Who else has found themselves in one of those terracotta pot yards whilst on holiday? We were camping in Anduze in the south of France in 1998 and, on a bored afternoon, wandered into one for no reason at all. I find those places rather depressing in their ‘sameness’ but, miraculously, we stumbled upon a beautiful set of stoneware bowls, jugs and pots. They were simple with classic proportions and nested beautifully inside each other. No chintzy painted flowers here, these were workmanlike vessels with a pared down honesty. We bought the lot! 18 years later we still eat our morning porridge out of these bowls every day.
So it was only natural that when I launched Know & Love these bowls should be a part of the story. I was delighted to track them down from the makers marks and to subsequently discover that in 2014 this traditional French pottery company, established in 1875, was saved from going under by Corrinne Jordan and brought up to date with new colour ranges and beautiful marketing.
The pieces are still produced by hand, the beautiful bowls, which I later discovered are traditional Parisian butchers terrine bowls, bear the blemishes, brush strokes and drips which evidence their ancient manufacturing process.
These items are not just aesthetically pleasing; the large bowls are made for hugging with one arm whilst stirring a stiff fruit cake mix with the other. The mustard pot will keep your conserves at a cool temperature and the olive oil bottle, unchanged in over 100 years, is a lesson in functionality.
These are kitchen staples - hard wearing, hard working and hard to resist!