Earlier this month, Cassandra and I had the opportunity to visit Hôtel Silver collector and dealer, Ginger Kilbane. We get lots of questions about the silver Ina Garten uses and displays - we're thrilled to be able to offer Ina fans and our customers these same incredible pieces, and we also wanted to give you a glimpse into the passionate woman responsible for bringing you (and Ina) Hôtel Silver.
Ginger and Ina have known each other for many years, that’s how we connected - but this was our first time visiting Ginger’s amazing collection in person. Let me tell you, it’s gorgeous! Ginger travels to Europe (mostly England) searching out, recording, and bidding on collections of silver from the most elegant European hotels – her quest has also taken her to restaurants, ocean liners and even trains! She’s passionate about her work and her collection – Ginger goes to great lengths so that we can all experience the charm and elegance of these timeless silver serving pieces.
As Ginger points out, Hôtel Silver is made for everyday use. It’s intended to take on a lot of wear. In hotels, silver service pieces were often run through the dishwasher several times a day. Also, this type of silver is triple-plated silver over nickel, which makes it heavier and less fussy than other silver. It’s easy to clean - just rub on a little Twinkle Silver Polish and rinse with warm water. I put mine right in the dishwasher!
Ginger did make it clear that her own Hôtel Silver is never put away; she calls it “everyday luxury”. As you can see from the photos of her home, silver is her passion and many of her pieces have multiple uses. I do the same in my home; my teapot can hold cutlery, flowers and even tea. In fact, my 'go-to' for everyday use and entertaining is the Pillivuyt White Dinnerware and my growing collection of Hôtel Silver.
Most of the Hôtel Silver pieces available at Cassandra’s Kitchen are vintage, Ginger’s collections. (I love to think about the past life of my favorite pieces!) However, we’ve had such high demand for both the Hôtel Silver Bowls and Footed Hôtel Silver Bowls that we have them handmade for us in London. We also talked at length with Ginger about adding new Hôtel Silver pieces to Cassandra's Kitchen - stay tuned!
It was a very interesting and productive visit – Ginger’s collection was inspiring! We’d love to know how you use your Hôtel Silver. And please let us know if there are specific pieces you’re looking for and would like to see at Cassandra’s Kitchen.