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Cocktail carts that’ll leave you shaken and stirred 

Let’s be clear what we are not talking about. This has nothing to do with the trolleys those of a certain age will remember from the 1950s and 1960s as ubiquitous work-horses in homes big and small.

Don’t get me wrong, they had their place – along with Mateus rose, kipper ties and beehive hair extensions. And they were certainly practical as they fetched and carried plates, glasses, cutlery.

On occasions, they were brought into sitting rooms as a serving station for dainty afternoon teas, and wheeled back out again.

Solid brass: Soane Britain's Nureyev Trolley is a classic look. It is made by craftsmen in Sheffield and inspired by a French 1940s drinks trolley owned by ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev

Solid brass: Soane Britain's Nureyev Trolley is a classic look. It is made by craftsmen in Sheffield and inspired by a French 1940s drinks trolley owned by ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev

Solid brass: Soane Britain’s Nureyev Trolley is a classic look. It is made by craftsmen in Sheffield and inspired by a French 1940s drinks trolley owned by ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev

It’s just that they were never especially attractive and, as a result, lived in the scullery or tucked away behind a door.

No, we are talking here about the dedicated drinks trolley – one that proudly displays cocktail shakers, bottles of premium gin, vodka, whisky and other essential spirits, attractive glassware, a fancy ice bucket, hand-crafted corkscrew, silver stirrer, little chopping board for lemons and lime — and perhaps a packet or two of paracetamol hiding behind the cans of tonic.

All of the above (minus the pills) are far too interesting to hide. They should be brought out into the open, freeing up cupboard space and bringing a touch of Great Gatsby decadence into the home.

Speaking of The Great Gatsby, Atkin & Thyme has the very thing in the form of the Gatsby Marble Drinks Trolley for £329. 

This is an art deco-inspired cart, which comes with a marble top and glass base and is easy to move around on its four sturdy castors.

‘The geometric design is reminiscent of the glamour of the 1920s jazz age,’ is how Atkin & Thyme describes it. Soho Home has a snazzy cocktail trolley in brass for £545.

A two-tiered trolley by the Blanchard Collection in Froxfield, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, with large front wheels

A two-tiered trolley by the Blanchard Collection in Froxfield, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, with large front wheels

A two-tiered trolley by the Blanchard Collection in Froxfield, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, with large front wheels

Then, there’s the oval-shaped Eichholtz Arezzo trolley in stainless steel, with glass shelves, which would look chic inside or outdoors on a summer’s day. It’s £1,440.

The Blanchard Collective in Froxfield, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, has an Italian trolley of outstanding pedigree, designed by Aldo Tura in the 1960s. It’s made of brass with lacquered parchment and is £1,600.

‘Drinks trolleys have become decorative pieces in their own right and that’s wonderful,’ says interior designer and arbiter of style Nicky Haslam. 

‘Frankly, anything that gives drink a good name should be commended. The Queen Mother had a lovely one made from bamboo and glass.’

But even hers would struggle to compete with Soane Britain’s Nureyev Trolley, a masterpiece made by craftsmen in Sheffield and inspired by a French 1940s drinks trolley owned by Rudolf Nureyev, the great ballet dancer, who bought one for his Paris apartment. 

The solid brass edition has a tubular frame with brass rings. Two pairs of naturalistic hands cast in solid brass hold the end rails. The hooded castors are also in brass and the three shelves come in clear glass.

‘There’s nothing more welcoming than a beautiful cocktail trolley,’ says Lulu Lytle, founder and director of Soane Britain, and who is reported to have inspired Carrie Symonds’s proposed makeover of the private quarters of 10 Downing Street.

‘They’ve always been popular, but more so than ever, perhaps in part because the design of bottles and their labels have become so creative. Many of our clients have them in the bathroom, groaning with lotions and potions. But they look spectacular in any setting.’

The Nureyev Trolley is offered in a variety of finishes and sizes starting at £3,640 and rising to £7,100.

You might need a strong cocktail after shelling out that sort of money, but what unbridled joy to serve drinks from such a statement piece.

Just make sure the glasses, bottles and other paraphernalia have the requisite looks and credentials to warrant their place on a trolley of this grandeur.

What your home really needs is… A money tree

If positioned in the south-east part of your home, a money tree is supposed to bring good fortune

If positioned in the south-east part of your home, a money tree is supposed to bring good fortune

If positioned in the south-east part of your home, a money tree is supposed to bring good fortune

Politicians, faced with demands for public spending, often tell us that ‘there is no such thing as a magic money tree’. 

But the overuse of this dreary metaphor does not seem to have slowed the growth of the actual money tree, Pachira aquatica which is this year’s most fashionable houseplant.

The money tree’s popularity may be linked to its feng shui associations. If positioned in the south-east part of your home, it is supposed to bring good fortune.

But the good looks of this plant (a Central or South American native) may be more the reason for its popularity and why your home needs one: it has lush palm-like leaves and a braided stem.

A 110cm money tree costs £49.99 from Hortology. For more vegetation, The Palm Tree Company offers a 182cm example for £139.95.

If a lack of green fingers has meant you have wasted cash on even hardy houseplants that died in your care, a 90cm Briful faux money tree will set you back £44.99.

ANNE ASHWORTH

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