Sunday, 8 October 2017

Homeware | Auditioning a new favourite mug

When you work from home, alone, freelance, then the loss of your favourite mug is a big deal. As big a deal as, say, the printer breaking in an office or winter without heating or - heaven forfend - the network going down. This is SERIOUS people.

My favourite mug was bought at John Lewis a few years back. It was from their excellent, purse-friendly House range, and on the face of it wasn’t anything special. But over time, it became THE ONE.

Shiny indigo blue.

Chunky to hold.

The perfect weight in my hand.

Capacity for a big cuppa without being ostentatiously large.

Big Blue became the mug I’d always pick first from the cupboard, a little sigh of disappointment on the mornings when it was dishwasher captive. Big Blue was my pal, my partner in crime. Always there beside me while I wrangled a troublesome muddle of HTML or chased an overdue invoice.

Last week, BB was on the worktop as I tidied the kitchen. I whirled round too quickly, caught it with my little finger and held my breath as I knew what was about to happen. BB fell - slow motion - to the hard tiled floor and smashed. I shouted. I swore. I cleared up the pieces with sorrow in my heart (pausing only to take a picture for posterity, natch).

I knew as I tentatively browsed the John Lewis website that it would have long gone out of stock and my worst fears were confirmed on Twitter as I conversed with Annette of the super helpful JL social team. She kindly suggested a couple of others from the current range that might take its place. But, as we all know, favourite mugs are not bought, they develop over time. Like the best friendships, we have to get to know each other first.

Still, needs must and I shall dry my eyes, wearily don my virtual raincoat and head out onto the cyber high street in search of the new Big Blue (sob!).

Here are some possible contenders.

Beginning with one of Annette’s suggestions, this Terrazzo mug is easy on the eye and the wallet. Good call, Annette.

Big Blue was obviously, well, blue, and if it’s a new blue I’m looking for then I’m pondering this pair from Megan Louise ceramics. Pretty, huh?

The Habitat Olmo speckled mug is - at first glance - pretty much the spitting image of BB. But is that a bit weird? Like when you meet a friend’s new partner and they look just like the last one?

Anthropologie have named this one ‘best-loved mug’ which is a claim that makes me raise an eyebrow. I’m not completely averse although I think the look of that cat would be too distracting.

Instead, I’m very drawn to this Karine mug which looks like a pleasing shape and I like its abstract design, although it’s only 10cm high which doesn’t quite seem big enough.

The Future Kept has some glorious ceramics and if I was a coffee drinker I’d be on the waiting list for this combo. For tea? Maybe this dark number instead.

I recently discovered Julia Smith, a Scottish ceramicist, who is the hands behind this lovely rainy day mug. Isn’t it lovely?

The Aline mug from Oliver Bonas has a nice homemade look about it but I just don’t know if that handle would feel awkward in the hand…

This mug from Stil Homeware in Bristol is minimal but I think it has the potential to become a real favourite. Sometimes the simple ones are the most appealing.

And The Village Pottery in Bristol is a local treat. I discovered them as they provide all the crockery for some of my favourite restaurants in Bristol (Casamia, Pi Shop and Paco Tapas). I like these pink ones.

So who will it be? Place your bets now. Or just recommend me something in the comments. This vacancy won't be empty for long...

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This post has been written very much with my tongue in my cheek. No 'first world problems' comments please!

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