Heirloom: Mug shots

Words Caitlin Clements

The Italians love children, and they love food, particularly when the whole family, from the nonna to the bambini, come together around the dining table. The Alessini collection is priced from £22 and is Alessi’s first range of crockery specifically for kids, was created with this in mind. It was designed by Alessandro Mendini, the celebrated Italian architect whose other Alessi pieces (such as the smiling Anna corkscrew) have been a huge hit, and includes a mug, plate and bowl in fine bone china. There are also a couple of trays and a shapely cutlery set, all in either Proust’s spots (above) or Con-Centrici’s circles (below).

It’s not just the aesthetics that will appeal to kids, however; each item has been designed for small hands, with practical elements such as a raised rim on the plate to minimise spills, a rounded blade on the knife and asymmetric handles on the cup so it can be held steady.

From introducing youngsters to design to teaching them good table manners, the Alessini collection is useful and practical, but it is also a worthy heirloom: your children, and their future dinner guests, will thank you for it.