A hero: Admired for their courage, their stance against the odds, outstanding achievements and noble qualities; victor, winner, conqueror and lion heart.
We now live in a disposable culture where things are cheaper to replace than mend. Except there are a few companies who still regard service as part of their service…
Meet Dualit, a company started in the 1940s in a factory in Camberwell, London. It’s ethos is no frills, no gimmicks, no compromise and with it’s roots in commercial restaurants and hotels means you can add reliability and integrity to its list of credentials.
And the sleek retro looks with shiny chrome means aesthetics are another easy box to tick.
But it’s the simple, practical fact that all the parts of a Dualit toaster can be replaced that is the real clincher and thrill of this praise party: Buy once, buy well.
Sometimes the old ones are the best.
Laters, Kate x
There was this article I read last week that on initial skimming was talking my artisanal language – it’s message was make sure it’s the stuff you hold and use every day are your investment pieces because this is where quality and appreciation will sing. Except that’s when I had a lightbulb moment because it’s so not true – in fact, the real truth is the very opposite: We need the stuff we use every day to be simple and replaceable because their constant use means the chances of them being broken wracks up and who wants to shed tears on a daily basis? I know we have a white mismatched dinner service that I’m sure started off as a two bogoffs from Tesco. It’s been added to over the years, but it’s core has remained the same: mismatched but matched simplicity with a lack of drama when a piece inevitably breaks.
(From Argos £7.99 for 12 piece set)
I’ve been noticing this boomerang effect a lot lately, where you think one thing leads to a certain consequence when in fact, the opposite happens: Take the row over Facebook…the premise is we’re all connected. But in truth is it segregation with the tribes who share our views leading to intolerance, division and stress? It’s food for thought.
Maybe we need to be more careful where real value lies, but what I do know is taking a walk on the cheap side of the tracks means there’s so much more left in the kitty for the real stars to shine: The ones that get used every day but have no danger of being dropped..
Laters, Kate x
Sometimes the best designs are those frozen in time that create that link from nostalgia to modern day with the seamless flow of a painters brush.
Away from the noise and frenzied activity, Devol – more normally known for their exquisite kitchens – have been quietly honing their own beautiful ceramics range with the help of potter, Claire Fowler.
The range includes this nest of three lipped mixing bowls to rival – nay, supersede, Nigella’s original iconic offerings that are so hard to find now.
(All pics from Devol)
There are somethings in life that you know will just live long and prosper.
Laters, Kate x
Now for something totally different: This was something that we did with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and few months ago..except I couldn’t write about it then as we were all sworn to secrecy but now this particular experience has finished the secrecy is no longer needed and to be honest, somehow it feels appropriate to think back on something we brits are good at: obscure, ironic brilliance. This was a whacky, immersive dining experience set up by a Company called the Gingerliners in a warehouse in the Hoxton area of London where every course was in a different room, with a contrasting theme/story/setting..each more crazy than the last. (See the video above for the best interactive experience..or just enjoy the pictures)
It was a bit like being in a Harry Potter movie..you entered the first room on a sledge with four other people through a low tunnel to find your self in a rainforest complete with bird-girl on a swing and our starters in the trees…
The next room was run by a robot and her baby and our soup came from a suspended engine..
Have you ever been in one of these as an adult, drunk and drinking from a urine pouch??
Dessert was sorted by a dolly with a trolly on a plane, with accompanying dance and song. We left via a giant slide..convinced the whole thing had been some fantastical dream. It’s opening again in September (go to Gingerliners to get on their mailing list) with whole new rooms of experience – tickets are hard to get – they sell out FAST. But if you like your reality hot-wired, this is the place for you.
Laters, Kate x
Jack Monroe is my latest hero. I discovered her whilst painting the hall..the joy of decorating is having an ipad close to hand listening to iplayer doing it’s thing. Radio 4 made a drama from her life, basing it around her love of cooking and her relationship with her Grandmother: Two things that float my boat – it inspired me to seek out her cook book.
Jack started by writing, in her own time, a local political commentary blog. Then she had to give up her career when she became a single mum and her wage couldn’t extend to childcare. The only solution was benefits and a mere £10 a week for food for the two of them. Her blog ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’ was a consequence of that constraint, written to share the recipes she magically managed to produce…which then turned into her own cookbook.
Being a single parent meant lack of time as well as a lack of resources translates into recipes that are both speedy and simple. There’s no frills or extravagant ingredients, instead she’s re-connected the umbilical cord highlighting that fantastic, nutritious food doesn’t need an overflowing handmade Devol larder and a certificate in corden bleu cookery.
(The vegetarian meals are awesome)
Jack believes that in order to tackle food poverty and a culture of convenience/microwave meals with dubious ingredients then cooking at home needs to be present on a less glossy, less sexy, less intimidating and more accessible way, which then has the rollover benefit of both spending less and reducing waste. Win win.
She makes you think about how you cook, why you cook..and how careless we are. The bottom line is we all need to care more.
I love her and I love her book.
Laters, Kate x