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Mug Life: The mug reviews you didn’t know you needed

July 19, 2017
Mug Reviews

I love a good mug much more than the next person. If you tested me on the (actual, pretend) mug-O-meter scale I’d be the dinging the bell very, very loudly because I just like mugs THAT much.

Mostly, I prefer vintage mugs, if we’re going to properly nut this out. I like my mug to tell a hint of a story. I like my mug to feel nice in my hand. I like my mug to look good and be almost-full-to-the-brim of something good. (Tea, coffee, hot soup. That sort of thing.)

I have tried brand new mugs, and as lovely as many of them are, they leave me a bit cold. What I prefer is something that has been around the block, in terms of hot bevies. I like something that’s got a bit of history. Something that’s been clutched through many a chat and been tipped upside down in many a dish drainer.

It’s in this spirit of bumped-up, wise mugs that I bring you this delightful selection of current favourites. I’m thinking these guys have been around the block a few times and know some things.

Georges Briard mug

This enamel mug is by Georges Briard and it ticks a few of my ace mug boxes. Firstly it’s enamelware. Secondly it’s got gold trim. Thirdly, it’s got a nicely patterned bird on it. Some of my favourite friends are nicely patterned birds, so this mug makes a lot of sense to me.

Ranking : 8/10 on the Mug-o-Meter : available here

Steve and Michelle Mug

I have this actual mug in my cupboard. Well. I have TWO of them, in fact. Because gorgeous. I used to have three but one blew off the table in the backyard on a really windy day and now I’m down to two and some sad and broken bits.

I call this/these my “Steve and Michelle” mug/s. I don’t know, it just reminds me a lot of my friends Steve and Michelle (if Michelle had long hair, which she doesn’t!) This mug is highly recommended because it’s a nice size, cute and also very Yoshitomo Nara-ish. Don’t you think?

Ranking : 9/10 on the Mug-o-Meter : available here. Quite rare.

Hornsea inspired vintage mugs

Granted, these mugs are brown, which is not my favourite colour BUT they are a little bit Horsea-ish and also have the kind of earthy charm that seems to whisper “fill me up with miso soup and tell me your troubles”. Don’t you think?

I can tell just from looking at them that they will feel nice to hold (I’m an expert, remember?) and there is the extra bonus of Australian shipping because some nice people from Brisbane are selling these.

Ranking: 8/10 on the Mug-o-Meter – available here

Tony Robbins of mugs

When I read this, I hear the words in a kind of tight, menacing voice. It’s like the mug is going to MAKE you have a good time and if you don’t there will be hell to pay. “Something good is going to happen to you” this mug promises, trying to hypnotise you. It’s pretty much the Tony Robbins of mugs and it’s only $11.38US plus shipping.

Ranking: 7/10 on the Mug-o-Meter (loses points for platitude-y attitude) – available here

Hornsea Mugs

These are not brown pretenders, but rather actual genuine Hornsea mugs. I have the canisters to match these (my friend Kirsty bought those for me.) The fact that I have started a collection which could include these makes me deeply want these. That’s the sort of person I am. I like having little families of things and these mugs could join my canister family because we’re pretty much all about diversity and acceptance in my kitchen. Mugs and canisters live together in perfect harmony, as the song goes.

Ranking: 9/10 on the Mug-o-Meter – available here

Kiss Me I'm Swedish Mug

I mean. This sassy vintage example of Swedish sex positivity seems to predict the rest-of-the-world’s future obsession with Scandinavian culture. Meatballs. Angel chimes. Killing type shows. Excellent pastries. Ikea.

I was going to Google some other national treasures but my history showed I recently searched for “Sweden, Pineapple” and it’s put me off because I don’t remember doing that. What could “Sweden, Pineapple” possibly mean, Pip? Ugh. Maybe I am sleep-Googling?

Ranking: 7/10 on the Mug-o-Meter – available here

Phew. I hope this helped you achieve your life goals. I think what we’re learnt today is that you shouldn’t go to the mug counter without me.

x Pip


  • Reply Lou Scott August 9, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    It’s almost as if you’ve been inside my head! I love a good mug. I definitely have favourites, and will chose my mug according to mood. I have a rather delicious one on my wish list just waiting to join the cupboard crew. ?

  • Reply Sara July 29, 2017 at 7:55 PM

    I too love mugs. And have feelings about their variety.

    This is my favourite read this week. Thanks Pip.

  • Reply Judy July 23, 2017 at 2:28 AM

    Say what you will about them, but I love Starbucks mugs. They fit my hand so nicely and feel so good. I am slowly rebuilding my collection after I lost some in a fire (which started in the kitchen).

  • Reply Rachel July 20, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    I thought I was the only one. Maybe we should start a mug addiction support group ?

  • Reply kim July 20, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    I love mugs too and tea cups! Loving your Steve and Michelle’s – so cute and that birdie one is gorgy too. I love enamel ware, especially old stuff. There’s something really nice about drinking out of chipped enamel mugs. xx

  • Reply Lillabilly July 19, 2017 at 1:25 PM

    Such a good post! I bought a sideboard so I could actually start a vintage ceramic collection and havn’t quite got there yet. (My kitchen is so small you see- no room!) I do, however, have two Hornsea jugs – one is nice for milk and the other is just the right size for gravy. They were an op shop score! They are perfect in their vintagey brownness and very comforting to use, I think.

  • Reply Emily Nelson July 19, 2017 at 9:38 AM

    I enjoyed this so much. I have a collection of different and mismatched mugs and I love them all.
    I have 2 amazing mugs that are hand made by my friend. Firstly they have cute patterns. One has pale pink squiggles and shapes and the other is marbled like a melted rainbow paddlepop. They both have really long, big handles so there’s plenty of room for all of your fingers and you don’t burn them against the edge of the cup. They both have uneven edges around the top lip. It’s so enjoyable to find a lump of glaze or a funny ceramic edge to put your lips over and drink tea! I also have a mug that has a corgi on it and the back half of the corgi is a loaf of bread being sliced and the front half is just a regular corgi. I have another Roald Dahl mug with a picture of Fantastic Mr Fox on it. Another mug that is a big fox face and it has a tiny fox spoon that goes with it. I’ve also been making ceramics and am experimenting with making different mugs and what feels nice to drink from. I have a huge, gritty rough clay mug with a giant handle – this is best for hot chocolates. I have a range of tiny mugs with funny paintings on them (only really suitable for espresso drinking), a big one with a giant handle and paintings of dog faces on it and 2 handle-less mugs with paintings of pineapples on them and curvy lips that are nice to drink herbal tea from. I would like to expand into a nice collection of vintage mugs (those Brown Hornsea ones! oh my!) And if I ever find a Garfield mug – that will be my favourite mug forever. Ok mug rant over – you obviously excited my inner mug passion with this post. haha

  • Reply Jane @ Shady Baker July 19, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    I love them all Pip…but especially the enamel. x

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