My Mother likes to drink a cup of tea from a cup and saucer. Trouble is, she's now broken all of the cups. Does anyone know if it's possible to buy cups and saucers which are unbreakable but don't look like cheap plastic?
I agree about not wanting plastic ones. I would definitely avoid cheap plastic cups because they are usually uncomfortable to hold, with hard ridges at the seams, and can split and leak with repeated use of hot water. You can get softer plastic beakers with handles in plain colours, designed for nurseries, schools, hospitals, care homes etc. It all depends how much you want the replacement to look like a proper china cup.
If you search for melamine cup or melamine beaker you find some reasonable patterned ones on Amazon and other UK websites. Make sure you don't buy tea sets designed as toys because these are not intended for use with boiling water. The adult teas sets that look like real china are only available from America, as far as I can tell. So often I think, wouldn't it be great if you could get... and find it is widely available in the USA but not in Europe.
Patterned melamine tableware as opposed to plainer picnic ware hasn't been made since the 1970's in the UK, apart from mugs/beakers. You could try eBay where there are vintage sets. Search for Gaydon Melaware or Melmex. They come in a range of colours, with white insides and coloured outsides. The styling is elegant and is now very much back in fashion.
I was going to suggest melamine as well, which has been sold for years here in the States under the name brand of Corelle (from the company that makes Corningware). They have a website. Places like Wal-Mart and Target may sell it, but I suspect you'd see a wider selection on eBay or a site like Replacements.com.
I would be very happy to post something to you from the States, if you're not able to find it in the UK. Just PM me.
To be clear, melamine is plastic, though it looks nicer than some forms of plastic dishware. Corelle is tempered glass, which can break (especially if dropped on a hard/stone surface), but is far more resilient than ceramics. I don't think they do proper teacup/saucer sets for Corelle anymore, but you might want to look on eBay for some older ones? I believe a similar product that's more widely available in the UK is Arcoroc. I've found a lot of their stuff in charity shops, and you can order from catering supply companies--perhaps elsewhere as well?
Thank you so much to everyone who has so kindly given an answer to my question about unbreakable cups and saucers. You've given me a lot of ideas to follow up and I will have a much better idea where to look and what to look for.