Get Rocknife in your life!

Win a knife set worth £94.95 with Rocknife & H is for Home

A good set of kitchen knives makes all the difference with food preparation. Have you ever tried slicing tomatoes, onions… or even a loaf of bread, with a dull knife? Frustrating, not to mention downright dangerous! You might think that you need to be wary of sharp knives, but did you know that you’re much more likely to cut yourself using a dull knife – and the resulting injury will be much worse.

Set of 5 Rocknife ceramic knives with black & white chequeur board blades and lime green handles

All Rocknife blades are made of hardened zirconium oxide (ceramic). This means that their knives are far sharper than ordinary steel, remaining that way for years and years… with barely the need to sharpen. They’re great looking too!

Set of Rocknife ceramic knives with black & white chequeur board blades and black handles

The 4-piece set comprises a 3in, 4in, 5in and 6in ceramic knives. It comes with a complementary stand that can either sit on on your kitchen worktop or alternatively, be wall mounted.

All you need to do to enter the competition is visit the Rocknife website and let us know in the comments section below which ceramic knife set you’d choose if you were to win! There are lots of other ways to gain bonus entries once you leave a comment.

Rocknife ceramic knife set giveaway

V is for… Viners

Group of vintage Viners stainless steel items | H is for Home

Viners is renowned for its high quality stainless steel products.

vintage Viners sauce boat | H is for Home

The company was founded in 1901 by Adolf Viener.

Vintage Viners ladle | H is for Home

Sheffield is the home of British steel manufacturing and Viners grew into the biggest cutlery factory in the city.

group of vintage Viners Mosaic cutlery pieces | H is for Home

Ruben Viner, one of the founder’s sons, became the firm’s driving force, and it really prospered in the 1960s.

This period saw our favourite range of products with wonderful shapes & textures – by designers such as Gerald Benney and Stuart Devlin. Even the packaging looked great!!

vintage Stuart Devlin dish designed for Viners | H is for Home

Their cutlery ranges from this era such as Mosaic, Shape and Sable are now much sought after.

set of vintage Viners Mosaic cutlery | H is for HomeMosaic

set of vintage Viners 'Shape' cutlery | H is forHomeShape

set of vintage Viners 'Sable' cutlery | H is for Home
Sable

The stainless steel was sometimes combined with woods such as rosewood and teak…

vintage Viners teak & stainless steel ice bucket | H is for Home vintage Viners teak & stainless steel ice bucket | H is for Home

…as in this fabulous ice bucket…

set of vintage Viners Polynesian teaspoons | H is for Home

…or these Polynesian teaspoons.

The company invested in a modern factory in Sheffield with subsidiaries in Ireland, France and Australia. Unfortunately, this major investment was to be the firm’s undoing. Crippling loan repayments at a time of stiff competition from cheaper, Far Eastern imports saw the family-run business close in 1982.

vintage Viners ice bucket | H is for Home vintage Viners ice bucket | H is for Home

The brand is now owned by US-based Oneida, the world’s largest cutlery company.

vintage Viners Splayds spoons

There are some great vintage pieces out there – have a look at H is for Home’s current vintage Viners items for sale.

U is for… Utensils

'U is for utensils' blog post banner

group shot of vintage kitchen utensils | H is for Home

We’re taking a look at vintage utensils this week – those useful, kitchen tools from the humble wooden spoon to the wonderfully named kitchemajig.

No kitchen should be without a wooden spoon  – preferably a few.

antique wooden dairy bowl and spoon | H is for Home

They come in a wide variety of sizes, have multiple uses, they don’t scratch pots & pans… and also develop a lovely character over years of use.

We keep ours in this lovely, old wooden rack…

antique wooden spoon holder | H is for Home

… another potful next to the stove…

vintage stoneware utensil jar with utensils | H is for Home

…and still more hanging from this ancient iron well hook.

group of utensils hanging from antique iron well hook | H is for Home

It’s useful having them close at hand wherever we happen to be working in the kitchen. There’s always the perfect spoon for a particular job.

This one has such a wonderful patina that it’s now been retired from general use and sits happily on a shelf enjoying its life of leisure… with a pair of child’s antique wooden clogs for company!

vintage wooden spoon with small antique clogs on mantlepiece | H is for Home

Of course kitchen tools don’t stop with the wooden spoon… there are palette knives, ladles, forks, fish slices, whisks etc.

Some utensils are multi-functional, like the aforementioned kitchemajig…

vintage kitchemajig | H is for Home

…others have very specific uses such as the tomato slicer, butter curler and pastry blender.

vintage Prestige tomato slicer | H is for Home

vintage butter curler | H is for Home

vintage pastry blender | H is for Home

Do rolling pins count as utensils?

vintage Pyrex glass rolling pin | H is for Home

We think they probably do – made from wood, pottery, marble, or in the case of this Pyrex example, glass.

The heyday for utensils – well our favourite era at least – was the 1950s & 60s. Names such as Skyline, Prestige & Tala.

Chrome & stainless steel tools mounted on lovely painted wooden handles available in a rainbow of colours.

detail of colourful vintage utensil handles | H is for Home

They’re a great way of adding a vintage touch to an otherwise contemporary kitchen. They look good in sets of the same colour…

set of orange vintage kitchen utensils | H is for Home

…or mixed & matched.

set of vintage multi-coloured kitchen utensils | H is for Home

We picked up this wonderful set recently – boxed and with its original hanging rack. One small problem though, someone was obviously in desperate need of the lipped, oval spoon… and removed it.

set of red vintage skyline utensils | H is for Home

We’re now on a quest for a 50-year-old lipped spoon, in pristine condition, in the right colours – no easy task!

We’ve got boxes full of coffee services short of one cup, storage jars waiting for matching lids and cutlery sets missing the odd knife or teaspoon. It’s all a matter of keeping your eyes open and being patient.

We’re currently relishing reading through a huge pile of 1950s/60 Ideal Home magazines, they’re full of fantastic ads for furniture, fabrics and housewares, including the odd one for kitchen utensils…

…like these for Tala and Prestige.

vintage Prestige utensils magazine advertisement | H is for Home

By coincidence, just as we were writing this post, we sold this lovely Prestige set with their classic 1950s, diamond-patterned handles.

vintage 1950s Prestige utensil set | H is for Home

If you manage to find one that you love, a kitchen utensil is of those wonderful items that can give you a little bit of pleasure every time you use it – have you got a favourite?

K is for… Kitchen

'K is for...' blog post banner

Image of our kitchen

The kitchen is probably our favourite room in the house. We love spending time in here – cooking, chatting or having a big mug of tea after a long dog walk.

photo of a child's writing slate and wooden kitchen utensils

We have the main wall painted a zingy tangerine. It’s bright & lively in the summer but also gives a warm cosy feel when the nights draw in. We used to have it painted a fresh apple green but this felt a bit cold in the winter, so we had to get the brushes back out.

photo of the cooker in our kitchen

The orange also works well with the stainless steel and various shades within the stone tiled splash-back.

The centre of the room is filled with a large, old, beech baker’s table which serves as our main seating & eating area – also a very useful extra work surface.

On the opposite wall to the work units & cooker is a stone fireplace. This would once have housed the original kitchen range.

Photo of the fireplace in our kitchen

The chimney has not gone to waste however, with the cast iron stove chuffing away on chilly nights. On the ceiling above this stove we have a slatted drying rack – perfect for hanging washing on cold, rainy days.

The graphic 1960s street scene is by artist Ken Law… and on the stone ledge sit various vintage pottery plates including Poole and Royal Copenhagen. Mixing old & new is a recurring theme throughout our house.

photo of the shelves in our pantry

We like the blend of rustic pieces such as the baker’s table, butcher’s block and spoon rack with the modern stainless steel and down-lighting.

Photo of our kitchen workbench

Both being former chefs, we like to fill the kitchen with practical (and preferably good looking) equipment.

photo of antique butcher's block

Objects from the 1950s, 60s & 70s seem to fit in well, helping to tie it all together.

photo of our vintage 1960s Hornsea Pottery 'Bronte' tea, coffee & sugar canisters

Vintage kitchen enamel and ceramics are a particular passion of ours – pots, pans, storage jars etc. Hornsea, Denby, Cathrineholm, Rorstrand, Figgjo Flint, Arabia, Dansk Designs, Le Creuset are just a few of the names we look for…

…and then there are the cookbooks – don’t get us started on those!