During the last few homebound months of London’s lockdown, many of us have developed skills to be proud of. Maybe you’ve become a painter and decorator, honed your DJ skills, become a green fingered gardener or like many of us, become a smug chef in a newly pimped up kitchen.
I am certainly one to be guilty of this and now even partake in regular “cooking Zooms” with friends. As a regular mincing about London’s finest restaurants, I found myself in a mournful state during those lengthily lockdown months. I craved the seared tuna salad at Nobu, dreamed about Zuma’s black cod and pined after the penne at C London.
All those nights out spent dressing up and visiting my favourite eateries for a decadent meal were suddenly a distant memory and so I had to recreate the magic at home – with a bit of extra help of course…
Here’s my top 5 kitchen must haves that helped me take my kitchen shenanigans to a whole different level;
For coffee lovers
The Purista® Jubilee Edition Series 300 Fully Automated Coffee Machine
Welcome to the coffee machine of your dreams – sleek, chic and effortlessly glam, this limited edition kitchen gem allows you to make barista style coffee in the comfort of your own home.
Obscenely chic in design, this sleek matt black and gold creation is ideal for smaller city kitchens and those with meticulous 7 Star Life taste.
Whilst I am an avid fan of most kitchen gadgets that make life easier and more fabulous, I am allergic to complicated machinery that require dissecting in order to clean, so I was relieved to discover the Purista’s One Touch Easy Cleaning feature.
This ingenuous machine seems to know when it needs a good bath and self cleans efficiently, or you can simply press a button to get the job done – no faffing about over a kitchen sink thank goodness.
The bright LED display makes it easy to choose the type of coffee you prefer – whether its a creamy latte or a strong espresso shot to get you through a strenuous day padding around your flat in pyjamas.
The innovative low-noise Purista® technology also includes a pump feature, designed to enable water to flow more slowly through the coffee (resulting in better coffee extraction) whilst the whisper quiet grinder enhances the overall coffee making experience. The practical Double Cup mode saves time by allowing the exciting preparation of two identical drinks simultaneously – perfect for loved up lockdowners.
Available from melitta.co.uk – RRP £400
For smoothie and milkshake fans
The Retro Cream Jug Blender by Russell Hobbs
For that retro American Diner style feel, you need to get this badboy of a blender in your kitchen. Ideal for anyone craving a creamy late night strawberry milkshake or Supergreen smoothie in the morning, this powerful blender has three speeds plus a pulse setting to get your beverage made effortlessly.
I use this sexy blender to make restaurant-worthy dips for late night Netflix and snackage marathons as well as silky smooth sauces to drizzle over my fine-dining style culinary creations.
Perfect for larger households, the spacious 1.5L capacity jug makes it easy to create mammoth milkshakes for cozy nights in or copious cocktails for those all important lockdown date nights.
Available from russelhobbs.com
For smug home bakers
Light Blue Retro Mixing Bowl by Tala
You’ve baked your 20th Victoria sponge cake after months of home hibernation and are now a semi professional baker who can give Mary Berry a run for her money. But do you have a smug retro mixing bowl to make your bakery-worthy creations?
I am in love with this particular light blue ceramic mixing bowl by Tala – one of the UK’s oldest and most popular kitchenware brands. Established in 1899, this premium quality brand has been making all manner of quaint bakeware, including a pretty retro range for adding a touch of vintage glamour to your kitchen.
Available from Talacooking.com
When you want to turn wine into water…
ZeroWater 12-cup Water Filter Jug
The 12 cup ZeroWater filter jug removes 99.6% of impurities from tap water and reduces 99% of fluoride and nitrates for better tasting teas and coffees.
So impressive is this filter’s water purifying properties, its been said to turn wine into water – something Philip Scofield found out himself.
Unlike other leading water filter jugs, ZeroWater benefits from a patented, 5-stage Ion Exchange Filtration system which removes virtually all dissolved solids from your water. This provides glasses of silky-smooth, clean tasting water without nasty dissolved solids – minerals, salts, metals, chemicals and runoff anyone?
Four additional stages of water filtration (because one just won’t cut it) ensure larger particles and other contaminants are removed, ensuring the filter delivers a “000” reading on the included handy laboratory-grade water quality meter.
After using this filter for a few weeks, I’ve noticed that not only does my water, teas and coffees taste so much better, the pesky kettle fur I used to spot has now disappeared. I am officially a ZeroWater convert.
Available from zerowater.co.uk
For epic feast makers with no time to waste
The Desire Matte Black Food Processor
I love cooking bountiful banquets consisting of dishes with different textures and tastes – but chopping all those onions and vegetables feels like a chore I just don’t have the patience for.
Luckily I am now the smug owner of the snazzy Desire Matt Food Processor which chops, slices, blends, beats, creams, shreds and whips up all manner of culinary creations, so I can focus on more important kitchen shenanigans, such as eating.
Want to sneak some veggies into your little one’s bolognaise? This mean machine dices them up so finely they won’t be able to tell. Making an obscene amount of kebabs for your garden BBQ but don’t fancy being a blubbery mess chopping onions? This is the electronic helper you need in your kitchen.
Sleek and stylish in design, this matt black gadget will add a touch of city glam to your kitchen and most importantly boasts easily washable, dishwasher friendly parts – perfect for people like me who would rather chew off their left arm than do the dishes.
Available from russellhobbs.com