Coasters have always been aggressive little items to my mind. There’s nothing like a beady hostess thrusting one between your coffee cup and her highly polished surfaces to put you off your social stride. There are lots of great ones about these days though and, now that we’re all about preserving our possessions properly, I guess it’s time to embrace the coaster.  These brilliant polaroid ones from London based Just Noey feature original photography and are 100% waterproof. They cost £8 each with new images being added to the range all the time.

If you’re in a certain type of household, your hostess may rush at you crying, ‘Wait! Use this delicate, cartographically accurate ceramic representation of the districts of Oslo or  you’ll ruin my table!’ These very pretty coasters are by Norway’s Studio Hansen and are about £14 each.

Less impressive  but still attractive and practical are these floral coasters by Gisela Graham. They are available from Mollie and Fred at £10 for four.



Finally, this bright, Provencal style set is £10.95 for 6 from French Twist Gifts. Like all of the coasters featured here, they would look pretty scattered about even if you are one of those people for whom a coffee ring on a table is not actually the end of the world.