Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Interlude: best kitchen kit shop ever.

Last night I went to a professional catering shop on Shaftesbury Avenue called Pages and it was like a magic kingdom.

They stock things in there that I've only ever heard about, like sugar thermometers, and there are stacks and stacks of pans and trays and boxes and deep-fry baskets in 5 different sizes and 6 six different sorts of kitchen timer and huge, plastic, colour-coded chopping boards and industrial-sized pouches of white peach syrup for bellinis.

I went sort of crazy and bought myself:

- a thermal teapot, which I've been wanting for ages because a ceramic teapot is all very well and jolly but the tea goes cold and I think tea cosies are ridiculous
- three of those squeezy clear bottles for storing salad dressings and drizzling icing (which you cannot buy anywhere else, for love nor money)
- a medium-sized aluminium roasting tray
- the most amazing kitchen timer you've ever seen that does hours and minutes and seconds, four different timer settings and a bleeper that could wake the dead
- some tupperware (because you can never have too much)
- an extra pair of tongs (ditto)
- and a heavy-duty flour dredger. I had a crappy plastic flour dredger and even in its crappiness I used it a lot, so I felt like it was time I went pro with my flour dredger.

Forget everything I ever said about getting things from John Lewis. Go directly to Pages, 121 Shaftesbury Avenue, or you can buy online from their excellent website.


  1. "three of those squeezy clear bottles for storing salad dressings and drizzling icing (which you cannot buy anywhere else, for love nor money)"

    Amen. I bought 4 there because there are times when nothing else will do the job.

    I love that shop

  2. Oh god that looks incredible - never heard of it, and want to check it out immediately. It is wrong that I really want one of these? http://www.pagescatering.co.uk/s-3782-name-badges.aspx

  3. No, it is absolutely not wrong to want one of those. I very nearly bought a lot of hilarious "PASTRY MAKING AREA!!!" and "PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS!!!" signs.

    It really is an amazing place: go, go, go.

  4. Argh... I wish I hadn't seen this post now. I work within walking distance of it and it looks like the kind of place I'm going to walk out of having 'accidentaly' bought up half the shop.

    p.s. thanks to you I attempted scotch eggs the other day - actually worked out really well although in hindsight I wish I had followed your recipe!

  5. I didn't know they had a website, and was steeling myself for a visit (agh, the West End on a weekend in December!)to get my boyfriend the saute pan he's been dropping hints about for the last couple of months. But all done in 5 minutes, and with free delivery! Brilliant stuff.
    Also did the trial pork pie last week, and it worked, although it was a bit lumpy and deformed looking. tasted great tho!

  6. it's supposed to look deformed! all part of the charm

  7. I snipped a bit of the top off one of those plastic squeezy bottles and use it to put (Canadian) pancake batter in the pan without getting batter drips everywhere.

    I'm quite terrified to click on that link, I'm not sure I will be able to control myself.

  8. Thank you for an excellent squeezy bottle use suggestion. I think you can also buy squeezy bottles with wide-neck nozzles for just such purposes without having to take to the scissors. But as the bottles are only 79p each anyway, one can afford to have a dedicated pancake-batter bottle.

  9. Nooo, do not remind me of Pages, I try to expunge it from memory in the hope of not bankrupting myself!