We have long been members of the Duralex fan club; waving the flag, wearing the t-shirts, using Duralex glasses here in our cafe and at The Glynne Arms, and toasting its general French greatness. Duralex is a design classic and practically unbreakable –more on this later- so its tough yet refined glassware is perfect for all ages and great for both hot and cold drinks. One of our favourite facts is that Duralex's largest export market is Afghanistan, where they are used as tea glasses in even the most remote villages.
At the Farm Shop we stock the classic Duralex Picardie glasses (16/18/22cl). One of the things we love about these glasses is their history; Duralex dates back to the 1930s and such is its reputation that the glasses have been a staple in almost every French café, school canteen or works cafeteria ever since. For decades French school children played a game where every child at the canteen table read out the serial number stamped with the Duralex logo on the bottom of their water glass (this could be anything between 1 and 48) and the child with the lowest number had to fetch the water for the rest of the table. It seems fair.
What makes a Duralex glass so strong? It's made of tempered glass, a method where the glass is taken straight from furnace in the La Chapelle Saint-Mesmin factory and rapidly cooled. This makes it two and a half times as resistant as normal glass and almost unbreakable, which is why the original publicity for the glasses in the Fifties claimed that they could be "used as hammers". To give you an idea of it's strength, the same method is used to produce windscreens and bullet-proof glass. So it's pretty darn tough.
These iconic glasses have been much imitated over the years, but never really bettered. Today they are found on many of the world's best tables from London to New York, Tokyo, Hawarden and beyond. Duralex glasses will offer you many years of loyal service; they are robust, elegant, heavy and hard to break. And, what's more, they are so inexpensive that you might as well fill your cupboards while you're at it. Head to the Farm Shop and stock up.