(Almost) shattered dreams of my dream kitchen

Last month we briefed our Architect. It was a comprehensive and well-thought out brief based on our ten years of living together, discovering likes, dislikes, must-haves and nice-to-haves. For me, our new home is where I imagine I’ll have my dream kitchen.

My first love, this glorious Smeg oven.

First love: Smeg Victorian Enamel Oven.

Of course our architectural brief was highly detailed in this space I’m most passionate about. Whilst the architect has been given free-range on the design, my love for and of cooking means I know exactly what I want in my kitchen and things I’ve always dreamed of having. As long as I can remember, I’ve watched cooking shows and marveled at those gorgeous iron, freestanding oven ranges and whispered to myself “one day I’ll have one of those”. To my mind, these gorgeous pieces conjured up images of heritage and country cooking. And now that we finally have our dream country block, I felt certain that the time had (almost) come to finally have one of these ovens of my own.

A couple of weeks ago we went to a home show and I fell in love. It was a Smeg Victorian enamel oven with gas hobs. The oven of my dreams. I was fixated and could think of nothing else for days, dreaming of this oven in our country kitchen. This was no surprise to anyone. For years – YEARS – I’ve said how much I hate induction heating and don’t particularly like the look of built in ovens. It was going to be gas and a freestanding oven range for me. No doubt.


My shattered kitchen dream.

Barely able to contain my excitement, Hubster suggested we check out the oven at a kitchen store and find out more. The home show was busy and we weren’t really able to find out too much on the day. It was a yes for me and we headed to the local retailer.

My eyes practically bugged out of my head when I saw a simply stunning British range. It surpassed my immediate and great love for the Smeg. Handmade in the UK, only 5 made per day for the worldwide market, custom colours and all the glorious knobs, burners, racks and fancy stuff I didn’t know my dreams were made of. But then the sales consultant really started to question me about my cooking. What do I like to cook, how often do I cook, how important is cooking to me, and so on. SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. Just sign my up for the custom-coloured UK range already.

Sensible Karan then kicked in. Hubster and I made each other a promise to make thoughtful and considered decisions during this design and building process. Did I really want to have this gorgeous, gorgeous I say, range – or did I want something that would really enhance my cooking experience and finished product? Sensible Karan knew I needed to listen to the experts. I allowed myself to be shown a built-in oven and – I can’t believe I’m saying this – an induction cooktop.

Wow. Talk about a turnaround. Within 15 minutes, I was lovingly lost in all the glorious features of high-tech ovens and cooktops. I couldn’t believe it and promptly allowed myself to be booked in for a private product demonstration.

I have a new dream.

Driving away from the store that afternoon, I felt sad knowing that my dream of a big, freestanding oven was one that would never be realised. It was odd to feel the impact of this and it really did take a few days to shake.

The week ticked over and today I went to the fancy high-tech oven demonstration with the support of my mum-in-law. We ran out of time to have a cuppa before hand and remarked what a late lunch we’d be having by the time we go home. Boy, were we in for a surprise. As we were stepped through all the features of the Neff ovens, we were treated to a three-course meal prepared before us. We had to text our husbands to say we’d be home much later than originally planned.

The meal was extraordinary and I have some lovely new recipes to cook which is a bonus. Bigger still, is that I have a new dream. A dream of two perfect Neff steam ovens in my kitchen and the convection cooktop too. Apparently I need to start thinking about the range hood next…

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