The Tower Renaissance Toaster is a very lovely-looking toaster indeed. But while it certainly looks the part, is it good enough to welcome into your kitchen? We put it to the test in another of our in-depth reviews. Read on to find out what we thought about it!
Related: Top 10 Best Toasters of 2024
Design & build
At the end of the day, most people will end up choosing their new toaster based on one main factor: the design. You'll want something that fits in with your kitchen décor, and if you like a splash of retro style, the Tower Renaissance toaster is a great pick. It's especially tempting since it comes in at less than half the price of a four-slice Smeg toaster, which are known for their retro appeal.
The Tower Renaissance toaster comes in two colours: grey and black. Each model has a matching kettle available as well. Both colours come with these nice chrome accents on the sides. The main body of the toaster is matte, which makes it really easy to wipe clean and prevents it from picking up mucky fingerprints.
The most prominent thing to mention about the design of this toaster, though, is the whacking great dial on the front. This is used to set the browning level, and we'll get into that more later. Below this, you've got buttons for defrost, reheat, and cancel. These are all a good size and can be easily pressed even if you've got jam all over your fingers!
Finally, it's worth noting that while many four-slice toasters also come in a two-slice version, that's not the case here. The Renaissance toaster only comes in this variant.
As we mentioned earlier, the Tower Renaissance toaster also features adjustable browning levels, which are set using the dial on the front of the unit. There are six levels to choose from, but if you want to be really precise, then you can set the level even more meticulously, as you can see in the image below. The dial itself is nice and easy to use. There will naturally be a bit of trial-and-error at first, As we've covered in another review, the numbers on each toaster are unique to that particular model, and refer to the browning level rather than minutes toasted. When we tested it, we found that setting it to around 4 provided toast with a satisfying crunch without being too overdone. Crucially, it consistently delivered the goods- so this is a toaster you can rely on.
It has two removable crumb trays, which make cleaning it a lot easier. We've found with some toasters that the crumb tray can be a bit fiddly to remove. If that's the case, then you may be tempted to just not bother, which can eventually lead to a build-up of debris that can dramatically cut the lifespan of your toaster- as well as posing a fire risk. Thankfully, though, that's not the case with the Tower Renaissance toaster. Both crumb trays come out nice and easily, and emptying them is just a case of tipping the debris into the bin.
Finally, there's also a defrost setting and reheat function as well. This is great if you find you often have slices of bread left over from a loaf that end up in the bin, since you can pop them in the freezer while they're still fresh, and then toast directly from frozen. And the reheat function is ideal if you often find yourself rushing about in the mornings, as you won't have to settle for cold toast by the time you get to eat it.
Tower Renaissance Toaster: The Verdict
If you're looking for a stylish retro-inspired toaster without breaking the bank, then the Tower Renaissance is an excellent choice. It was our number one best buy for a time, and it's still a good pick. It's a lot less expensive than rival models from Smeg, which puts it comfortably within most people's budgets.