“ Brand: Born to Shop / Product Type: Mug „
I have lots of groups of friends that, in a Venn diagram, would only overlap with me, and I have been catching up with them individually since I returned to the UK. A couple of months ago, one came to mine for tea and though we normally don't bring each other things except for birthdays etc, was bearing this gift which I was excited to open! This is a 3-part gift set containing a mug, coaster and tray and is temptingly called the 'Chocolate Friend' set.
All three items share the same themed print. This is a picture of two friends sharing a wedge of chocolate cake while another wedge seems to be flying away from them. Something non-descript - maybe a cinnamon bun, maybe a large toffee whirl - is flying towards them, and while the concept of air-borne treats might be an alarming one to some, the two girls seem to be taking it in their stride. They do look a smidge gloomy though, despite the pretty flowers blooming in the background. The caption reads
"There's nothing better than a good friend except a good friend with chocolate"
So true :)
The overall impression on all three pieces is a bright, if slightly kooky artistic vision. It has a touch of Quentin Blake to it, especially in terms of the figures, and the writing is a bit like a spooky Adams Family gothic scrawl. It's eye catching without being overwhelming, and while it's not the sort of style I'd choose to have on display in huge quantities, it's fun for livening up a spot on my desk or a corner of my kitchen.
The COASTER is a cork-backed square and sturdily made, similar to the burgundy and forest green place mats you used to find in chain pubs, only on a smaller scale. It is easily big enough for a normal sized mug, and you don't have to pay acute attention to where you're placing it as it can go off centre and still fit on. It's wipe clean (useful in case of spills) and though the print seems to be stuck on to the top rather than integrated into it, it doesn't look at all in danger of peeling off.
The TRAY is a mini one of the sort that would easily hold a mug and a biccie, or two mugs at a push. It really wouldn't hold much more, and anyway I wouldn't want to use it for anything heavy as it simply curves up at the ends rather than having holes you can fit your fingers through for a good grip. I actually use mine as a base for my potted basil in the kitchen, and it works well for that.
The MUG is a delicate porcelain affair, the sort that is narrower at the bottom than some, but taller, so you don't lose capacity. The handle is quite thin but doesn't feel dangerously so, and the whole mug is deceptively heavy. It is both microwave safe and dishwasher safe and has a nice ridge at the top while makes me less likely to spill when I drink from it. The print is repeated twice so you can see it whichever way you hold it, and the only downside is that the inside is white which could make it liable to staining (my hot drinks being clear, I've not personally experience this).
The items go together quite well, though I'm not sure how you'd use all 3 at once - pairing the mug with EITHER the coaster OR the tray at any one time makes more sense to me. But you can see the thinking behind the set and there is a clear theme of tea time.
There seems to me to be a dichotomy between the look and feel of the three items. The quality is higher than you might expect, with the items better made and finished. The design might make them look a little cheap, but to touch them you wouldn't think that as they feel well made, especially the mug. Once I'd played with them all, and used them a bit, I had them pegged around the £10 mark as it is a gift set, nicely presented and therefore eligible for a mark up. Googling, however, I discovered that the set is normally £6 full price, and available for £3 on offer in some places which makes it great value at just £1 per item in it. I am very pleased I got this as a gift as I think of my friend every time I use it, and given the quality of the items, that will be for some time to come.
Available online and on the high-street, with Amazon and Asda among the stockists. There are other items in the set including a massive (Central Perk-esque) mug and saucer with the same slogan and illustration.
Wonderful comedic designs from the Born to Shop range, each design takes an amusing and lenitive look at the world though the eyes of the shopaholic. Born to Shop time for tea gift set with phrases 'There's nothing better than a good friend except a good friend with chocolate'. This lovely gift set consists of fine china mug, coaster, and melamine tray, a great gift for any occasion. 1 fine china mug holding 10floz. 1 coaster - 105 mm x 105 mm x 4 mm. 1 scatter tray - 210 mm x 140 mm. Mug is dishwasher and microwave safe. Designed in the UK.