Although not really aligned with my (and everyone’s) 2014 healthy kickstart, I love baking. And cooking. And anything that involves putting delicious food into my mouth. So for the next few months while I’m training for a marathon and could do with a bit of extra fuel, I plan on eating as much as I can get away with.

My kitchen is also my place for chilling out after a hectic day. The last time I came home from a particularly stressful day at work, I spent two hours cleaning out my larder and getting rid of all the out of date food, cleaning pots and wiping shelves. And I was so happy afterwards. There’s nothing like some shiny pans and an ordered shelf of herbs and spices to calm that hot blood. Some people do yoga… I put flour in jars and wipe up soy sauce stains. Aaaaaaand zen.

So, with those two things in mind, it’s quite predictable that I like a good set of bakeware. The Lakeland catalogue is my pornography, and I could drool over Le Creuset for days. I buy far more pots, pans, trays and tins than I could ever need, or use. Considering I live in a one bedroom flat in London, it’s a good job I DO have a larder or there’d be nowhere to store the actual food, and I would die of starvation (whilst surrounded by pretty, pretty casserole dishes).

Luckily for people like me without a Le Creuset budget, there are lots of affordable kitchen alternatives that are just as beautiful and useful, without eating as far into the food shopping budget. There are also some slightly-less-cheap-but-so-beautiful-it-makes-my-eyes-hurt offerings. Drool away, lads and lasses…

Habitat have actually managed to make frying pans and saucepans… well, cool. Their MATTEO and DENVER ranges are sleek, stylish and would fit well in an industrial-styled city penthouse, should you be able to afford one. They’d fit just as well in a tiny studio of course, since they’d look rather beautiful hanging above the oven. 

 

habitat-pans-beautiful-bakeware

MATTEO bronze aluminium frying pan £43, MATTEO 2 handle pan £80, DENVER 26cm shallow casserole £55, DENVER 26cm deep casserole £65 

 

Always a fan of Emma Bridgewater, she has some ever-so-cute ceramic baking dishes for when plain white is just much too boring. 

emma-bridgewater-beautiful-bakeware

Rose & Bee heart baker £54.95, polka dot mix set of 3 ramekins £29.95, polka dot large rectangular baker £59.95 

 

And for those not on an Emma Bridgewater budget, Gisela Graham has some very, very cute little individual dishes for a special meal. NotOnTheHighStreet are also getting in on the polka dot action. 

gisela-graham-beautiful-bakeware

Gisela Graham spotted pastel mini heart dishes £3.99, Gisela Graham spotted pastel mini casserole dishes £3.99, spotty heart baking dish 22cm £15

 

Sainsbury’s have a really lovely range at the moment called General Store – think Lawless-style glass milk bottles, wooden utensils and jars of moonshine. 

sainsburys-general-store-beautiful-bakeware

Wine bottle from £5, large pudding bowl £7, Kilner jar £4, stone pestle & mortar £12

 

OKAY, okay, I couldn’t resist getting a bit of Le Creuset in here. It’s just so PRETTY. I adore their whistling kettle, their mini casserole dishes, their tatin dishes… and I especially love their new matte-finish cotton range. I wish it was all mine. You can grab them over at John Lewis.

 john-lewis-le-creuset-beautiful-bakeware

Oval casserole £160, traditional stovetop whistling kettle £40.80–£90, petite round casserole £12–£15, tatin dish £75

Have you seen any beautiful bakeware recently? Show us some links – there’s always a bit more room in the larder…

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