ceramic coaster with blue oxide

moon coaster

Coasters, specially ceramic coasters, have become desirable designer acquisitions in recent months, partly in response to the growth in interest for cocktails – something in which we at belatrova have had a hand (you need only go back to earlier blogs to see our recipe for the perfect Dry Martini, and others). Of course, you may not have been aware of all this, which is why belatrova, always in the vanguard of taste and style, thinks it is important to bring this to the notice of all belatrovians and help them solve the annual dilemma faced by so many: “where can I find that special Christmas gift that is both uniquely attractive yet practical?”

hogarth print of revelry

men behaving badly – William Hogarth

Why are they called “coasters“? According to our research, coasters were originally called sliders in the 1700s and were used as a stand to prevent moisture damage to a tabletop and for sliding the bottle of wine along a tabletop from guest to guest after supper when the table cloth was removed and the servants dismissed, leaving the diners (usually men) to fend for themselves. Cue drunk and unseemly male behaviour. These sliders later became known as coasters in allusion to their circulation around the edge of the table. Early ones were made of silver, china or glass, and some were fitted with wheels or with baize-covered wood bases to reduce friction on bare tables.

variety of ceramic coasters

coaster cornucopia


Some coasters are collectible items. Tegestology is a term coined from Latin (teges, a small covering or mat) defined as the practice of collecting beer mats or coasters. Consider, then, becoming a tegestologist by acquiring belatrova’s ceramic coasters and thus simultaneously easing your Christmas shopping experience.


At £5 a coaster belatrova is offering sets of six for the price of five, plus a delivery charge of £5.95, making it a very affordable £30.95. There are three choices: Brushstroke Blues, Valencia or the Selection (a combination of both).

set of ceramic coasters

set of brushstroke blue


six ceramic coasters

set of Valencia cioasters


six different coasters








You can ring us on +44 (0) 1531 634082 and order over the ‘phone.

Or visit us during our Christmas weekend openings (28 – 30 Nov, 5 – 7 Dec)

Or pay us a visit on any day – just ring us beforehand to make sure we are not out delivering.

Or visit the Studio Gallery in Ross-on-Wye

This is how we make our coasters:

biscuited costers

biscuited coaster awaiting oxides


coasters painted with oxides

oxides painted onto coasters

coaster dipped in clear glaze

coaster dipped in glaze


cork adhesive on back of coaster

cork backing













In order to give you some idea of size we have placed a coaster next to a familiar eveyday object:

plastic toy anteater with ceramic coaster

ant eater


plastic toy monster with coaster

Leech Man


We know we are way ahead of ourselves but were thinking of recommending a new cocktail for you to drink on Christmas morning, something called Marmalade Fizz invented by the London Cocktail Club, but in the end decided to be traditional and went for that mellow but elegant drink: Black Velvet. It is guaranteed to get you in the mood for the day


Ingredients: a bottle of cold Champagne, a bottle of cold Guiness

Method: fill a Champagne flute halfway with the Guiness then top it off very gently with

glass of Black Velvet


Champagne so that it lingers atop the Guiness as a separate layer. Try pouring the Champagne over the back of a spoon to prevent it from plunging straight into the stout. This ephemeral separation is fleeting but satisfying. The drink is smooth and effervescent, just like belatrova.


And finally we would like to announce the winner of the “guess the NSPCC panto auction price of the belatrova table” competition (see previous blog):

L.H of Malvern will be getting a pair of ceramic trivets.

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