Café is robust, everyday stainless steel cutlery that is also superbly well designed. This design is a modern classic originated in the 1960s and has now been in continuous production for almost half a century. Café has become something of a collector’s piece. Café is as nice to use as David Mellor’s more expensive ranges, as ergonomically perfect as it is possible for basic cutlery to be.
David Mellor Design operates on the simple principle that well-designed equipment can improve your life. The company was established by David Mellor, Royal Designer for Industry. Mellor is a key figure in British design with an international reputation as designer, manufacturer and shopkeeper. Born in Sheffield, he has always specialized in metalwork and he is particularly famous for his cutlery design. David Mellor cutlery is manufactured in a purpose-designed modern factory in the Peak District National Park. The Round Building, designed by Sir Michael Hopkins, has won numerous architectural awards.
The famous David Mellor shop in Sloane Square, London, and the Country Shop alongside the factory at Hathersage in Derbyshire, sell a professional collection of kitchenware and tableware, expertly selected for those who love to cook and eat
David Mellor retired in 2005 and his designer son Corin Mellor is now Creative Director of the company. Born in Sheffield in 1966. Corin Mellor trained as a product designer at Kingston and worked for the London architects YRM before joining his father, David Mellor. Corin Mellor has carried out a number of special design commissions. His public seating can be seen at the Lowry Gallery in Salford Quays, the Millennium Galleries and Winter Garden, Sheffield. He has recently worked on new projects for Sheffield Cathedral and Chatsworth House. At David Mellor Design Corin is responsible for special product development within the company. In 2007 he introduced new ranges of kitchen knives, table glass and woodware. Corin designed the interior of the new David Mellor Design Museum and Cafe at Hathersage.
This circular cutlery factory was purpose designed by Sir Michael Hopkins for David Mellor in 1990 and has become one of the iconic works of modern British architecture. The David Mellor site was formerly the Hathersage village gasworks. The factory was built on the foundations of the old gas cylinder, hence the circular form. Built in local gritstone with spectacular lead roof, this highly functional building is set discreetly in a rural area of outstanding natural beauty.
The Round Building has received numerous architectural and countryside awards, including the BBC Design Prize. The factory is open for viewing and on weekdays visitors are welcome to see David Mellor cutlery being made.
David Mellor Cutlery is made by a small specialist team of highly skilled craftsmen, some of whom have worked for decades with David Mellor, accruing exceptional expertise in metalwork. Though the factory is technologically advanced a high degree of hand finishing is employed to give the cutlery its perfectionist quality.
To learn more about this British designer, read “Design & Interiors: The Design Legacy of David Mellor, as English as Afternoon Tea,” by Claire Bingham in T, The New York Times Style Magazine, July 6, 2016.