Apilco Bistro Ware
As a boy, my first ever cup of coffee was served to me by Annie, in a large Apilco green and gold cup and saucer. I thought it was all trés chic. Annie was French, and so was her crockery.
The Apilco Bistro dinnerware is instantly recognisable, with its stylish and distinctive Empire Green colour, decorated with a gold coach line. The china is glazed and fired at 1400°C, making it very hard and durable. The colour, along with the unusual shape of the crockery, serve a functional purpose, helping to retain the heat in your food or beverage. This, in turn, facilitates al fresco dining, allowing you to sit outside your favourite bar, watching the world go by, whilst nursing a coffee, for far longer than you really should.
Both heavy and stackable, the crockery is designed to meet the demands of the catering business; something it has done for over seventy years, in cafés, bistros and restaurants across France. It manages to be both functional, stylish, luxurious and mass-produced; a true icon of France.
The Apilco range is produced by Deshoulières in Limoges. Deshoulières was founded in 1826, and like so many French companies is exceptionally proud that everything they produce is 100% French. They've obtained the prestigious 'Origine France Garantie' award for dedication to French industry and artisan know-how.
Championed by Francophiles in the UK during the 70s and 80s, the Apilco range has unfortunately slipped to the back of the cupboard in many homes, hidden behind a pile of cheap china. Fortunately, for fellow obsessives, it can still to be purchased new, whilst vintage examples are also readily available on eBay, allowing you to experience café culture at home.