Archive for the ‘Kitchen gadgets’ Category

Funky Morphy Richards plum kettle

Friday, April 22nd, 2011
Trendy purple plum kitchen kettle

Whistling plum kettle

Essential kitchen gadgets needn’t be boring!

Whether you want to accessorize your kitchen style or look, or simply add a bit of colour into the room, this funky purple Morphy Richards kettle is both striking and practical.

The modern kettle has a fun additional element to it, in the form of an optional whistling ability!

The Morphy Richards plum Meno 43917 kettle is currently reduced in the sale at Debenhams.

KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer: a desirable kitchen gadget

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Black kitchen aid mixer with stand special offerSought after cranberry Kitchen Aid mixer with free bowl

In an ideal world, I’d love one of these for Christmas. Although I have a trusty old hand-me-down mixer that does incredibly well, sometimes it would be nice not to have to hold it the entire time and let a gadget do the work for me!

The KitchenAid mixer is not only a desirable kitchen gadget, but also a very practical one too. The construction is very solid, with each mixer having a powerful 10 speed motor, and it comes with a wire whisk, flat beater and dough hook, ensuring you can use for multiple mixing needs.

Sadly, the KitchenAid artisan stand mixer does come at a bit of a price – the black one is currently priced at £359.10 and the cranberry one at £389, both from John Lewis (other colours are available too, including blue and cream).

However, there is an extra added bonus offer at the moment, for a free glass bowl worth £57, plus the mixer comes with its usual five year guarantee.

Squirrel nut cracker from Heal’s

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
Get a squirrel to crack your nuts!

Get a squirrel to crack your nuts!

I’m generally not a major fan of animal shaped kitchen gadgets, but this little fella is a bit of an exception. Who could resit having a squirrel to crack their nuts?!

The nicely made silver coloured squirrel, who’s perched expectantly on branch, is ready to crack a nut for you. Just pop a shelled nut in his mouth, press down on his tail and, bingo, your nut will be ready to eat!

To get your hands on this fun squirrel nutcracker, head over to Heal’s, where he’s priced at £17.50.

DeLonghi Icona coloured coffee maker

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010


If you’re bored with predominently black or stainless steel kitchen gadgets, then these colourful Icona coffee makers from DeLonghi will add a much needed splash of colour into your kitchen.

They not only look good, but work well too, producing a delicious cup of espresso or creamy cappucino in minutes. The Icona coffee maker works with both espresso pods or ground coffee, so you’ve got both options rather than being stuck with one or the other (it’s ground coffee all the way for us), unlike some other machines.

The removable stainless steel drip tray at the bottom allows for easy cleaning and you can use it with dinky espresso cups or full size mugs or cups.

Available in blue or red (and black or white, if you must), the Icona coffee maker is £149 from John Lewis.

Tin can openers on trial: Fresh Design Blog product test

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

sy70-stellar-prem-gadgets-can-opener                  oxo-soft_handled_can_opener


There are a lot of kitchen gadgets on the market, with some being essential for getting everyday kitchen jobs and cooking done, and others useful for occasional tasks. One of the essential pieces of equipment that every kitchen should own is a tin or can opener.

There’s a huge variety of tin openers available, from the quirky ones with unusual designs, to contemporary can openers. Having recently struggled with a tin opener that was tough to use and took ages to open a tin, leaving a multitude of jagged edges behind, we decided to investigate the other options available, as surely there must be some effective, user friendly and stylish tin can openers out there somewhere?

We put four tin can openers to the test, opening a standard sized can:

1. Oxo Good Grips Snap-Lock Can Opener (product id: 30081)
2. Stellar Stainless Steel Can Opener (product id: SY70)
3. Judge Black Satin Can Opener (product id: TD62)
4. Oxo Good Grips Soft Handled Can Opener (product id: 28081)

1. Oxo Good Grips Snap-Lock Can Opener (product id: 30081)


This tin opener has soft padded handles, that made it comfortable to hold. It was easy to get the tin opener into position and easy to push the handles to get it started. This product did live up to its name of being a good grip and it worked like a dream – it seemed effortless to turn the padded knob and get the lid of the tin off. The lid came off very well, with no sharp edges left behind.


As far as style and design goes, the product is nicely shaped and contoured and we especially loved the snap-lock function. Not only does this help release the can at the end, when you’ve finished opening it, but it also means the product can be ‘shut’ together when you’re not using it, which helps it become more slimline and easy to store in a kitchen drawer.

Where to buy it: The Oxo Good Grips Snap-Lock Can Opener can be bought on Amazon, for £9.98.

Also available at retailers nationwide; for stockist information, call 0114 290 1455

2. Stellar Stainless Steel Can Opener (product id: SY70)


The Stellar Stainless Steel Can Opener is a sleek and stylish product that would look right at home in any contemporary kitchen.

I was a bit apprehensive about whether an all over stainless steel tin opener would be as comfortable to use as one with padded handles, but I needn’t have worried. It has a large elongated handle, with moulded fingergrips on the back of the handles, which makes it verycomfortable and pleasant to hold.

It was quick and easy to get the can opener latched onto the tin, and for the first puncture to be made. Once on, the knob turned with ease and the tin lid was off before I knew it.


Compared to the other can openers we tested, it was one of the longer products, but it’s not too wide, so for storage purposes it’s relatively slimline, as tin openers go. Due to the design, it could very easily be hung up too, if you have a utensil hanging rack in your kitchen. The hanging ‘hook’ looks like it could also function as a handy bottle opener, but we didn’t try this out.

Where to buy it: The Stellar Stainless Steel Can Opener is available from Cooking Time for £8.99.

More stockists available nationwide; search by postcode here.

3. Judge Black Satin Can Opener (product id: TD62)


The Judge Black Satin Can Opener has smooth black handles that are comfortable to hold and instantly gives an idea of what the ‘satin’ in the name refers to. The handles are flat, rather than chunky, which makes them easier to grip, and they have loops in the ends, which you could use for hanging the tin opener on a utensil rack if you wish.

This one also has what looks like two bottle openers built into the stainless steel design.


When it came to the crucial issue of tin opening ability, the Judge Black Satin Can Opener did the job very well. The product was easy to use, it latched onto the tin easily and the knob was easy to turn. It seemed to whizz around quickly, and before we knew, the lid was off.

Where to buy it: The Judge Black Satin Can Opener is available from Bradbeers for £5.10.

More stockists available nationwide; search by postcode here.

4. Oxo Good Grips Soft Handled Can Opener (product id: 28081)


Having been so impressed with the Oxo Good Grips Snap-Lock Can Opener, I had high hopes for this product. It’s a different design and the soft grip is only on the knob and arms of the product, with the rest left as stainless steel.The design is a bit chunkier and it’s not got quite such as streamlined a look as the other Oxo Good Grips tin opener that we tested.


Unfortunately, the tin opening experience wasn’t as good with this product. It was harder to squeeze and puncture the tin and it seemed a lot stiffer to turn the knob and get this tin can opener moving. Compared to the other can openers we tested, it was a lot more sluggish in its movement and when the lid finally did come off, the cut wasn’t as smooth as the other products.

Whether this was due to how we used it, or perhaps a dodgy tin, we’re not sure, but it sadly didn’t match up to the effectiveness of the other tin openers on trial.

Where to buy it: The Oxo Good Grips Soft Handled Can Opener is available from Amazon for £10.56.

Also available at retailers nationwide; for stockist information, call 0114 290 1455

* With many thanks to Horwood Homewares and The Lenny Agency for kindly supplying tin openers for us to test.

Kitchen Craft cast iron chocolate fondue set

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
Have fun with melted chocolate

Have fun with melted chocolate

Ah, fondue. Before you get start thinking about cheesy ’70s fondues, let us remind you that the good old fondue can also be used for delightful melted chocolate.

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day then to enjoy some melted chocolate with your partner.

This Kitchen Craft fondue set is made from enameled cast iron and comes with six colour coded fondue forks. Serve it with fresh fruit, like strawberries, melon or grapes, or squishy marshmallows, and get dipping!

The fondue set is available on Amazon, where you can also stock up on supplies of fondue chocolate.

Prestige art deco toaster

Monday, January 11th, 2010
Art deco hoops design

Art deco hoops design

Meyer Prestige have gone for the art deco look with their new range of kitchen electrical gadgets.

The two slice toaster, with its variable size slots for different bread items (e.g. toast, bagels or crumpets), has the attractive art deco inspired hoops design on the side. It’s subtle enough not to be too art deco like, but does help jazz up an item that could otherwise be a bit boring!

Find the toaster at Amazon for £44.99.

Handy square colander from Pedlars

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
Colander in four colours

Colander in four colours

You don’t often come across square colanders – they’re predominently round – so it’s a pleasant surprise to find these square ones at Pedlars.

Made of acrylic, the colanders have a very useful handle, which can be hooked over the sink when draining pasta, rice or vegetables.

The colander is 21cm by 21cm and is available in a choice of four colours – red, white, green and black.

Find them at Pedlars, where there’s currently 20% off in the sale.

Clever walnut key nut cracker

Monday, November 30th, 2009
Turn the key - and open the walnut

Turn the key - and open the walnut

Cracking open the shells of nuts is something I always associate with Christmas, but I’ve recently discovered that our nutcrackers have mysteriously broken.

Walnuts are often tricky to open with conventional nutcrackers, due to their bulky size, soI love the idea of this walnut key.

The key is designed to cleverly slot into the groove on the top of the walnut shell and allows you to ‘unlock’ and open it up. It looks easy to use and less cumbersome then traditional nutcrackers.

The walnut key is available from Cox and Cox for £6.

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