Belfast Telegraph

Retro revival kitchen accessories

COMMERCIAL FEATURE

Thanks to the recession squeezing disposable income, staying in has become the new going out, leading many of us to spend more time and money on homemaking.

TV programmes such as Come Dine With Me, Kirstie’s Homemade Home and the spate of popular antiques and hidden treasure shows entice us entertain guests at home, make the most of our space and reclaim vintage items as focal pieces. So which of the retro accessories currently enjoying a revival will help transform our kitchen into a fun social space?

Hostess with the mostess

Rather than slaving away over hot ovens while their guests had all the fun in another room, 1960s housewives regularly employed a helping hand in the form of an electrical hostess trolley, which would keep pre-prepared food warm for serving. Helping to take the pressure off at dinner parties, such trolleys, tables and hot plates are now widely available again. Invest in vintage-style serving dishes and utensils to complete that sleek and stylish effortless effect.

Fondue fun

A traditional Swiss and French dish that became popular in America and the UK in the 1960s, fondue is a simple dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot over a heat source, eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. A cheap and easy snack to serve when friends come round, this kitsch bit of kit is proving popular once more, and can be bought in porcelain, ceramic, cast iron and stainless steel varieties, depending on your budget.

Gourmet grill

Similar to fondue, raclette is another Swiss and French dish based on melted cheese. The Raclette round cheese, found in specialist cheese shops, is heated in small spade-shaped pans by a special grill machine, before being poured over potatoes and served with cured meat. Of course you can use any type of cheese you fancy, and with table-top raclette machines starting at just £30, it’s a small investment for simple, interactive dining. You’re basically asking your friends to help make their own dinner, but this idea is bound to go down better than inviting them all to gather around your cooker.

Time for tea

Forget state-of-the-art coffee machines, today’s interior, fashion and social trends all point towards tea as the drink to help define your style. Vintage china teapots, cups and saucers are being snapped up by bargain hunters at car boot sales, flea markets and charity shops, and antique and retro-inspired pieces are proving popular on the high street as people look for pretty accessories with which to host the perfect tea party. Just make sure there’s plenty of milk in the fridge.

Tools of the trade

Ideal for creating that industrial early-twentieth-century look, the utilitarian butcher’s trolley has become somewhat of a fashionable fixture in interior design magazines over the past few years. With many models featuring extendable surfaces, pull-out chopping boards, cupboards, shelves and casters, this versatile item is also useful for creating more surface and storage space in smaller kitchens. Choose between homely hard wood and sleek stainless steel designs.

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