This year, retro style is back in fashion in a big way. Everywhere you look, the past is making a comeback; Companies are bringing back their old, much-loved TV commercials, everything from t-shirts to keyrings is now available with the legendary wartime slogan ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, and everyone is taking comfort in these difficult times from the memories of years gone by.
One place where retro style fits perfectly is the kitchen. Everyone has fond memories of the kitchen from their childhood, whether it’s the fridge magnet letters or the stacks of brown and orange-patterned plates and bowls. The good news is that, with retro back in style, you can bring back those memories in your kitchen today. A quick search online or trip to the shops will reveal that, if you know what to look for, you can find a surprising number of items and gifts that you probably thought you’d never see again. If you’d love to recapture your childhood and turn your kitchen into a retro time-warp, or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect housewarming gift for a friend who loves retro chic, these are the essential items you’ll need.
In the 1970s, no party was complete without the Fondue Set. The recipe for a communal pot of melted cheese and wine first became popular in Switzerland in the early 20th century, but saw a boom in Britain during the ’70s. A fondue set, consisting of a small burner under an earthenware pot, would sit in the middle of a table, gently heating a mixture of melted cheese and wine, plus seasoning. Guests would use long forks to dunk in chunks of bread, and sometimes meat. The good news is that fondue sets are coming back, so for an amazing retro night in, why not buy one and invite some friends round to enjoy this ’70s delicacy? For a sweet alternative, try using melted chocolate and dunking marshmallows and fruit. Much less fuss than a chocolate fountain, and easier to wash afterward.
These days we’re happy to pour wine straight from the bottle. Screw-tops have taken the place of corks and wine glasses have almost doubled in size. Years ago though, the drinking of wine was a much slower, almost ceremonious process. A bottle was selected, the cork carefully removed, and then the wine poured into the centrepiece for the evening; The decanter. Usually made of glass or crystal, the wine decanter would allow the wine to settle and breathe, whilst any sediment would sink to the bottom and stay in the decanter, not in your glass. If you have a friend who enjoys wine (we suspect most people have), why not buy them a decanter? They look much better than a plain old bottle on the table, and can make even the cheaper wines look and taste better.
Like wine, cheese seems to be a much more rushed affair these days. Why not turn back the clock and serve your cheese the old-fashioned way, with a traditional cheese board and knife? Cheese suffered heavy rationing during World War 2, with the Ministry of Food declaring that only one type of cheese – ‘National Cheese’ – could be made. After the war, cheese making gradually recovered and, by the 1970s, cheese was back in favour. The cheeseboard became the perfect end to a dinner party, with guests offered a selection of cheddars, camemberts, goudas and more. With thousands of types of cheese available today, over 700 made in Britain alone, there’s never been a better time to invest in a traditional cheeseboard and knife (it has to be the proper cheese knife with the prongs on the end – How else would you effortlessly offer a guest a slice of Cornish Yarg?
When was the last time you wore an apron? In this busy world, we never seem to take time to cook. The apron, from the French ‘naperon’, meaning ‘tablecloth’, was a staple 레트로 of the 1970s kitchen, and putting it on signalled a session of serious cooking. These days, we’re too quick to throw a ready-meal into the microwave. Why not equip your kitchen with a classic-style apron, and turn cooking back into the pleasure it once was?
The classic cup-cake is back in fashion, after years of fancy eclairs and designer doughnuts taking centre-stage. If you’ve rediscovered the joy of baking a tray of simple cup-cakes, and of course elegantly decorating them with icing and sprinkles, you really should display the finished product in an equally elegant style. This is why every retro kitchen should include a silver cup-cake stand. The traditional design stands tall in stunning silver and features a number of protruding arms on which to display your creations. Don’t simply pile your cakes on a plate; Search online for a cup-cake stand and show off your baked artistry in awesome retro fashion.