About Pimpernel

Portmeirion Group acquired Pimpernel in 2006 following its move into receivership. Pimpernel has an outstanding product range and positive reputation for high quality placemats and coasters that complemented Portmeirion’s existing brands. 

Portmeirion Group are committed to the development of Pimpernel, its product ranges and its valued customers. As such, Pimpernel has maintained its reputation as the premier brand in placemats and coasters and has an outstanding, unique and exclusive product range that is renowned for its high quality.

About Pimpernel Products

At Pimpernel, we pride ourselves on producing top quality products that feature unique and exclusive designs. We’re sure that you won’t find the same placemats, coasters, trays and accessories of such high quality anywhere else.

Pimpernel’s placemats and coasters use a 5mm board which is topped with an art print and then totally sealed with a high quality lacquer finish that is both stain resistant and heat resistant to 100˚C/210˚F. The bases of the placemats and coasters are then finished with a hardwearing cork that protects your precious furniture and work-surfaces.

Pimpernel’s melamine trays are not only beautiful but also strong, robust and durable. Pimpernel’s lap trays have a bean bag base and can easily be balanced on the lap for the perfect TV dinner or used by children to draw and colour-in.

Pimpernel also has a range of accessories that make wonderful additions to the home as well as great gifts including textiles, mug & tray sets, mug & coaster sets and tisanières that are perfect for those who like tea made from loose leaves.


In 1933, various unrelated events were taking place that would unexpectedly lead to the development of the very first hard-backed coaster.

Firstly, the prohibition of alcohol was lifted in the USA and the shipment of whiskey from Scotland to the USA commenced. Secondly, Will George lived in Edinburgh with his wife Ruby. Thirdly, Will George had an association with a group of people who were in the whiskey business. They were encountering many breakages during the transportation process. Will suggested using plywood, cut to the same size as the box, with holes cut out to fit the base and the necks of the bottles.

This solution proved successful for the whiskey company but resulted in many circular off-cuts of plywood going to waste. Upon seeing these off-cuts, Will George had an inspired idea – they would make the perfect coaster – and so the hardboard coaster was born.