Set Dress for less – Leo Peas and Pals!

These are ridiculous:

They really still look like that

They really still look like that

Sometimes Three shop for their elderly neighbours, elderly neighbours who are rather set in their ways. One of the regular requests we get is a way that has been set since rationing – Leo Peas. Dried peas with a steeping tablet. I have no idea what they taste like, what a steeping tablet is or why in god’s name they look like they fell through a timewarp into Tesco, but I’ll tell you what I do know. Their packaging is retro-amazing, and perfect set dressing for our 1940s party. They cost a  princely 26p (42 cents ish) in Tesco, and are about 25cm x 6 cm x 15cm – so have a great visual impact. I just bought 4 boxes to decorate our table at the party! And this got me to thinking. What ELSE still looks retro that you can get from the supermarche? Lets find out…


marmiteIt may now come in plastic squeezy bottles, but Marmite has stayed true to its 1940s marketing style for the pas few decades. Excellent. Shame it tastes like ass, though – but I don’t hold out much hope for Leo Peas being the new chocolate either. There’s a war on you know! Flavour is rationed.


 Boiled Sweets


You know, like the sweets you see in the sweet shop in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder version – as if there was ever any other) or perhaps in a seaside town in a seriously overpriced little “Vintage Sweetshop”. We’re talking Rosy Apples, Humbugs, Mint Imperials, and Dumbledore’s favourite, Sherbert Lemons. Most homes have some random glass jars knocking about – buy some sweets in the pound shop and fill em up!


jamJam jars have somehow maintained their vintage look throughout the years, and a quick bit of brown paper or scrappy cloth can hide a metal lid in no time. Marmalade and Honey also fall into this category, as do lemon curd and certain jar-bound mustards. But no one should ever have marmalade with worms in it – that is the devil’s own preserve…

Golden Syrup

gsYou obviously have to go Tate and Lyle here – no glass jars or plastic squeezys for the Blitzed Brits! Weirdly, this also features a prominent lion motif, like the Leo Peas. Maybe it’s the lion of 1945 – a mythical protector of that particular moment in time through the medium of brand merchandising. or maybe it’s a not-very-interesting coincidence.


There are quite a few corkers out there – go for spam (de-tinned), rustic looking loaves of bread, vegetables (nothing exotic) and plain chocolate (de-packaged like the spam, but Three have a lead on some authentic cocoa treats…stay tuned, folks…) We’re trying to stick to foods that were available to Brits in the Blitz as best we can, which is one damn good way of feeding your guests and making your party look the business at the same time. Dig for Victory, guys!


2 responses to “Set Dress for less – Leo Peas and Pals!

  1. Just love those peas!! lol

  2. I’m in love with the peas too, can’t stop taking photos of people posing with them!!

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