I’ve recently been on a mission to refresh the contents of my kitchen. With the colder weather slowly approaching I wanted to be ready for those autumnal nights when I plan to pull out my trusty and dusty cook-books for some comforting soul food.
Anyone who knows me knows that I firmly believe that ‘if you buy cheap you buy twice’ so I like to put my money where my mouth is and buy the best I can get. I am also a self-confessed Francophile so many of my new items are indeed from French brands. Who knows more than the French about food, right?
Le Creuset Cast Iron Signature Shallow Casserole, Marseille Blue, 30cm, £189
Over the years I have collected much Le Creuset cookware and it really is my tried and true. I would research high and low to determine the best cast iron products and time and time again Le Creuset pops up. I also love this colour, a wonderful addition to brighten and enrich the kitchen during the drab and dreary months. I plan to use this product for multiple dishes - roast chicken, casserole, stews and roasted vegetables.
Provisions Storage Jar, Fortnum & Mason, £56
Made by Burleigh, I absolutely love how these jars add a country look and feel to my kitchen. I purchased these to store loose-leaf tea and freshly ground coffee for my Moka Pot. I’ve been slowly building an arsenal of books to read over the colder months and I love nothing more than doing so with a comforting hot beverage. I adore the ‘Provisions’ emblem, which matches the other items that I have collected from this range, including the Utensils Jar and Butter Dish.
Mauviel M’150S Roasting Pan, £319
I can’t even begin to tell you how long I saved to make this luxuriously expensive but utterly necessary acquisition. I first heard of Mauviel during an old Anthony Bourdain episode and from that moment I knew I had to have one. It’s made from French copper, which works like a charm. I first used it when I invited my mother to Sunday dinner, preparing the most spectacular dish of Chateaubriand. This product will be a backbone of my kitchen for decades to come.
Mason Cash Bowls, from £3
As a young child I would plead and cry with my parents to subscribe to the Martha Stewart Living Channel for my Christmas present. I distinctly remember Martha using these bowls during her cookery segment and always still experience a moment of nostalgia when I see them today. I buy most of my vegetables and fruit from an organic grocery store in Chorlton, one that supports local businesses. I saw that they stocked a wide variety of these bowls and decided to purchase six, in different sizes. A classic staple for the kitch
Staub Pumpkin Cocotte, Cast Iron Casserole in Cinnamon, 24cm, £259
I know I’m late to the party but for a long time I contemplated whether to make this purchase. Would I use it or would it merely be for decorative purposes? As a ‘thank you’ a friend gifted me a voucher from John Lewis - the perfect opportunity to buy the Cocotte! It is currently tucked away in one of my cupboards and soon it will be ceremoniously and unashamedly placed on display for the entire duration of autumn and winter. Maybe I’ll cook a soup it in, maybe not.
Bialetti Moka Express, 18 Cup Espresso Maker, £90
I simply adore the Italian way of making coffee. I find the whole ritual highly enjoyable. I already own a 6 cup Moka Pot but, due to my growing need for caffeine, I was finding it a little insufficient. My decision to bite the bullet and buy the biggest Bialetti was cemented when watching A Bigger Splash, starring Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes. The scene showing the group of friends lounging around the pool, on a dreamy Sicilian island, drinking espresso from a Moka Pot, was enough to send me over the edge and hit ‘buy’!
Parisienne Basket, Bohemia, £38
I try to be as mindful as possible when shopping for groceries and always bring reusable bags to the store. I like handwoven bags, or bags made from natural fibres, and have found these to be the strongest and roomiest. They also add a touch of French chic which, by the way, who doesn’t love? I use the Parisienne Basket which is handmade in Morocco using natural materials. I hang these in the kitchen so that I remember to grab them but also as decorative pieces.
Salt and Pepper Mill, Peugeot Paris, £69
My last Salt and Pepper mills became cracked and battered from excessive use so I replaced them with this simple and classic set. A dear friend, a chef, recommended this brand to me and they are renowned for their quality and craftsmanship. Peugeot might be best known for their cars but it is a little known fact that they first began producing spice mills.
Officine Universelle Buly Alabaster Oil and Stone, from £17
To eliminate those lingering cooking smells, I purchased this Alabaster which is described as ‘a new mode of fragrance diffusion’. I’ve had items from this brand before, and love everything from the product to the packaging, so confidently elected to give this interesting aroma a try.
The Escoffier Guide to the Fine Art of Cooking, from £25
Now, I don’t claim to be a master of nouvelle cuisine, but I love to try new recipes, even those that require oversight from trained chef! I find cooking to be most soothing and so, whenever I have the opportunity to play in the kitchen, I will take it!