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text 2018-12-19 12:11
Best Kettles of 2018: The 9 Best for the Perfect Cuppa in Christmas Party

We’ve reviewed 15 electric kettles, but have filtered the list down to the 10 that we recommend. Of those, two models stand out.


For style and quality, the Smeg KLF03 is the clear winner. If you want to save a bit of money, but still want a great choice of colours, the Morphy Richards Accents Traditional electric kettle is also a decent choice.


What is the best electric kettle that you can buy?


  • 1. Smeg KLF03
  • 2. Morphy Richards Accents Traditional electric kettle
  • 3. Tefal Avanti Classic
  • 4. Smarter iKettle 3.0
  • 5. Sage Smart electric kettle BKE820UK
  • 6. DeLonghi Avvolta
  • 7. DeLonghi Distinta 1.7L electric kettle
  • 8. DeLonghi Icona Elements
  • 9. Morphy Richards Prism Traditional electric kettle


How we pick the best electric kettles


We’ve reviewed and recommended models from £30 up to well over £100, to ensure we hit cater to every budget and requirement. All electric kettles work in the same way, using an element to heat water, and are all comparably efficient in this regard (turning electricity into heat is easy).

However, the speed at which a electric kettle turns off once the water reaches boiling temperature is important. For that reason, we test all electric kettles to review the time it takes to boil 1-litre of tap-temperature water. We haven’t reviewed – and don’t recommend – electric kettles that don’t have an auto shut-off function.


While your choice of electric kettle may largely come down to style, having a water boiler that functions well is exceptionally important. For every model we test, we examine how easy it is to fill, whether you can easily see how much water you’re putting in, and how well it pours.


We also evaluate other features such as whether it’s possible to set target temperatures for different drinks (water to make coffee shouldn’t be at boiling point, for example).


  1. Smeg KLF03

 Smeg KLF03

Our favourite electric kettle overall


The Smeg KLF03 electric kettle is one of the more expensive models around, but it’s also one of the quickest to reach boiling point and most classily designed. In line with the Italian company’s other appliances, the KLF03 is available in a variety of pastel shades and features a raised Smeg logo on each side.


The 74cm cable is adequate. It can be neatly wound under the base and can exit from almost anywhere – there’s no annoying single exit point.


The handle feels solid and comfortable, and the electric kettle pours well through a removable limescale filter. The KLF03 is relatively quiet in operation, and the soft-touch lid opens with the press of a button.

A 3kW-rated electric kettle, the Smeg KLF03 managed to boil 1-litre of water in just 2mins 5secs, making it one of the fastest models we’ve tested. If you want a high-quality electric kettle that looks great then this is the one to buy.


  1. Morphy Richards Accents Traditional electric kettle

 Morphy Richards Accents Traditional electric kettle

Our favourite budget electric kettle


If you want to kit out your kitchen with matching small appliances, the Morphy Richards Accents range is probably on your radar. As well as the Accents Traditional electric kettle on review here, the range also includes a mug tree, knife block and toaster among other items.

As with the other products that make up range, the Accents Traditional electric kettle comes in a variety of colours including white, black, cream, red and blue. Finding one to match your decor won’t be difficult.


The electric kettle’s design is great, with its retro looks garnering attention for all of the right reasons. On the side of the Accents Traditional electric kettle is a water-fill meter, measured in cups, with a line indicating the maximum 1.5-litre level. Unfortunately, condensation inside the electric kettle can obscure the view, and as a result it can be difficult to work out how much water you’ve put in.


Filling the electric kettle is easy: you can either pop off the lid and fill through the top – or, if you’re feeling lazy, simply fill through the spout.


To boil 1-litre of water, the electric kettle drew a maximum of 2.9kW and turned itself off after 2mins 41secs – which is a little slower than some of the other models here. Reaching a peak volume of 72dB, the Morphy Richards Accents Traditional electric kettle is comparatively quiet.


Pouring using the well-positioned handle is easy enough, and it’s good to see a replaceable limescale filter inside. A clearer water level would have been welcome, but for the price, the Accents Traditional electric kettle is a well-made and stylish addition to any kitchen.


  1. Tefal Avanti Classic

 Tefal Avanti Classic

A smart and stylish jug electric kettle


Decked out in stainless steel, the Tefal Avanti Classic is available with either a smart copper band (pictured) or a plainer silver band. In either case, the Avanti Classic is an attractive electric kettle.


Taking a generous 1.7 litres of water, the Avanti Classic has a large fill gauge on both sides of its body, so it’s easy to see how much water you’ve put in. The lid pulls off to fill, which isn’t quite as easy as a pop-up lid. However, the jug design with the side-mounted handle means that your hand will be out of the way when filling – you can top-up a hot electric kettle without scalding yourself.


Using a peak power output of 2.9kW, the Tefal Avanti Classic boiled our test 1 litre of water in 2mins 18secs, which puts it square in the middle of the pack. Of course, there’s an auto shut-off to stop the electric kettle once boiling point has been reached.


Pouring is easy, with the electric kettle’s weight evenly distributed and the large handle. Inside, there’s a replaceable anti-scale filter, which can be cleaned and descaled, although a replacement filter costs just 60p.


Our only minor complaints are that the cable could be longer (it’s just 70cm) and a pop-up lid would be a neater way to fill it.


  1. Smarter iKettle 3.0

 Tefal Avanti Classic A smart and stylish jug electric kettle

Turn your electric kettle On from your Smartphone


If the thought of controlling your electric kettle through an app – or even through your voice – sounds appealing, the Smarter iKettle 3.0 could be the electric kettle for you. The latter voice skills are the big addition for the iKettle 3.0, which is in its third generation.


The electric kettle connects to your Wi-Fi and you’re then free to control it via its iOS or Android app, which will let you adjust the temperature to fit your beverage. It also features useful keep-warm functions as well as formula modes that can heat and then allow the water to cool to the perfect temperature for baby formula. Testing at 100ºC, the Smarter iKettle 3.0 took 2mins 52secs to boil 1-litre of water, making it the slowest electric kettle on test.


The iKettle 3.0 is a little heavy and there are some minor annoyances, such as there being no external indicator for how much water is inside. Otherwise, the iKettle 3.0 is one of the smartest electric kettles out there.


  1. Sage Smart electric kettle BKE820UK

 Sage Smart electric kettle BKE820UK

Smart temperature controls for all types of drink


Unlike the truly smart Smarter iKettle 3.0, also in the roundup, the Sage Smart electric kettle isn’t actually a Wi-Fi-connected water boiler as its name implies. It does, however, have some seriously clever functions for tea connoisseurs who aren’t that bothered about phone connectivity.


The electric kettle sits on a base that houses an impressive seven buttons: five to let you select 80, 85, 90, 95 or 100ºC temperatures, one for switching the electric kettle on, and another to activate the ‘Keep Warm’ feature. The temperature settings produce brilliantly accurate results, which is great news for both coffee and tea-lovers alike. Nobody likes a cup of burnt beans or a scalding hot mint tea.


Set to 100ºC, the Sage Smart electric kettle boiled 1-litre of water in 2mins 28secs, which gives it average performance in this group. Design-wise, the Sage Smart electric kettle feels comfortable in the hand. Its large see-through lids pops up smoothly for refilling, and the electric kettle’s chrome finish will be at home in any kitchen.


  1. DeLonghi Avvolta
  2. DeLonghi Avvolta

A striking electric kettle available in a range of finishes


If you want a electric kettle that makes a real visual statement then the Avvolta is it, especially in this striking two-tone red finish (more sedate black, and silver options are available, too).


Boiling time is very good, and it pours nicely through the limescale filter, which is removable.


Unfortunately, the Avvolta looks more classy than it feels, due to its on-the-whole plastic construction. The fully detachable lid will also need to be placed aside while you fill up. Rated at 3kW, the DeLonghi Avvolta boiled 1-litre of water in 2mins 15secs, making it one of the quicker electric kettles on test.


Slightly cheap build quality aside, the distinctive looks and decent price could make this electric kettle a winner for some.


  1. DeLonghi Distinta 1.7L electric kettle

 DeLonghi Distinta 1.7L electric kettle

A solid performer and an attractive little electric kettle


Aside from being a little noisy, the DeLongi Distinta 1.7L electric kettle is a solid-performing and attractive little electric kettle. If you favour aesthetics over function then you’re likely to be instantly won over by the compact jug-shaped design and lovely range of colours in which it’s available. These include the matte bronze model on test, as well as copper, black and white colours.


Like some of the other electric kettles in this roundup, its lid is small and you have to remove it manually rather than push a button to pop it up. The spout is big enough for filling though, so it’s a minor caveat we’re happy to overlook. Plus, the lid is an attractive feature.


A boil time of 2mins 32secs puts this electric kettle into average territory. The Distinta is a tad pricey for a electric kettle with basic features, but its killer design and decent performance makes it an appealing top-of-the-range water boiler.


  1. DeLonghi Icona Elements

 DeLonghi Icona Elements

A bit fiddly, but a fast and reliable boiler


If you’re not one for hanging around then this is the electric kettle for you. The DeLonghi Icona Elements is the fastest electric kettle we’ve ever reviewed.


In addition to the 2min-flat boiling time for a litre of water, the 79cm cable is impressively lengthy. Thankfully, functionality isn’t the only area this electric kettle has received attention; it’s a real looker too. The hammered Cloud White finish of our review model is super-attractive.


The only items we weren’t so keen on were a rather flimsy-feeling plastic handle, and the fact that the lid detaches fully rather than being on a hinge. The latter makes the electric kettle more fiddlier to fill than other models.


Even so, the jug design makes this electric kettle easy to pour, with water passing through the removable limescale filter. If you want a rapid water boiler at a decent price, this is the model to buy.

  1. Morphy Richards Prism Traditional electric kettle

 Morphy Richards Prism Traditional Kettle

A stunning looking kettle


At first glance, it’s obvious that the Morphy Richards Prism Traditional electric kettle isn’t for everyone. This striking-looking electric kettle has an oriental-inspired, ergonomic design with a black matte finish and glossy triangle pattern. It looks like an authentic cast-iron electric kettle from a distance. It’s both traditional and futuristic all at once, and would look incredibly sharp on a modern kitchen worktop.


We fell in love with the electric kettle’s handle, which is positioned on the top and feels comfy in the hand. Given you have to tip the electric kettle pretty far to pour out the last dregs of water, its sturdy handle is a blessing. You have to pop off the lid manually, but this isn’t a surprise given the electric kettle’s traditional design and handle position.


Its boil time is decent, taking 2mins 40secs for 1-litre of water. It’s pricey for a basic electric kettle, but it isn’t the most expensive on the market. And chances are, if you fall in love with the unique design then money will be no object.


That was our pick of the best electric kettles. If you want to know more about choosing the right model, read on.


Kettle Buying Guide


Best electric kettles – Which form factor should I buy?


Kettles come in two main types: Jug style and traditional. Which you opt for will largely be down to preference and which looks best in your kitchen.


In both instances, ergonomics have a vital role to play. We tell you how comfortable each electric kettle is to hold, and if the handle offers a good grip. We also explain how easy each electric kettle is to pour.

All of the electric kettles reviewed here feature a stand on which the electric kettle sits for power. We explain how easy it is to drop the electric kettle onto its stand.


The ease with which you can open the lid and fill a electric kettle shouldn’t be overestimated. This is particularly true when refilling an already-hot electric kettle; there’s nothing worse than getting your hand caught in the steam. A electric kettle with a push-button flip-top lid is often a good choice, and makes refilling simpler.


Best electric kettles – Can I buy a more efficient or a faster electric kettle?


Ignore anything you read about faster-boiling electric kettles. Converting electricity into heat is extremely easy, so all electric kettles will have similar efficiency figures. And since UK plugs house a maximum of a 13-amp fuse, the most energy a electric kettle can draw is 3kW.


The main differences are with regards to how quickly a electric kettle takes to boil, which is defined by two factors: power usage and the auto shut-off.


For power usage, electric kettles that draw more power will boil faster; lower-rated electric kettles will take longer to get your water to boiling point. However, the total power usage remains the same to heat water to boiling point. Really, then, the choice for power usage comes down to how quickly you want your boiling water.


The automatic shut-off has a part to play: the faster the electric kettle can recognise that it has hit the boiling point, the quicker it will shut off and stop using power. To that end, our reviews list how much power a electric kettle draws and the time taken to heat 1-litre of water.


There are two main ways to save electricity when using a electric kettle. First, only boil the amount of water you need. As such, an electric kettle that has a clear window and water scale makes it easier to fill to the level you need.


Secondly, stopping the electric kettle boiling sooner saves energy. Some electric kettles have adjustable temperature sensors for different jobs, although you can manually stop any electric kettle with a lower degree of accuracy.


For example, if you’re making coffee in a French press, the ideal water temperature is somewhere between 88ºC and 96ºC, depending on the blend and personal taste (remember, coffee boiled is coffee spoiled).


Best electric kettles – Do I need a water filter?


Using filtered water, particularly in a hard water area, can help to reduce limescale build-up. Some electric kettles have integrated water filters, but using filtered water from a jug or filtering tap is just as good.


Most electric kettles will have an integrated limescale filter. This prevents limescale being poured into your drink, but it doesn’t prevent the build-up of limescale. This filter, along with the electric kettle, will need descaling to keep everything in tip-top condition. How often you do this will depend on the type of water in your area.


Source: www.trustedreviews.com
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text 2018-06-25 21:28
A Life in Secrets
A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII - Sarah Helm


No rating.
This is probably not a bad book, and probably well written with a lot of research behind it, but this book is not for me. 
I was interested in Atkins because she was rumoured to have been the inspiration for Fleming's Miss Moneypenny. Both the NYT and the Washington Post mention this in their obituary of Vera Atkins.



However, even if the rumour was based on some fact, from all I have read about Atkins, Fleming must have decided on a personality transplant from some other lady when he created his character... Atkins was no Moneypenny. 


I really don't think the book would be a bad read, but I think the various obituaries and articles on the Internet cover might cover the material that is known about her. At the beginning of the book, Helm acknowledges that little is know about Atkins and that Atkins destroyed many of her letters and other papers, photographs, etc. which would have been useful as a basis of a biography.


So, I'm not sure what the book could bring to the table and can only surmise that a lot of the information would be about the SOE, the fate of different agents that Atkins sent on missions, and Atkins' own mission to uncover what exactly happened to each of these people. 


At least this is what I gather from other reviews, and this is where I'm going to put the book back to the library. I would have been interested in learning about Atkins' motivations etc. but it is made clear from the start that this is something that the author could not get a handle on, as this was something that Atkins did not want to talk about.


Anyway. Someone else might love this.


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review 2018-06-25 20:57
The Book of Disquiet
The Book of Disquiet - Richard Zenith,Fernando Pessoa



God, this was awful. I wanted to punch that hateful little shit of a narrator/main character/Pessoa on the nose within the first ten pages of the book.

I get that the cynicism is an expression of the guy's struggle to find something to value in his life, but that doesn't make him a metaphor of the modern literary hero or indeed anything I can value. 
Apparently, a lot of people have found some deep insights in his ramblings. Good on them. To me, the narrator's (or Pessoa's??) ignorant, arrogant, disdainful stream-of-consciousness blether held more cliches than a piece of hackneyed journalism, signifying nothing. 
And if the intro to the book is correct and the MC is an alter ego of Pessoa himslef (who hadn't actually published this in his lifetime), then that is rather sad.
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text 2018-06-25 16:22
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
The Book of Disquiet - Richard Zenith,Fernando Pessoa

I have a feeling that this month will be all about books that just don't work for me. 


A veritable celebration of DNFs, if you like. 





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review 2018-02-06 13:09
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - Winifred Watson

Saccharine fluffy story dating back to 1938 and showing its age - a couple of racist comments and the insistence that woman's main goal in life is to marry...


The dated comments weren't actually what hindered my enjoyment of the book. It was the insipid story more than anything.  

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