Best of British
There’s never been a better time to be British than 2012 as this year we’ve been waving the flag for all sorts of celebrations, from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Wimbledon to the London Olympics and Paralympics. So when it comes to kitting out your kitchen, be proud of our heritage and choose products that are designed and made here in the UK.
John Lewis is a great source of homegrown talent, from furniture and kitchen accessories to textiles and tableware. I’ve got my eye on Sebastian Conran’s cookware range, which includes utensils, gadgets and bakeware in a combination of brushed aluminium, glass, white porcelain and FSC beech. This porcelain bowl costs £40 while the toast rack is priced £18 and the herb pots, £30 (www.johnlewis.com).
British cooker manufacturer Stoves has launched a campaign to implement a standard marque to identify Made in Britain products. The campaign is backed by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who says that ‘pride and patriotism’ are needed in order for British business to succeed. Stoves launched the campaign last year, after consumer research revealed that half of consumers were confused about which brands could still claim to be made in Britain. Check out Stoves and sister company Belling appliances at www.stoves.co.uk and www.belling.co.uk
Not Mass Produced is an online company that supports small-scale production from talented British artisans and independent designers, who make stylish and quirky handmade products in a sustainable way. I love their collection of tea towels and my favourite is this English Dinner version, which costs £9. Look out for the salt and pepper pinch pots and their Cote d’Azur tablecloth, too (www.notmassproduced.com).
Another website to check out is www.madebyhandsofbritain.com, which sells British contemporary and heritage handmade art and craft. My favourites include these Bark Glass coasters by Caroline Richardson, priced £12 each or £42 for four and the Rose tea cosy by Ilene Sterns, priced £24.
Denby’s pottery is lovingly handcrafted in the Derbyshire countryside. Founded in 1809, their tableware not only celebrates the past but it’s also constantly reinvented to keep up with modern trends. Pavilion is one of the latest collections, which is reminiscent of the 1950s with its graphic motif and classic duck egg blue and lemon colour palette. There’s everything you need for eating, drinking and serving, with prices from £8.50 for a salad plate (www.denby.co.uk).