Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers style pestle & mortar

If you’d like a pestle and mortar like this, please get in contact with Malcolm at Sutton Pottery

I’m so happy to show you my latest kitchen gadget – a pestle & mortar similar to the one featured on Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers that I was given my Mummy LTT! There’s a fair bit of story behind it, so are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

crop pf Nigel SLater's Simple Suppers style pestle and mortar from Sutton Pottery Norfolk Malcolm Flatman

If you watched any of Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers you will more than likely have seen his amazing pestle and mortar. I spied it of course and instantly fell in love with it. The sort of love that had me scouring the internet within 2 minutes of seeing it (although Mr LTT will tell you I’m ALWAYS looking stuff up on the internet. I am an insatiable knowledge hunter, that much is true), finding out who it was made and where I could get my hands on one. I discovered one of the suppliers was in fact Peter Maturi, my favourite cookshop in Leeds. I enquired and they said they were no longer able to supply it (their supplier couldn’t supply it) and I turned into a puddle like that bit in the film Amélie where she is heartbroken, and eventually came to terms with the fact I would never own one.

Nigel Slater style pestle and mortar from Sutton Pottery Norfolk Malcolm Flatman

So imagine my surprise when my mum came to stay the other week and presented me with this pestle & mortar. I don’t even really remember telling her about it but she’s one of those super awesome observant people that squirrels something silly that you mention once away in her brain until even you’ve forgotten about it, only for her to surprise you somewhere down the line with it!

Making pesto with Nigel Slater style pestle and mortar from Sutton Pottery Norfolk Malcolm Flatman

She told me the gift was originally intended to be my Christmas present and she’d contacted the original designer about it. He’d promised her he’d get one sorted for me but just a few weeks before Christmas he said it wasn’t possible. My ever resourceful mother decided to contact a local potter, Malcolm Flatman of Sutton Pottery in Norfolk who came up with a slightly improved design. Malcolm doesn’t use an industrial kiln – the door is bricked in. As this takes a while he waits until the kiln is full before he fires it. Hence my present didn’t arrive until just recently.

The changes Malcolm made have suited me well – the smaller dish means it fits in my small kitchen. Let’s face it, not everyone has a lovely kitchen extension like Nige in which to store all our kitchen goodies. Malcolm also made the dish more bowl-like so that it would keep all the contents in it. The inside of the dish has been left rough to allow for improved grinding too. It is so good for crushing nuts and peppercorns! The pestle is also really comfortable to hold in your hand and it’s glazed all over (I shiver if I touch terracotta because it’s unglazed, just thinking about it is putting me on edge!).

Colourful dried pasta

I thought I’d show you the first thing I made with it – pesto! Love this coloured pasta I bought, though sadly the pink didn’t stay true when I cooked it. Pesto was damn good though.

Pesto with colourful pasta


  1. says

    This looks amazing! My brother and I both gave each other pestle and mortars for Christmas last year – I bought him a gorgeous heavy stone one which works wonderfully and he got me a rubbish cheap one! Definitely need to invest in a new one soon… :-)

  2. says

    JOEHOE!!! I’ve also got myself a copy in blue!
    Malcolm is kind enough to ship it to Holland, only have to wait until July 2013, but who cares 😉
    I taped a Nigel Slater show from the BBC and also fell in love with his mortar-pestle! Started my search online in Dutch but couldn’t find anything like it.
    Seaching in English helped, but when I found out the price of the original was over €750- my search went on. I spotted your photo and clicked it. I really laughed my ass off reading your story, thanX!!!!

    • Becs says

      Hi Hilde, thanks for your message! I had a lovely message from Malcolm saying he had received loads of orders for them since I put my post up! Enjoy yours too x

  3. Astrid says

    Saw it on TV. Loved it. Read your blog. E mailed – hopefully sorted. What fun!! Long live the internet. Imagine what it would have been like in the ‘olden days’ of 5 years ago.

    • Becs says

      Hi Astrid, really glad you like my post! I had such a lovely email from Malcolm telling me he has been inundated with orders due to my post. It’s always nice I can contribute to the success of independent businesses in some small way! I honestly spent many days trying to find one on the internet without success – my mum is the best for sorting it out for me!

  4. says

    Dear Becs,
    I just wanted to let you know that the waiting list for a wide mortar & pestle is now a year. I don’t wish to put off any would-be customers, but I felt it only fair to warn everyone about the delay. The demand has been generated almost totally by your wonderful blog, and I’m very grateful to you for all the work it’s generated. Long may it continue.
    Very Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year
    Malcolm Flatman
    Sutton Pottery

    • Becs says

      Hi Malcolm, thanks so much for letting me know – I will add a little message at the top of the post! Really glad to hear it’s going so well! Have a good one – all the best for 2013 :)

      • says

        Thanks very much for your good wishes, Becs. I’m still receiving orders, and the waiting list is even longer now – your blog must be red-hot!
        Happy New Year to you, your family and all your readers.

    • Catherine dias says

      Dear Malcolm,
      Would love to have some more details on the large white pestle and mortar ,similar to the one used by Nigel Slater have been searching for ages until I came across your page.
      Many Thanks

  5. Mae says

    Dear Becs
    A profuse, resounding thank you for your wonderful blog – and for sharing your amazing story about the pestle-and-mortar! Much like you, I am crushed to discover that a kitchen tool is unobtainable – particularly one that combines form and function in such a stylish way! I have contacted Malcolm, hoping to be added to his waiting list. Start the countdown!
    With best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  6. rose dawson says

    I too spotted the pestle and was delighted to find your blog and Malcolms website , I hope my name is down on the list now . happy to wait.
    Many thanks

    • Becs says

      Hi Hellena, you should ask Malcolm as I think he might do a couple of sizes – I think it’s about 25-30cm but I don’t have it with me right now.

    • Becs says

      Hi Martyn, thanks for your message. Please read the whole post which explains how to get a pestle and mortar. It is not an original one, they are not available any more but a similar one made by an independent potter.

  7. says

    i am desperate for one of the pestle and mortar that Nigel Slater used in his programme. I would love to buy this as a surprise for my husband as he has started to experiment more with cooking. This is definately a mans kitchen gadget!

    • Becs says

      Hi Elaine, thanks for you message. Just wanted check you have read the post so you know how to get one? The waiting list is very long as I have explained at the top of the page…they are very high demand!

  8. Sue says


    ****Good News**** I did a random search recently and lo and behold I found the original and much coveted white porcelain pestle and mortar as used by Nigel Slater will actually be available again very soon…feel free to make contact as I did and get your name down, their website is
    and best of all i’ll have one within a matter of weeks!?!??!?!?

  9. Laura Fewtrell says

    Hi Becs,
    I just wanted to let you know I ordered a blue pestle and mortar from Malcolm (what a lovely man he is) after reading your blog (after seeing Nigel Slater’s version and wanting one) and I have received it today – I LOVE IT!
    Spoke to Malcolm on the phone last week and his waiting list is down to 8 months now. I ordered mine in January and thought I’d be waiting til April 2014 but he’s catching up a bit.
    Thanks for the blog and I hope you’re still having fun with your mortar and pestle :o)

  10. Jane Jenkins says

    Hi Becs
    I have been reading the posts re a large pestle & mortar. I have bought a great one recently from a fantastic Northern family business The large flat one is ideal for grinding as the marble is very heavy. I have also just bought my Mum the gorgeous cream salt pig for Mother’s Day. She is delighted. Now I want one!

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