As I’m in the process of house hunting at the moment, I’ve been having to think hard about what’s important in my next prospective home. Unsurprisingly, the kitchen has come out top of the list.
Unfortunately, the day I will be able to custom design my very own temple to gastronomy is long off, so for now I’m having to make do with whatever various SW4 landlords deem is acceptable. But a girl can dream, can’t she?
My fantasy kitchen is first and foremost large. It has a centre island with a six-ring induction hob. I have fallen completely in love with induction recently – if you haven’t tried it, it runs rings round gas. You can boil a pan of water quicker than the kettle, and your pans (which are Meyer Circulon) stay pristine because there are no dirty flames licking up the sides.
The island is flanked by a horse-shoe shaped work top, a giant American fridge-freezer at one end – the sort that makes ice and gives you chilled water. I’ve wanted one of those since I was about three, and one day, it shall be mine.
There’s a butler’s sink, large enough to accommodate a huge wooden chopping board easily, with one of those beautiful curved taps, and an extendable shower nozzle for cleaning off roasting tins. The work surface is marble, and is never cluttered because all of my equipment is stored in big cupboards underneath.
The middle of the horseshoe is taken up with a 4 oven Aga, and there’s definitely a dog usually curled up next to it. Overhead, backlit cupboards to the left house glasses in every conceivable shape and size, and the crockery is stored in racks to the right. A fan oven is at eye height further on (not under the hob, so you get all hot when you’re standing in front of it), with a walk-in larder at the end of the horseshoe, where I keep all my storecupboard ingredients.
The other side of the island has four high chairs in front of it, convenient for sitting and gossiping with whoever’s cooking, and there’s a drinks fridge on one side, filled with fabulous white wine and fizz at just the right temperature. Further on there’s a huge scrubbed wooden table that will seat 12 comfortably and a big, worn sofa beyond that, perfect for collapsing for a post-meal snooze.
There is no TV in my kitchen, instead there’s an extremely powerful stereo, capable of playing my dubious music taste at inappropriate volumes. There are big French doors (covered with thick curtains for winter evenings) leading out to an ever so slightly messy garden, with a patio covered in herb pots, and a vegetable patch tucked away somewhere. The floor is heated flagstones with a big rug under the table that the dog is always tripping over, and the room is usually filled with people, eating, drinking, laughing and staying up too late.
So there it is. Big? Yes. Welcoming? Definitely. Hard to clean? Possibly. But it’s mine, and I love it.
Whether or not I’ll find this in a 2-bed in Clapham Old Town remains to be seen, but for the moment, I’m content to daydream on a Friday afternoon about what I’ll cook in my dream kitchen.
What’s in yours?