Over the past few years, my interest in homeware seems to have peaked. This started at the Ideal Home Show, Manchester and I now find myself regularly browsing in shops and online for the next quirky piece to add to our humble abode.
In September, I was contacted by Dartington Crystal and given the chance to review a selection of their handmade crystal vases. As we’ve recently moved house, I thought this would make a lovely little housewarming gift (to myself, naturally) and opted for three statement vases to add some colour to our new home.
Before I waffle on about said vases, I wanted to tell you a bit more about Dartington Crystal and why they are a little bit different from most other high-end retailers (not that such a prestigious brand needs much of an introduction).
‘In 1967 a group of Swedish glassmakers brought their hand making skills to rural North Devon to help start a very different glass company. Working with the finest natural materials, these craftsmen soon became known for creating beautiful glassware that would be used and appreciated.
Today, Dartington Crystal continues to provide elegant, simple designs in crystal and glass. Much of our range continues to be handcrafted in our Devon factory and Dartington is now the only crystal brand still producing in the UK. With a contemporary and clean design style, Dartington combines the ultimate in function with eye-catching appeal to make it the perfect choice for your home or as a gift.’
So, Dartington is the only producer of crystal left in the UK which makes these vases extra special, don’t you think?
These Dartington* Crystal Little/Mini Gems vases came in a pretty box and were well packaged; ideal for giving as a gift and the sturdy packaging mean that they arrived with no damage (this always worries me when ordering fragile goods online – I once had a beautiful vintage teacup arrive via the post in about twenty pieces!)
One of the first things I noticed when taking them out of the box was the weight. For such small vases, they were nice and heavy and the glass is super thick too; another sign of the staple high quality provided by Dartington Crystal.
The unique shapes are fitting with the Bohemian style that I’m often drawn to and these are actually the first pieces of coloured glassware that I’ve ever owned. I would usually opt for traditional and functional vases in simple styles and clear glass but these gems may well influence my future homeware shopping habits.
I think they’ll sit perfectly on the fireplace and look great filled with a range of autumnal flowers or even left empty on the bookshelf next to my array of cookbooks and other trinkets.
Dartington also has a visitors centre situated in Great Torrington, North Devon, where you can enjoy a factory tour, witness the experts at work, have a hand cast in glass as a special souvenir, paint a glass, make glass jewellery or even have a go at blowing your own glass.
The Devon Ginspriation bar offers visitors a chance to sit down, relax and sample some of Devon’s finest gin, beer and wine – sounds like the ideal day out to me!
*Contains PR samples