Duralex is a French tempered glass tableware manufacturer located in La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin in Loiret (France). During the tempered glass process glass is heated to 600C degrees and then cooled very quickly. It was developed in the 1930s by Saint-Goblin .
Duralex glass has an impact resistance twice that of normal glass – meaning it is really very difficult to break even if you drop it – and the tempering process does not compromise transparency.
My personal favourite of the Duralex range: their “Picardie” model which dates from around 1927.
The Picardie is an iconic design and has been described as the “ultimate drinking vessel”. It is of such beauty that “its perfection comes from inherent fitness for purpose: filled with liquid, held in the fingers and tipped into the mouth and of its type cannot be improved”. Truly a simple, inexpensive delight that is a joy to use.
Its tapered shape is perfect for holding and stacking as a result it has become a very popular glass for bistro’s, cafes and brasseries. I have enjoyed beer, wine and water from the Picardie in innumerable restaurants from Paris, to London and Stockholm. I have relished its reliable familiarity in a Bodram coffee shop, a Moroccan mint-tea house and a Brighton chip shop. It was also the favourite for my school canteen.
The expression “MADE IN FRANCE” and the “DURALEX” logo in a circle come into view as you down the contents of your drink – a very subtle but wonderful piece of re-inforcement marketing.
The Picardie collection is available at JohnLewis.com at a £1.00 – plus delivery – for the .36L version! They may seem inexpensive but is simply the easiest way to start to fill your home with some fabulous “aestheticons” – and you’ll only need to by them once!
Photo from John Lewis