Silvine Originals Note & Exercise Notebook Review

Silvine have been creating iconic British notebooks for generations. If you grew up on British soil you will no likely have fond memories of their exercise books from your school years. Although that isn't the only paper product they make, they've built an extensive catalogue of notebooks and journals over the years.

They have recently launched a new line called "Originals", described as "A true British Icon reinvented". They've taken their classic exercise book and improved on it, the end product is a line of well constructed and thought out notebooks made from sustainably sourced British paper. In total there are five different sizes and styles included in this line, ranging from a pocket sized 3 pack to a large project notebook that's slightly taller and thinner than the standard A4 size. I received two samples from the range, the note notebook and the exercise notebook. Let's go over the specs first.

Note notebook

  • RRP £6 (approx. $8) for one notebook
  • 190mm x 125mm
  • 52 pages of 90gsm 'natural white' plain paper


Exercise Notebook

  • RRP £7 (approx. $9) for one notebook
  • 230mm x 162mm
  • 52 pages of 90gsm 'natural white' lined paper

I think what appeals to me most about these notebooks is the attention to detail and construction. They are both stitch bound with a navy thread, which contrasts really nicely against the vivid red cover. Speaking of the cover, it's a sturdy 300gsm red card that has been wire embossed to create a really pleasant striped texture that both looks and feels great.

It's what's on the inside that counts though, and here's the good part. The paper is fantastic. It's silky smooth, holds ink beautifully and is a dream to write on. As you can see by the pictures, the pages are an off white, which they call "natural white". It's very reminiscent of how the original exercise books used to be, but I do tend to prefer a brighter cleaner white. I tested this paper with a fountain pen, because if it can handle that it will take almost anything else you throw at it. I experienced no issues with bleeding or shadowing with the fountain pen. Admittedly I didn't use a very dark ink, but it took this so well I have no doubt it would take a deep black without an issue. Plus, the nicest part about the pages in these notebooks is the fact they are perforated, it's a simple addition like this that takes a notebook to the next level. 

All in all I have been extremely impressed by the quality, craftsmanship and overall experience of the Silvine Originals series. Another thing to note is each notebook comes supplied with a little bookmark, constructed from the same red cover stock as the notebook, with some details about that particular notebook on it. A nice little touch! I think I'll definitely need to pick up a pack of the 'Pocket Notebooks' to have on hand as a fountain pen friendly pocket sized notebook.

Taking into consideration the quality of these notebooks and how well I think they'll stand against daily use I'd say the the price point is spot on. You can find the full range of Silvine Originals here, and a big thanks to Silvine for providing these samples for review!

Thanks for reading,


Posted on August 30, 2016 and filed under Paper Review.

Kaweco Ink 'Smokey Grey' Review

It's been a while since I talked about ink on this blog, what better way to get back into it with one of the new Kaweco shades. They recently released 2 new inks, 'Smokey Grey' and 'Sunrise Orange' and I've had the chance to try one of them out.

Instagram @deskofadam

The kind folks over at noticed how partial I was to a good grey ink and thought I'd enjoy the new Smokey Grey by Kaweco. And they were right! Of course I had to ink my Kaweco AL Sport up with this ink, it had to be done. I still love this pen, it's a rugged well made pocket sized fountain pen that is comfortable to use all day. If you want to see more about this pen I reviewed it back in 2014 here.

But this ink is everything I love, a somewhat light grey with beautiful shading. It has quite a cool green hue to it, not what I was originally expecting when I heard the name 'Smokey', I kind of expected a warmer toned grey but it was a pleasant surprise. It's quite unique compared to some other grey inks I've tried in the past. It's like the cooler version of my all time favourite grey - Mont Blanc Oyster Grey. 

Comparison inks left to right: Iroshizuku Kiri-Same, Mont Blanc Oyster Grey, Omas New Grey, Diamine Grey & Caran d'Ache Infinite Grey

It seemed to be a little wet while using it in my Kaweco AL Sport with a medium nib, but dried relatively quickly. Certainly if you were to use a finer nib it would dry almost instantly. But all in all it performed really nicely, once it dried I had no issues with smudging whatsoever. The shading is what sets this ink apart for me, with a wet(ish) nib like the medium Kaweco it performs really well. 

The price point is quite competitive with higher end inks, but it's certainly not a budget ink by any stretch. A pack of 6 standard cartridges retails for £2.00 and a 30ml glass bottle is £12.50.

If shading is something you look for in and ink and want to give yourself a little treat, maybe Smokey Grey is for you!

This review sample was provided by A huge thanks to them for sending over this ink to try out.

Thanks for reading!

Posted on August 23, 2016 and filed under Ink Review.