Friday, 18 May 2012

Home Help: 18 May

Jubilee picnics will be a vibrant affair, thanks to the colourful melamine plates around this summer, says Hugh St Clair

Written by Hugh St Clair
It will be sunny. In fact, by the time you read this, the skies will be azure blue. So, it's time you got your Jubilee picnic stuff ready.

Jubilee fever and the approaching Olympics have had an interesting side effect – a wonderful selection of melamine and enamel mugs and plates is available this summer. Emma Bridgewater has transferred some of her bestselling designs on to melamine and they are a lot cheaper than their pottery counterparts. I love the 'Flowers' range, and it's nice to know that Emma Bridgewater will donate 35p per item of Flowers Design to the National Gardens Scheme. You'll also find great-looking Bridgewater Union Jack melamine for the Jubilee party, as well as Pink Hearts and Polka Dot, and even dollies' tea sets.

For a travelling picnic theme, Cath Kidston's Spray Flowers melamine cups and plates are inspired by Gypsy decoration. Kidston's popular Cowboys and Boats designs have also been transferred on to picnicware.

The new favourite shop among design groupies is the American fashion and interiors store Anthropologie, which has branches in London. It has a range of melamine plates called Kaleidobug, decorated in colourful patterns.

Rob Ryan, a paper-cutting artist who has for many years designed books and record covers and illustrated fairytales, now lends his distinctive style to mugs, plates and cloths. Liberty of London sells his blue enamel Lolita cup featuring birds resting on a branch.

Whether you want to celebrate the summer with a party, or have a romantic lunch à deux on the river bank, there's an unbreakable mug or plate to suit the occasion.


Clockwise from left:

1 Thermos flask, £15; acrylic wine glass, £4, Cath Kidston: 0845-026 2440,

2 Pink Hearts boxed melamine dollies' tea set, £32.95, Emma Bridgewater: 0844-243 9266,

3 Rob Ryan Blue Other Planets enamel plate, £13.50, Liberty: 020-7734 1234,

4 Four Petal small melamine plates, £16, Cath Kidston:as before

5 two-person picnic hamper, £85, all in the Bleached Flowers range by Cath Kidston: as before

6 Metamorphoses plate, £8, Anthropologie: 020-7349 3110,

Email your design enquiries to Hugh St Clair at

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