Marmite was first created in 1902, when brewers in Staffordshire began to use the yeasty by-product of beer making to create a tasty spread for bread. The sticky brown stuff has divided opinions for over a hundred years now – as the recent advertising campaign admits, ‘you either love it or you hate it’ – but Marmite is no ordinary spread. It’s much more than that – it’s become a symbol of Britishness, a reassuring brand that has stood the test of time, and a design icon in its own right. And, with the recession in full swing, Marmite designs have never been cooler.

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Check out these stunning Pop Art style canvases from Bloomsbury Store – I particularly like the one on the left with the green background. You can get silver Marmite jar lids from Notonthehighstreet, a Marmite recipe book from Amazon, and Dualit has released a limited edition Marmite toaster.

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These pastel-coloured Pop Art Marmite accessories are stocked at Rockett St GeorgeRustic Angels and Gift to Go.

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Fact of the day: Marmite originally came in a small earthenware pot, similar to the kind of French casserole dish called a ‘Marmite‘, (pronounced MAR-MEET). This is where Marmite gets its name from, and there’s still a little picture of the earthenware pot on the label today. Yorkshire mail-order company Pheasant sells stunning handmade Marmite teapots, as well as other vintage food container creations…

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Marmite isn’t just a homes trend – it’s even popped up on the catwalk. Check out the Marmite T-shirt below right, designed by Vivienne Westwood, and sold in the official Marmite Shop.

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I am firmly in the LOVE IT camp myself, and have been known to eat the stuff straight from the jar! It’s not everybody’s cup of tea thought – my mum had an unfortunate French exchange partner in the 1960s who assumed it was chocolate spread so smothered a piece of toast with it, and got a nasty shock! – Ellie

 

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Yesterday I went to check out the new Tesco Autumn Winter collection, and spotted these gorgeous Fifties-style ceramics and accessories. So retro and cute – these pear and apple patterns remind me of Orla Kiely‘s ‘Green Apples and Pears’ design, and there’s nothing I like more than designer style at bargain prices…

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Apples and Pears collection, from £2 for a mug, Tesco

There were several other Fifties-style designs in the new range, with patterns reminiscent of classic Midwinter pottery designs, but given a modern twist. The colour palette is retro too – think dirty teals, greys and mustard greens:

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Textured leaf range, from £2 for a mug, Tesco

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Shadow Floral range, from £1.50 for a mug, Tesco

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Deco Circle range, from £1.50 for a mug, Tesco

I’m a bit of a polka dot addict, so I got very excited when I saw these pretty spotty cake tins at the Tesco show. They’re just £4.50 for two – what a fantastic deal! I’ve seen similar tins recently for twice the price in posh shops such as Portmeirion.

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Red spot cake tins, £4.50 for two, Tesco

All these lovely things are due to hit Tesco stores in September, so sadly I will have to wait for my polka dot fix. – Ellie