If you’ve seen my kitchen, you know there are only two things I collect with anything approaching regularity: silver teaspoons (mostly stolen from hotels) and tea towels (the kitschier the better). Nothing beats aÂ commemorativeÂ tea towel with the faces of Wills and Kate smiling up at you or a view of the Horse Guards on parade outside Whitehall. The English really know how to do a proper tea towel. (The French on the other hand – though their linens tend to be superior -Â are infinitely more subdued, favoring botanical images and oenophilia over the pageantry of empire.) Tea towels are an entirely maligned yet practical item of kitchenalia, too: more than just a dishrag, they can be used for wrapping sandwiches and bottles of wine for a picnic, for coddling a pot of tea, and if you’re of the mind that an apron should be worn while cooking, a clever, colorful tea towel makes a smart and handy addition to your ensemble. Suffice it to say that when I recentlyÂ discovered the fabrics at London’s Thornback & Peel, I went as mad for them as a hatter late for a tea party. Victorian-inspired images, hand-screened on linen, they are an eccentric celebration of quirky British humor and design. Who could resist a noble stag gazing heavenwards, a stalk of objectively humble Brussels sprouts, or a wood engraved rabbit having a jolly traipse through the cabbages? Not me.