If you look through the products created by Temple Island, they initially all seem quite serious and highbrow. The Heritage Collection includes dinner candles and tankards portraying the architectural delights of key English cities, the Landmarks Collection offers fine bone china mugs decorated with panoramic landscapes of famous European cities and the Hero Mugs feature Elizabeth I, Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde and Nelson. They are the sort of high quality gifts that you would find in National Trust or museum shops and that you could always give to your granny for Christmas.
Then you discover their new range, aptly called the Cheeky Range (although I think it would be even better if it was called the Bum Cheek-y Range !) which depicts a couple looking at Trafalgar Square wearing nothing but Union Jack undies ! You can't miss them either because the whole scene is in black and white so the eye is instantly drawn to the splash of red, white and blue in the middle of the scene !
The subject matter may be irreverent but the products are still of a very high quality. The cheeky pictures are emblazoned across tea towels, mugs, drinks coasters and box canvases that you can hang on the wall. As a Brit abroad, I absolutely love them, as much for the iconic Union Jack as for the inimitably British sense of humour. My fellow English-teaching colleagues at school love them too so they will go down well with anyone who has a soft spot for the UK, whatever their origins !
They would be great for stamping some individuality in your office space or at home - I must admit I'm tempted to put the box canvas on my classroom wall but it might prove too much for teenage students whose testosterone levels are bursting into effervescence ! I love using the teatowel though as it always makes me smile when I do the washing up !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : box canvas (200mm x 200mm) £7.99, 4 cork-backed coasters £4.99, earthware mug £5.99, cotton tea towel £4.99
for more information : www.templeisland.com/