“ Brand: Argos / Product Type: Place Mat Set „
When me and my fiancé moved into our house nearly 2 years ago we had to buy everything from new apart from one or two items we had in our bedrooms. We found that once all the major things had been brought there was still a huge amount of smaller items to purchase especially for the kitchen. One of the items we particularly needed were some decent place mats, ok so maybe not the most important thing we needed to buy straight away but we had just bought a new pine dining table which I did not want marked with hot plates. As we had already spent out a huge amount of money we did hunt around for products which looked good, did the job but that were also reasonably priced. We found that for our kitchen items Argos was pretty good so when it came to buying our place mats this was where we headed, we discovered Argos's Black and White Stripe Place Mat set, it was perfect for what we needed, it had enough place settings should we have people round for meals, was reasonably priced and also fitted in nicely with our colour scheme.
The Black and White Stripe Place Mat set is made up of 6 place settings consisting of 6 place mats, 6 drinks coasters and one large serving mat. The design of the set is rather simple, but does look rather stylish fitting in perfectly with the other black and white accessories we have in our kitchen. All of the place mats, coasters and the serving mat are plain black in colour with a slightly shiny finish to them, they have a series of wavy white lines which go down the whole length of the left or right hand side (depending what way round you have the mat) The lines are not in any particular pattern and there are about 7 white lines going down the side of each mat, coaster and the larger serving mat.
To be honest when we purchased the place mat set we didn't even look at the size of the mats, it didn't really occur to me that they could be too small for our rather large white square plates we had brought, however we didn't have to worry as the mats were plenty big enough to accommodate the plates without them hanging over the edges. The measurements of the mats are as follows
*Place Mat - 29cm (L) 21.5cm (W) as far as I can see they are pretty much of a standard size, but more importantly they were large enough for our plates, the plates sat comfortably in the middle of the mats with a slight gap around the edge meaning th plates did not slip over the edge of the place mat should it move slightly
*Coasters - 10.5cm (L) 10.5cm (W) As you can see by the measurements the coasters are square in shape, again they are plenty big enough to accommodate all size cups and glasses including mugs, wine glasses or pint glasses.
*Serving Mat - 33.5cm (L) 22cm (W) The serving mat is quite a bit larger than the regular place mats, it is ideal to have in the centre of the table to stand any hot dishes on, this would be useful if you had people round for a meal and you wanted to place the food in the middle of the table for them to help themselves. The fact that the mat is quite large again means that you can fit one large or 2 smaller dishes onto the mat without them slipping over the edge and onto you table.
Now I'm not sure exactly what the place mats, coasters and serving mat are made from but looking at them they look almost as though they are in 3 layers, there is the main board which forms the place mat etc, this then has an almost waxy looking paper top coat, this is the area with the black and white design on it and also the area where you stand your cup or plate. Then on the back of each mat is a non slip cork backing. The top coat although it looks like a plastic type of paper is actually both heat resistant up to 90 degrees and is also stain resistant. After using the place mats almost every day of the week for the last 2 years this does seem to be true, after using the place mats or coasters you can simply wipe over them with a damp cloth and then dry and they are as good as new any food split onto them is instantly removed. I did wonder whether the coasters would mark after a while or whether the design would start to wear off, especially with hot cups being put on them, but even today they are still in pretty good condition with no signs of the ring marks you often get from mugs and no sign of the pattern wearing off. As for the anti slip cork backing, this also seems to work and do what it is supposed to do, the cork backing actually feels pretty smooth and certainly does not look like an anti slip backing, however when using the mats, especially the place mats they do not slip and slide around the table at all.
Price & Durability
As I have mentioned I bought my Black and White Stripe place mat set from Argos and it cost me just £9.99, personally I feel that this is a bargain for such a good quality set. I certainly wouldn't want to pay any more than this for place mats and think that this particular set is fairly priced, especially as they have proved to be so hard wearing. Our place mats and coasters have been used pretty much every day now for the past 2 years and are still in excellent condition. I think a couple of the place mats are wearing slightly on edges, however this is due to the fact that they did get caught out in the rain once, apart from that they mats and coasters look as good as new, they shiny surface may be a little duller now after continuous use but not so much so that they are looking worn. I think for such a cheap price the place mat set has worn extremely well.
I would definitely recommend this place mat set to anyone, they do only do this particular set in black and white but it would look stylish at any table. All of the mats and coasters are of a decent size, have an anti slip backing as well as a stain resistant and heat proof top coat. They set is extremely hardwearing and durable especially when being sold for such a low price, for anyone looking to buy a cheap place mat set I would say give this one a go as it has been ideal for us and has had a lot of use.