Not long before my surgery, I was offered the opportunity to receive some products from the Old English Company*. Naturally I was very keen to accept as the entire website was full of so many delightful home and lifestyle pieces that would fit with the look I wanted to achieve around the flat.
Due to the surgery quickly approaching, it causing me to lose focus and become stressed, I was able to take the photos of the products and get them edited but was unable to put together my thoughts of them either on my social media or here on this blog. With these products still available, some even in the sale section of the website, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to now share these products with you and whether they have lived up to my expectations and, if in use, survived the initial test of time.
The first place I looked on the website was the coasters as for some time my bedside cabinet needed one as a place to consistently put my drinks and also just to liven up the otherwise drab space. The minute one saying “you are the mac to my cheese” popped up in front of me I knew it was the one that I wanted. As a big lover of carbs and cheese one of my favourite dishes is mac n cheese. It is not a dish that I tend to make or eat as often as I used to but just the idea of it brings me a little bubble of happiness and makes me want to do a mini dance of joy.
This is the sort of coaster that you would possibly get somebody for a gift but I am a strong believer that each person is whole and does not need anybody else to become as amazing as mac n cheese. Yes it sounds ‘cheesy’ but I find the idea of you not being whole and needing another person to become complete really quite sad and it feeds into a very stereotypical view that everybody should and needs to be in a relationship.
The coaster itself has a shiny layer over the design that allows for it to be wiped and have drink residue on it without it becoming discoloured, ruining the design or causing any bobbling or uneven marks on the protective top coating. This helps to make the price of coaster, just under £3, feel much more worthwhile as it helps the carefully put together design of multiple typefaces (connected letters and disjointed ones) and small coloured pieces of macaroni pasta remain bright, vibrant and satisfying to look at over a longer period of time. Its only risk is that the bottom of the coaster is cork and should a larger quantity of drink be spilled it is likely to soak into the cork and risk its disintegration or weaken it to put it at greater risk in the future.
When I mentioned being a big lover of carbs and cheese I was not joking and further inspired by that very fact I became very attracted to a “pizza for life” enamel pin. Pins are not usually something that I tend to gravitate towards as figuring out how to style them is something that is completely out of my comfort zone and they are the sort of things that I fear will just fall off without my realising.
But the understated appearance of the pin with its black background and small silver detailing meant that I figured it might be a little easier to use as an accessory to an outfit as a fun little statement. It is also a statement that I find very important as it serves as a reminder that things like pizza, and other things so often described as ‘bad’, are actually good and important for both our body and also our general well-being; constantly suppressing the desire for things like pizza is unhealthy and soul sapping and therefore it literally provides some deeper meaning than just a slice of bread and cheese.
The attachment for the back of the pin was also a black rubber style rather than a metal fastening. This helps to add to the sleekness of the design as well as the ability for it to be incorporated into an item of clothing discreetly without it rubbing against any skin that it might come into contact with or without it causing an impression mark on an item of clothing. The type of rubber is also matte that securely sticks around the pin itself to help secure it in place without the risk of it falling off during a day of wear.
After adding the coaster to my basket I was already feeling pretty happy with myself for getting something that would be pretty useful to me but that gave me a bit of a bug to find another useful item that would also give me a pick-me-up whenever I looked at it. This ended up coming in the form of a “you’ve got this” keyring that I could carry around in my bag and look at every time I was about to lock the door and head out for the day.
Before getting this keyring it had become an increasingly risky habit for me to have my keys attached together with a piece of blue string. This string naturally became worn down and slightly tattered over time but also, despite several knots and attempts for them to be secure, the string would occasionally unravel and send the keys flying. The size of the keyring has also made it a lot easier for me to find my keys in my bag as previously they could easily roll around in my bag and fall into various compartments which made finding them in a hurry on a late rainy evening after work extremely frustrating.
As well as being good to look at and functional for keeping my keys in place it had a reasonable amount of weight to the keyring without being overly bulky. The only downfall to the gold coloured metal keyring with white writing is that it really quickly gathers fingerprints meaning it needs frequent cleaning to stop it from becoming tarnished or permanently in a state of not looking at its best!
For a little while I have been building up what might be described as a gallery wall in the lounge that largely includes motivational quotes and other things that would be classed as feminist pick-me-up images and statements. After taking a look at all the prints on offer with the Old English Company the one that stuck out to me the most was an A4 white paper print with the words “do what makes your soul happy“.
Unsurprisingly I have little additional to add about the print other than that the paper and ink feels and looks high quality. It will face the same issues as many prints do though and if not kept in the right lighting and temperature conditions start to fade and become discoloured over time.
This, and the prints in general from the company, are probably the items that I feel are the most overpriced; when they are being produced by independent sells on sites like Etsy it feels like it makes more sense as they are more likely to be producing them on demand or in small quantities but a business like Old English Company will have a higher production run and therefore be making a pretty hefty profit from such a simple design and print.
Finally I found myself back at the food based items again and came across another useful item that would liven up the flat a little and add a bit of a personal touch. After a while I settled on a rather large tea towel that they described as the “English food tea towel” which mentioned a lot of ‘traditional’ foods such as fish and chips and bangers and mash. The items on the tea towel certainly reminded me of my youth and a number of comforting homely dishes that brought back various happy memories; having them on a tea towel in the kitchen would allow me to smile but also feel inspired to cook some dishes that I had not consumed for some time.
The material of the tea towel allowed for speedy absorption of bubbles whilst also not leaving tiny bits of material over everything (a welcome relief with any new towel). As well as the material working well for its intended purpose the size of the tea towel is also large enough to dry up a huge amount of items without it becoming drenched or overwhelmed. After a number of washes and accidentally getting several things spilt on it the colour of the tea towel remained a consistent grey background with white writing spread throughout it but it does seem like something that is likely to fade or fall foul to a stain sooner rather than later.
Is there anything that catches your eye on the Old English Company website? If so I would love to find out what it is and what attracts you to it in the comments below.
*Products gifted for PR purposes. All thoughts on the products are my own opinions and not those of the company.