Reviewed by Louise Totton
Whenever anyone asks me what I would like for my birthday or for Christmas, I can never think of anything; I am an absolute nightmare to buy for. Having said that, I think the gifts that I like the most are the useful ones, especially if it is something that I wouldn’t have justified buying for myself. If I am buying something for myself, I mostly choose something that I think is functional but inexpensive. For example, nearly everything in my kitchen is from a well-known Swedish furniture shop, which is all well and good and I was happy with my white crockery, but I didn’t love it. I do, however, absolutely love the Denby crockery set that my dad gave to me as a housewarming present last year and it makes me smile every time I use it. I would never have been able to justify spending the money on myself, so it was a wonderful gift. I feel the same about the Le Creuset casserole pan that my mum gave to me, and I think things like this are not only wonderful treats but they are built to last and can even become a piece of family history.
Now, when I think about quality pieces that I would like in my kitchen, the crockery I would always have aspired to would be Denby, the cookware Le Creuset and the knives and cutlery would have to be Viners. Viners (to me anyway) has always be the brand that would have come to mind if I had to name a quality knife brand so being asked to try out their Titan Knife Block was a real treat for me. The Titan knife block is available with either copper, gold or black knives but it was a no-brainer for me, and I chose the copper without a second thought. I love the current trend for copper home accessories and these looked absolutely gorgeous on Viners’ website.
They arrived the day after I ordered them in a massive box, packaged and protected very well with copious amounts of bubble wrap. Once I had dug through the outer packing box and retrieved the retail box, I realised just how heavy and substantial the knife block feels. Because it was packaged so well, the box was completely undamaged and I thought it looked great. The Viners’ logo features prominently, and combined with the weight of the box and the image of the beautiful knives on the front combines to create an immediately impressive and high-quality first impression.
Within the retail box, the five knives were individually wrapped and sheathed to protect them and for safety. It is a six-piece set, of which one of the six is the block, plus five knives. This set includes:
8” chef’s knife
8” carving knife
8” bread knife
4.5” utility knife
3.5” paring knife
Magnetic knife block
I do cook mostly from scratch, so appreciate good quality knives. These ones are fabulous to hold and super sharp. I love how comfortable the handles are to hold and the soft, slightly rubbery feel that they have makes them super easy and safe to grip, even with wet hands. I have to say that I think the copper is gorgeous and a real statement colour; they look fabulous in the kitchen and have received lots of admiring comments. The magnetic block shows off the copper colour beautifully, being jet black. They are hand-wash only, so putting them in the dishwasher isn’t an option. When I have used them, I dried them immediately after washing to make sure the stunning copper blades didn’t end up with drying marks and I have to say that they polish up beautifully.
When I saw the knives online, for some reason I had assumed that the knife block was glass-fronted and that the knives would be stored inside the block. In actual fact, there is no front on it and the knives simply use magnetic power to attach to the front of the block. Initially I was a little unsure about the safety aspect of this but the magnets are clearly super-strong and I have no concerns about them staying fixed to the block. The block is really heavy and very stable but as I have young children in the house, I have made sure that the block is pushed right to the back of the worktops to stop the kids getting near to them.
The selection of knives is perfect and I don’t feel the set is missing anything. I do admit that I prefer a knife block to also contain a matching steel and carving fork, but you would know this before you bought it so I don’t think this is a negative. I am absolutely over the moon with the set I do think the quality is outstanding, as you would expect from Viners. The knives are incredibly sharp, feel great in your hand and cut with total precision. This is partly due to the titanium coating on the stainless steel blades which make for a super strong and hard-wearing blade. The 10-year guarantee proves just how confident Viners are in the quality of the knives.
For me, a set like this is a real treat and luxury, and with an RRP of £84 isn’t the kind of purchase I would easily be able to justify for myself. It does make a wonderful gift, as even the person who has everything might want to upgrade. With Father’s Day coming up, I think they’d make a wonderful choice for a dad who enjoys spending time in the kitchen and good quality items. I wouldn’t hesitate to rate them at 5/5, and even though they are expensive, the quality is great and they are well worth the outlay.
For more information or to buy visit www.viners.co.uk.