I’ll put my hands up and admit that I need more spice in my life- in the kitchen, that is. I’m fond of whipping up a piquant Thai green curry, tandoori-flavoured skewers, jerk chicken or blackened fish with a Cajun kick. I slip a healthy dose of fresh red chilies into my bolognaise sauce and I add an extra shake (or three) of the cayenne to my fajita spice blend. In short, I love it hot and don’t mind breaking a sweat over dinner. You can only imagine my delight when I received August’s Bright Paper Packages box, which carries a Summer Spice theme.
Spicy food always has a place in my heart, no matter what the temperature outside. Fiery curries can always be tempered by a swig of ice cold beer (or a yogurt sauce, if you’re more sensible), so despite the nonconforming link between spices and summer, the motif is sound. As someone who enjoys cooking at home when given the chance, I covet items that make the process more enjoyable, from ingeniously designed utensils to vibrantly patterned dishtowels. The Bright Paper Packages team obviously share this ethos because this box was the perfect recipe to guarantee my enthusiastic endorsement.
The Bright Paper Packages monthly subscription box aims to incite this sort of glee amongst its subscribers- each one is curated around a specific theme, indicative of the time and thought spent on item selection for every box. All contents are sourced from local designers and manufacturers as well, guaranteeing high quality wares and introducing subscribers to home-grown talent. Each item has a personal touch, as they are usually painted, moulded or created by hand.
August’s box is lightweight and packaged in a slender cardboard casing. The size of the packaging of the boxes varies depending on the contents; the Bright Paper Packages team don’t want to restrict themselves to letterbox-friendly containers because they are eager to include the occasional heavier or bulkier item. This adds to the surprise, meaning that subscribers can receive anything from a notebook to a porcelain mug. Everything is always carefully wrapped inside, usually in tissue paper or striped paper bags.
Bright Paper Packages- August 2016 Unboxed
- One tea towel from Lisa Todd Designs
- One wooden spoon from Holly Horton
- One tagine recipe kit from The Spicery
- Recipe markers from Gilbert13
- A subscriber card
The largest item is a pristinely folded tea towel that boasts an attractive geometric design in bold colours. It’s generously sized, soft to the touch and made from 100% cotton. The lovely print and the quality of the material makes this a great addition to my already colourful kitchen- I always buy drab towels because I know they’ll only be spoiled after wiping messes down, but later regret it. This is a perfect reminder that a tea towel with a bit of personality will ultimately bring me more happiness- and its design is influenced by the designer’s childhood growing up in South Africa. It’s no wonder that it radiates sunshine and vivacity.
The same strike of vibrancy can be claimed about the gorgeous wooden spoon, which is hand painted by Holly Horton, lending it a shock of colour and design. The idea that we shouldn’t waste our time on pain, drab utensils when we can add a little zing to every stage of the cooking process resonates with me. I love a flash or nuance of something electrifying and this is my favourite item of the August box. While I’m tempted to stick to my old, bland wooden spoon and preserve this as a piece for display purposes only, I know that’s utterly ridiculous and that I’ll experience more joy through its use. I’m still building up to it- it’s difficult to taint something so stunning with tomato and turmeric stains.
No spice box would be complete without cooking spices, so the tagine kit from The Spicery is apt. I frequently feature tagines on our weekday supper rotation, so this is something I’m happy to immediately put to use. It’s easy and versatile- allowing for suggested meat to be replaced by fish or vegetables to be suitable for every diet. The Spicery are renowned for purveying only the freshest and most diverse range of spices in the country- they achieve this by roasting and grinding them in small batches to ensure that nothing goes stale or sits on a shelf. It’s instantly evident when you open the kit and catch a whiff of the beautiful aromas inside- this is going to enhance my tagine game. It will undoubtedly lead to me buying some more fresh spices at our local market- there’s nothing like the tempting, fragrant scents wafting from a tagine to get your appetite going and instantly transport you to Morocco.
The final item is a useful solution for hoarders of recipes like me (my collection comprises of scraps of papers, clippings from magazines and mismatched recipe cards). These handsome recipe markers are the perfect way to bring a bit of order to the chaos. Designed by Gilbert13, these lovely designs include illustrated dishes and bakes in pink, making it impossible to miss them when highlighting your go-to recipes. I love the idea and the design and will use these as an excuse to purge and tidy my recipes- something that I haven’t done in at least three years.
The Summer Spice Bright Paper Packages box is another inspiring collection of items that are both practical and beautiful- they’ll bring a sparkle or pop of personality to the home for many dinners to come. I’m extremely happy with each treasure and will boastfully showcase them in the kitchen. Extolling UK-based designs is extremely important to me and I love adding unique pieces to my home. This is at the heart of Bright Paper Packages and why it appeals to me- and will appeal to likeminded individuals as well.
A monthly subscription to Bright Paper Packages is available at £20 with shipping included for a one-off purchase (and other subscription options are also available at £57 for three months, £111 for six and £216 for one year, all including UK shipping). The Bright New Year- a new subscription service offered- makes a perfect gift, delivering twelve surprise items to a recipient across a year. It is available for a one-off payment of £100 (with shipping included in the UK).
I’m thrilled that my kitchen has been both spruced up and spiced up and I have Bright Paper Packages to thank- I’m so grateful to have discovered a subscription box that sends my spirits soaring month after month. The summer boxes have been bursting with colour and evocative pieces that have sent me everywhere from the seaside to Marrakesh. I’m beginning to look forward to the comforting and cosy themes that will undoubtedly unfold as the cooler temperatures creep in.
But until then, I’ll sit back and take in the aromas of a simmering tagine…