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They say that the three most stressful things you'll ever do is get married, move house and change jobs. Being the measured individual with an impeccable sense of timing that I am, I'm doing all three in the space of a few months (touching wood ...). The upside of this - aside from, y'know, love, personal satisfaction, a rewarding career ... small things like that - is that a new house means a good excuse to finally get rid of our rusting and decaying kitchen appliances. New kitchen, new stuff. After all, our old kettle is now 2 parts limescale to one part metal, and our toaster predates the invention of electricity. Actually, we've gone a bit early - this kettle has a matching toaster sibling, and as they were on offer, we've got ourselves a pre-emptive housewarming present. The toaster's still in storage, but as nothing is more important than tea (especially in this grim and gusty "summer"), the kettle has already made its debut. £60 is a fair amount for a kettle, but you get what you pay for in this case. This is a slickly-designed model that manages to balance retro stylings with some thoroughly modern touches. It looks great, it does a fine job, and although it's still in its early days with us, Morphy Richards products have a good reputation, and it shows every sign of being built to last. Aside from doing its principal job of boiling water as well as you could want - hot and quickly - there are some additional touches that I really like about this kettle. The aesthetic style is part of this - I love the metallic purple shade (and the fact the toaster sits so well alongside it), and I think the design works wonderfully well, evoking the kind of old on-hob kettles that I actually think look much nicer than the bland plasticky electic versions. The other thing I like about ye olde kettles is the whistle - of course, it serves a purpose, but as much as anything I think the sound has a sort of evocative charm to it. Perhaps my favourite quirk of this model, then, is that it whistles! If you're the kind of strange human being who dislikes the sound and pulls the legs off Daddy Long-Legs for kicks, you can turn it off, as it's not really doing anything purposeful, but for the rest of us, this is a fun gimmick. There are also touches that owe more to modernity - the illuminating water gauge is useful, and eliminates the need to guess your quantities, the 360-degree base suits right- and left-handers, while it's easy to fill, easy to clean and quick and efficient doing its job. And pretty ... I might have mentioned that. All in all, then - you could certainly get a cheaper kettle, and one that will - let's face it - do basically just as good a job of making water hot. That said, if you've got a little more in your budget, there are lots of little nods and gimmicks that make this worth the extra expenditure - and the co-ordinating toaster adds neatly to the collection. If you care about tea, you won't go far wrong with this.
Cordless Meno Kettle 3kW 1.5litre Plum