Category Archives: Kitchen and Dining

Five of the Best: Retro Dining Chairs

Today we’re picking out our favourite retro dining chairs, with an emphasis on furniture inspired by pieces from the 1950s and 1960s – seating that is minimal in design but big on style. Join us as we present our five favourites, each of them available from an online retailer near you!

Hester Blue Wooden Stackable Dining Chair

Hester Blue Wooden Stackable Dining Chair – £95, Habitat

Reminiscent of our old schoolchairs (or maybe we’re just very old) with its simple shape and curved wooden seat and back rest, the Hester dining chair is – like the seating of our youth – stackable. It sets oak veneer against powder-coated legs and screws in a bright blue colour, though it is also available in versions with red, white, charcoal and green legs, as well as in the blue variety pictured here.

Pair of Palma Dining Chairs in Purple

Pair of Palma Dining Chairs in Purple – £179.99 (was £199.99), Very.co.uk

A bestseller for Very.co.uk, this pair of Palma dining chairs are a real bargain with over twenty quid off their original price tag. Each chair stands on four splayed oak-coloured legs and the seats are upholstered in a brushed, super-soft purple-coloured fabric that’s studded with four fabric-covered buttons. These beautiful Scandi-style chairs are also available in dark grey, should that be a better fit for your dining room decor.

Retro Wooden Dining Chair by Home Etc

Pair of Retro Wooden Dining Chairs – £313.98, Home Etc

We love the exquisite curves of these funky retro dining chairs from Home etc, which have been manufactured from moulded plywood stained in medium oak, a rich mid-brown colour. This stylish pair combine comfort, style, design and sturdiness, with curved seats and backrests resting on elegant frames. They’re also available with light oak and dark oak finishes and one of them is bound to work in your dining area.

Industrial Faux Leather Retro Stitch Dining Armchair (Pair)

Industrial Faux Leather Retro Stitch Dining Armchair (Pair) – £340, Classic Furniture

Industrial style is as popular as ever, so the functional and sturdy metal frame of this pair of dining armchairs from Classic Furniture is sure to be a hit with admirers of quality furniture. The seat and armrests of these chairs are made from faux leather in a mid-brown colour which has been topstitched in a series of parallel lines edged with a semi-circular shape. A version without armrests is also available.

Calligaris Area 51 Dining Chair (Set of 4)

Yellow Area 51 Dining Chair (Set of 4) – £372, Calligaris

This Area 51 chair is part of a collection of luxury furniture from Calligaris. It’s made from polypropylene and this and the fact its striking design has a water drain hole built in means you can take this chair outdoors if you wish. Made with air-moulding technology, it comes in a variety of finishes – sky blue, matt optic white, red, light green, orange and taupe – as well as in this mustard yellow version, and each is supplied as a set of four.

Weighing it Up: Measuring Cups

In the UK we’ve tended to favour weighing scales to measuring cups…but then the internet happened, with all those American recipes that specified cup measurements. Searching for the equivalent weights was annoying enough, but issues of mass and density meant that 8oz meant a cup of one ingredient but not another… So, we’ve succumbed to the need for measuring cups–here we choose our five favourites:

Gold Steel Measuring Cups

Gold Steel Measuring Cups – £20.39, Maisons du Monde

What can we say – these warm gold-coloured steel measuring cups do exactly what you’d expect of them – enable you to figure out exactly how much of a particular ingredient you need for a particular dish! Each of the set of four has a simple curved rod handle, and they stack together nicely. They’re part of a range that includes a gold metal whisk and matching, super-cute whisk (that’ll set you back less than four quid!) so check them out too!)

M&S Vintage Measuring Cups

Vintage Measuring Cups – £15, M&S

They might be doing a sterling impression of the sort of mismatched crockery that’s become so popular at weddings nowadays, but this is a set of porcelain measuring cups from M&S. The delicate measuring cups are in pastel shades of lilac, cream, pink and cream – finished off with edge trim and lettering indicating the sizing – with real gold edging, and range in sizes from 1/4 cup to 1 cup. Perfect to complement a shabby chic kitchen.

Joseph Joseph Nest Measures, Opal

Opal Nest Measures – £10, Joseph Joseph

The brightly-coloured nested kitchen utensils of Joseph Joseph are rather familiar to us all now but they’ve lost none of their impact or utility. This compact measuring cup set has eight – yes eight! – parts, and incorporates both measuring cups and spoons, which range in size from 1/4 teaspoon to one cup. Best of all, the stack (and snap) together neatly when you’re not using them and look fabulous to boot. Mason Cash Cane Bottle Shaped Measuring Cups

Bottle-shaped Measuring Cups – £14.99 (was £17.99), Mason Cash

We know – this chunky piece of bottle-shaped stoneware doesn’t look much like a set of measuring cups but don’t be fooled! Mason Cash’s stacking milk bottle measuring set features three measuring cups in addition to a flour shaker lid, which sit on top of one another to form a traditional milk bottle shape! They’re part of an attractive range that includes a pie dish, a carafe and a utensil jar.4 Piece Measuring Cup Set

 4 Piece Measuring Cup Set – £10.99, Cake Boss

When someone called Cake Boss tells you something then you have to take them seriously! Which is why we’re paying serious attention to this four-piece measuring cup set, which ensures your measurements are precise and that you cook in comfort, your delicate hands protected by the rubberised handles. Not only are the measurements indicated in bright colours, but the handles are linked together by a chain so you don’t lose any of them.

Say Cheese: The Best Food Graters

What do you do when all the ready-grated Cheddar has sold out?! It’s an emergency, sure, but you steady your nerves – and your arms – and reach for your trusty old cheese grater. But what if your cheese grater is more rusty than trusty? In that case, it’s time to get your hands on a new one – you’ll find that the world has moved on from the simple box grater, as our five favourite cheese – no, food – graters will show:

3-in-1 Grater by Tower

3-in-1 Grater – £16.99 (was £24.99), Tower

We begin with Tower’s Health 3-in-1 grater, which promises to help you ‘grate, peel and shred your way to a healthier diet.’ The three interchangeable plates – which can be safely stored inside when you’re not using them – slide onto the unit and form a grater that performs the function of your choice, whether it’s grating cheese, peeling fruit or shredding vegetables. The separate components are easy to clean and the handle has a comfortable grip.

Microplane Cube Grater

Cube Grater – £19.95, Microplane

We love the convenience of the rather cute cube grater by Microplane, which features three blades to grate your food (everything from cheese to chocolate to carrots) into fine, ribbon or coarse textures and shapes. The grater fits over a transparent box which is marked on the side so you can measure quantities and this also doubles as a protective cover for the grater, which measures 8.3cm along each side.

OXO Good Grips Grate and Slice Set

Good Grips Grate and Slice Set – £30, OXO

The OXO Good Grips Grate and Slice Set is every bit as practical as you’d expect from a brand that has become renowned for sturdy kitchen utensils. It consists of a container, into which slide four colour-coded grating surfaces, for straight and julienne slices, as well as coarse and medium grating. These can be used either above a bowl or on the lid, which will collect the grated or sliced ingredients. It has non-slip feet and a handle, to enable a secure grip.

Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Red Cheese Grater
Red Ratchet Cheese Grater – £15, Kuhn Rikon

Tired of grinding away for the sake of a bit of cheese? Make those bleeding knuckles a thing of the past with the fabulous Kuhn Rikon red ratchet grater. All you have to do is insert cheese into the ‘door’, move the ratchet back and forth and – lo and behold – cheese will fall neatly from the grater. It has super-sharp stainless blades, is easy on the hands and can grate cheese and chocolate equally easily.

Wilko Grater with Container Taupe/Silver Effect

Grater with Container – £2, Wilko.com

We get it – all of these colour-coded plates and julienne-slicing options are all very well but…what if you just want to take some Cheddar apart? (And…what’s parmesan?!) We have the answer: Wilko’s grater with an attached container. It features an oval-shaped grater that slots on top of a tidy taupe container, which collects the cheese but also  – with the attached lid – can be stored for later use. It also happens to be incredible value at just two quid!