Ta­ble Man­ner

DINE and Destinations - - TASTING NOTES -

“I be­lieve in ca­sual lux­ury,” says Jackie Chiesa, pres­i­dent of Wil­liam Ash­ley, the re­tailer of qual­ity table­ware, home dé­cor and kitchen­ware, “whether you are look­ing for a state­ment piece or the per­fectly de­signed espresso spoon.” The com­pany has been bring­ing fam­ily and friends to­gether, en­ter­tain­ing and at the ta­ble, for more than 65 years.

Rows of gleam­ing shelves are filled with easy, ca­sual din­ner­ware along with el­e­gant bone china, from some of the most iconic brands: Wedg­wood, Mikasa, Royal Doul­ton… the list goes on. The staff is com­prised of de­sign ex­perts and kitchen­ware spe­cial­ists who understand ser­vice and en­sure that my unique per­sonal-style needs are met. In the Gourmet Shoppe, I find the lat­est gad­gets to scoop ice cream, slice aged ched­dar, or make my morn­ing cof­fee in style.

“We have shared in some of the most mem­o­rable mo­ments in our cus­tomer’s lives,” says Chiesa, ex­plain­ing that wed­ding reg­istries and spe­cial fam­ily din­ners are what Wil­liam Ash­ley is all about. While my gifts are be­ing metic­u­lously wrapped in their sig­na­ture gold pack­ag­ing, I in­dulge in a cham­pagne truf­fle at the store’s ex­clu­sive Teuscher Choco­lates of Switzer­land counter. The sweets are flown in weekly, af­ter all.

When I can’t make it to the Bloor Street West store, the din­ner party is also on­line, 24/7, with an ever-grow­ing list of items. Lux­ury has never been so at­tain­able. —SW www.willia­mash­ley.com

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