ Play

I don’t usually do much for children here at the Basement. It’s not that I don’t think children deserve superfantastic things, but more a case of not going too far out of my way to find such goodies. After all, Teeny Manolo does an amazing job of finding great goodies for kids and moms. I usually feel my efforts in that regard would be somewhat superfluous.

But today I found something I just have to pass on because I know how much I would have adored it as a little girl and because it’s such an amazing deal.

Rosanna Children's Bake Set Rosanna’s 9-piece Let’s Play House children’s baking set nearly made me squeal with delight when I spotted it at Amazon.com.

The set includes an oven-safe pie plate and equally oven-safe cupcake pan, a mixing bowl, a cake stand, and four dessert plates in cheerful pastel colors all neatly housed in a dollhouse-shaped box. With a little help from mom, dad, the babysitter, or an older sibling, little bakers can produce their own delicious home-baked treats and serve them to friends and family with pride.

If there’s a small girl with an interest in baking in your life, this would make a fabulous gift for any reason you can imagine…and at the price Amazon.com is charging right now, you can afford to give it just because.

Usually priced at $90.00 (which is not at all bad considering what’s waiting in that box and how many hours of joy it will give), Amazon.com is currently selling it for a mere $27.00! That’s right, $27.00!

At that price, I want one for me.

After all, a girl is never too big to play tea party.

It Takes the Cake

Baking a cake from scratch is a great way to impress your friends and family. It’s really not as difficult as it looks at first glance, and there’s nothing like saying ‘I made it myself’ to make people ooh and ah over your creation.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you can present it with a proper flourish on a proper cake plate.

Emile Henry 12 I’ve long had a love affair with Emile Henry bakeware, so it stands to reason I love their serving pieces as well for much the same reasons: they’re sturdy, attractive, practical, and come in fun colors. This 12″ cake plate is no exception to the rule.

The exclusive ceradon process Emile Henry employs results in hard-wearing pottery pieces that can go straight from freezer to oven without crazing or cracking. The bright colors bring a smile to nearly any face while showcasing your food to its best advantage. And check out that delightfully whimsical ruffled edge. Your cake will look its best (as will your cookies, cupcakes, or other treats) and your guests will be wowed. What more could you possibly want?

A great deal, you say? Well, you get that, too. This bright, sunflowery yellow color is on a closeout sale at Cooking.com. They normally sell it for $33.95, but it’s now just $16.98 while supplies last. That’s half off!

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