The late David Mellor was a key figure in British design with an international reputation as designer, manufacturer and shopkeeper. His sleek and modern cutlery is still made at the David Mellor Cutlery Factory in Hathersage close to Sheffield, the historic centre for cutlery making in Britain.
- Tour the cutlery factory
- Visit the Design Museum
- Have lunch in the café
- Enjoy countryside walks
Take Pride in David Mellor’s Designs
Sir Terence Conran described the late David Mellor as “Britain’s most serious, modest, and greatest postwar product designer”. Born in Sheffield, a town world-famous for its cutlery making, he set up his first silversmithing workshop in 1954. Always operating from the simple principle that ‘well-designed equipment can improve your life’, his designs such as ‘Pride’, which encaptured the ethos of the Festival of Britain in 1951, have won numerous awards.
Tour the Cutlery Factory
Located in Hathersage in the Peak District National Park, the David Mellor cutlery factory is both a beautiful place to work and visit. Purpose-designed in 1990, The Round Building has won numerous architectural and environmental awards. Take a tour at the weekend to learn about the cutlery making process and you’ll see that a surprisingly high degree of hand finishing is still required to give the cutlery its perfectionist quality.
Visit the Design Museum
It would be a huge mistake to think of David Mellor purely in terms of cutlery design. Wander around the factory’s Design Museum and you’ll discover his versatility. He was responsible for designing bus shelters (1959), the national traffic light system (1966) and the ‘Embassy’ teapot (1963) which has graced the tables of British embassies around the world. In 1969, he even designed a range of plastic cutlery, produced in its millions.
Have Lunch in the Design Museum Café
David’s talented son Corin, designed the Café building. A fine example of informal modern dining style, it’s equipped, as you’d expect, with the best David Mellor tableware. Relax and enjoy a seasonally-inspired lunch and ponder what to buy from its utterly stylish shop, a shrine to modern British design and rural crafts.
- Tours of the cutlery factory are free and take place every Saturday and Sunday at 3pm
- When buying new cutlery, weight is an important consideration. Buy a few pieces to try out first at home
- The factory is located close to Chatsworth House and Gardens making it easy to combine the two in one day
To preserve knife blades always dry up knifes immediately after washing.
WHERE TO STAY IN THE PEAK DISTRICT
The Devonshire Arms
Pilsley, Peak District
Devonshire Arms at Pilsley is only a 20-minute walk from Chatsworth House.
Rooms from £106 a night.
They thoughtfully provide water bowls for dogs but only assistance dogs are allowed inside the café and Design Museum. There are lots of beautiful walks nearby.