1 Divertimenti tray, pounds 33.95 Handsome solid-wood tea tray that would suit both cottagey and design-conscious homes. From the Divertimenti (Mail Order Ltd), Freepost (GI2881), London SW6 6YX, or call 0171-386 991

2 Touch Design trays, from pounds 65 Minimalist glass trays featuring a sand- blasted glass base and edged in maple. They look delicate but are quite sturdy: the glass is specially toughened and will carry most items. From Touch Design, PO Box 60, Andover, Hants, SP11 6SS (01264 738060)

3 Occasional Arts, from pounds 22 Colourful, homey trays painted with fruit, flowers, animals, stars. They will also paint any animal to order on to a tray. They're made from MDF, and are heat and stain resistant. From Occasional Art, 176 Ffordd-y-Parc, Litchard, Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan, CF31 1RA (01656-669662)

4 Maggie Philo, decoupage tray, pounds 65 This is almost too beautiful to spill milk on, even though it's carefully varnished so that it won't actually get spoilt. Buy it as an heirloom, or just to prop up on the shelf. Maggie Philo runs courses on decoupage in London and Brighton. Maggie Philo, 18 Walpole Road, Brighton, BN2 2EA (01273 696405)

5 Past Times, pounds 29.50 Those cherubs again. Still, they are rather sweet, and the wooden tray, "hand-gilded in Florence" comes at a reasonable price. You'll be pleased to know that they also come with a "wipe clean" surface. From Past Times (0800 106666)

6 Amanda Harman, pounds 120 Ingenious tray for breakfast-in-bedders. It folds completely flat but, when opened, its canvas side-pockets expand to hold magazines, newspapers and pens with which to do the crossword. Available with natural canvas pockets, or red and green as in the picture. From Amanda Harman, 46 Epirus Road, London SW6 7UH (0171-381 2282)

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