Gift ideas: when to throw in the tea towel

As far as I’m concerned Christmas isn’t Christmas without the ‘what a surprise!’ of a new tea towel. Both decorative and useful… William Morris would have loved, I’m sure, the tea towel giver:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

Or, as one tea towel I’ve seen puts it:

paper towels are white trash

Of course, you have to get the ‘beauty’ and ‘usefulness’, right. You can’t give just any old rag with a dubious design in a material that doesn’t absorb. Get that wrong and your gift will never see the light of day. Get it right, and it will be hung on the Aga rail proudly for years to come.

Here are some of my favourite kitchen-garden related tea towels.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.32.51 One of my all-time favourites Rabbits & Cabbages… with bees and ladybirds to boot. Designed by Thornback & Peel and available from Fortnum & Mason for £12.95

 I love these designs from Lush (not the soap people, the interiors people… although, now I have a tween-age daughter, I have to love the soap people too!) These are available for £11 each, from

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.29.44This gorgeous tomato tea towel is £22 from, and good enough to frame…

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.28.28…As is this fab square Retro-tool inspired one. £23 also from

And so which one would I like in my stocking? Well actually, for me, plainer the better. I’d love love love this heavy linen one, £15 from Labour & Wait. I think any trendy-beardy William Morris lookalike would love it too.

Labour & Wait

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