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Food styling: my charity shop treasures

I’ve recently started to poke my head into every charity shop I pass looking for new plates and tableware to style out my recipes. So if I am ever late for work or miss my bus, I blame the British Heart Foundation!

Buying weird and wonderful plates is an amazing way of kitting out your dining table without spending a fortune and I find new dishes give me inspiration for new recipes to try.

My bargain hunting tips:

  • Gumtree is filled with people trying to get rid of their old kitchen junk that they might think is worthless or outdated. Often, these sellers don’t realise how much money they could be getting from their old stuff!
  • Ebay is a great way of checking if you are getting a bargain or not. Check how many people are bidding for certain items and how much they are selling for, so that you always get a good prices.
  • Be aware of chips and cracks in tableware that you buy online. If you are taking photographs this is not so much of an issue. But if you want to serve food then this can be dangerous. If you notice any damage, you should speak to the seller and negotiate a lower price if not already stated.
  • Some of the ugliest looking tableware makes for the best food photos – don’t be scared if something looks ‘out of fashion’. Tacky 80’s plates are coming back into fashion and you might soon find similar things popping up in Laura Ashley and Ikea for 10 times the price.
  • Jumble sales are also treasure troves for old tableware, and you can often get a set price for a whole bagful of unwanted stuff. Make sure you haggle well and don’t make out like you really really want something. Keep it cool.
  • Charity shops can sometimes be a little more expensive but never haggle! The prices are set for a reason and remember all the money does go to charity.
  • Be ware that many older plates might not have dishwasher or microwave advice, so if in doubt, don’t do it!

Here are my recent purchases and the dishes i’ve created for them

Happy Shopping

Beth x


2 plates £1.50, British Heart Foundation, Sidcup highstreet

Set of 8 plates with matching bowl - everything for £20, Gumtree

Set of 8 plates with matching bowl (below) – everything for £20, Gumtree



Random serving plates, bowls for under £20, various charity shops, Mumbles.


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