I bought this kettle after my previous one started leaking water out of the bit where the plastic joins the metal after only a year, and was a little concerned the same might happen again. I have now had this model for a year, and there has been no leakage whatsoever, yay!
This kettle looks great on the worktop - it has a stylish shape, nice sturdy finish, and sits really well with a variety of other kitchen objects because it is such a modern yet classic design. It is also relatively easy to keep clean - I have the silver one, and find that a quick wipe with a cloth and a polish with a teatowel is enough to keep it looking good on the outside.
The kettle is very quick at boiling water compared to my previous one, I can generally make a cup of tea in a couple of minutes (obviously it takes longer with a full kettle). The capacity is quite good - about 1.5l which is fine for most things but sometimes need to boil a second time e.g. for large pasta pans etc. It is easy to see how much water is in when it is placed on a level surface. I usually fill it up through the spout which works well and is quick.
One of the best features, apart from its looks, is the whistling sound effect when it boils! I love this, and loads of visitors comment on how homely a sound it is! There is the option to switch the whistle off via a switch under the base of the kettle.
There are a few negative points to note. Firstly, steam sometimes hurts my hand while pouring water into cups. This doesn't always happen, but I assume it's a slight design flaw and can be annoying.
Also, it is a bit easy to accidentally turn on if the kettle is pushed up against something on the worktop, as the on switch is low and easy to press.
Although the water level guide is easy to read, it is hard to tell how much is in it while you are filling it up - probably because of the shape of the kettle.
There is now a slight rattling inside when lift it up. No idea what this is, but it still works fine so maybe it is supposed to happen.
It is hard to take the lid off (I do not do this often), particularly when it has hot water in.
Overall, I would buy the kettle again due to its looks, quick boil and reliability, but there are a few drawbacks to consider.
Morphy Richards - Accents Kettle
When we recently replaced our kitchen we spent an awfully long time concentrating on the major things; layout, units and big ticket appliances. Once these were all chosen and installation was underway we turned our attention to the smaller details, including replacing some of our aging smaller appliances. As we'd spent a couple of years preparing for the new kitchen we'd let some things go beyond their natural life and put up with other things that we were no longer happy with so that we could start completely afresh. One of the items we were no longer happy with was our old Dualit kettle. Only four years old it was showing significant signs of aging and had proven something of a disappointment, despite its fancy brand name.
Kettles come in all shapes and sizes: retro or hi-tech, plastic or stainless steel. These days there is even a trend to bring back hob top kettles. The prices also cover all ranges from under a tenner for a basic one in Argos to well over £100 for designer ones.
We wanted one that was mildly retro yet classically contemporary (I guess that might be a touch oxymoronic but bear with me). A kind of '50s Sci-Fi meets Italian coffee house meets the simple 2D lines of a Keith Haring figure. OK, maybe we were spending too long thinking about kettles but when you're staring at the bombed out mess that used to be your kitchen, dreaming of a brighter future, the mind tends to wander down some dark avenues. Anyway, it had to be stainless steel and we had a fancy for it being conical. We didn't want to spend a fortune but if the right one came up anything is possible.
In one of those fancy designer shops in Copenhagen we'd seen a lovely kettle from Alessi, the Italian design house. This was the Michael Graves model with a small bird figure in the spout. A really attractive kettle but designed primarily for the hob top. There is an electrical version but the base extends the conical design to such an extent that it loses its clean design and becomes a little bulky. The price of £120 didn't help either.
Looking around the electrical shops we found this Morphy Richards model. Similar in design to the Alessi, if lacking a little of the style, it was the closest we had found to what we had in mind. A price of under £40 in Debenhams was the clincher.
With a capacity of 1.5 litres this is a standard sized domestic kettle and is therefore big enough under most circumstances. It can be filled by removing the lid but it is recommended that you top up via the spout to keep the removable lime scale filter in good condition. This is easy enough as the spout is wide enough not to make this a messy task.
The water level window is clear and easy to read but the conical shape does cause some problems. Given its shape most of the storage area is low down and it doesn't become visible on the water level meter until there is over half a litre so when you just want to boil enough for one cup it can be hard to see if there is enough water inside.
This model comes in a range of body colours: red, cream, black and so on. Like any right minded person we stayed with the stainless steel version. The handle runs across the top of the kettle giving it a nice balance in the hand and even when full is easy to control and pour. Cordless, it sits squarely on its base plate which unlike the Alessi is noticeably smaller than the bottom of the kettle giving it (dare I say) a slightly better profile and a much smaller footprint. It does, however, make it a little unsteady. Not that it is ever likely to fall over or be knocked off but there is definitely some wobble when it's in place.
In terms of performance it is acceptable without being overly quick. It took 2 minutes 45 seconds to boil 1.5 litres from cold (from chilled actually as I filled it from the filtered water dispenser in our new American style fridge freezer, you'll forgive me for mentioning) but if you must use tap water you could probably knock at least 15 seconds off that. With a concealed element this kettle also employs some proprietary 'quiet boil technology'. I'm not sure how you make something boil quietly but it certainly is a little muffled and unnoticeable from adjoining rooms. A stealth kettle, perhaps, for those times when you want a sneaky cuppa but can't be bothered to make one for everybody. To counteract this the kettle employs a cadenced whistle to let you know when it's finished (although this can be disabled if you wish to stay in stealth mode). This is actually quite a useful feature if, like me, you're in the habit of boiling a kettle, going back to the TV, forgetting about the kettle, returning after quarter of an hour, boiling again and repeating, until you make yourself stand there and wait (just to confirm: a watched kettle will still boil). The little whistle is a welcome reminder of the task in hand.
So, to summarise. This kettle is made by domestic appliance stalwart Morphy Richards. It costs less than £40 and looks pretty good. It goes about its business quietly and efficiently and I can't see any reason not to buy one, unless you fancy a different one of course.
Short name: Morphy Richards 43690