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A €220 tray? Gwynnie must be off her trolley

If you had to nominate the most useless item in your home, there's a chance the kitchen tray would be up there with a cheese knife or mojito glass.

Or at least going by the amount of times it gets an outing, you would think so.

Fifty Shades of Grey might have started a trend for breakfast in bed, served on a tray and with ice cubes for the bondage burns.

Or the kitchen table might have been sold on Gumtree to pay the Household Tax, necessitating a steadying tray for the tikka masala while watching the Olympics.

Yet, there aren't many times a kitchen tray gets off the shelf. This week, Gwyneth Paltrow is selling a bright pink acrylic tray on her Goop website for €220.

The Oscar-winning actress describes the 'laser-etched acrylic' tray -- made by furniture designer Alexandra von Furstenberg-- as having "a special luminosity".

She goes on: "Use it as a vanity tray for perfume and cosmetics, take it to the office for an elegant display, or to the living room as a centrepiece; it makes a statement in any room."

It might make you take another look at your tray, to reassess its 'elegant display' and 'luminosity'.



admiration

Gwyneth is not alone in her admiration for trays. Red magazine's online website has a whole section devoted to trays -- they come in folk stripes, made from tin or wood, round or in the shape of a flower, and priced anywhere from about €20 to €70.

And, the tray has a noble history. The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow is home to an Etruscan black earthenware tray said to date from the 7th or 6th century. In the 17th century, a tray was known as a "salver" and was usually made of silver and signified social standing. Basically posh people had trays.

Gwyneth Paltrow lives in a big house and has a tray.

She is also very talented and very blonde... and sells trays for €220. A new phrase inspired by 'off your trolley' springs to mind... 'off your tray'.

>Anna Coogan