February 22, 2013
When we invest in a new car, or even a second hand one, we take time researching all the options and most importantly we test drive each car before considering a purchase. Most people choose to imagine what their new kitchen will look like, feel like and how it will work for them. Yet the investment in a new kitchen can sometimes be as great, or even greater, than the investment in a new car. The majority of High Street kitchen showrooms are limited on space and often only have two or three real size kitchen displays available for customers to get a true feel of how a particular kitchen would look in their homes.
We wanted to offer our clients the opportunity to fully experience the type and style of kitchen they would be investing in, so we found the biggest showroom we could at Bentworth, near Alton, with lots of convenient on- site free parking. We then set about installing a whole range of real size kitchens in a variety of designs that our customers could come along and ‘test drive’, encouraging them to sit, linger, chat, have a cup of coffee and take their time in making the right decision that fits their taste, lifestyle and budget. Without the costly overheads of a High Street showroom we can offer high quality kitchens that are really affordable.
New England shaker kitchen with the AGA range cooker in their signature Heather colour.
Our latest real size kitchen is in a contemporary Shaker style complete with a Total Control AGA range cooker in signature colour ‘Heather’. We are now the local AGA Showroom for the area. Plus we have our British handmade, bespoke kitchen which features curved corners, creating a softer look to a kitchen than gives a feeling of more space.
This is our Rotpunkt Dia White High Gloss Kitchen at our 2000sqft showroom in Bentworth, Hampshire.
Contemporary styled kitchens have also really grown in popularity and we have a number of high quality German real size kitchens of varying sizes incorporating the most modern materials and imaginative storage solutions.
February 15, 2013
It’s been almost 50 years since Simon and Garfunkel released their song ‘Keep the Customer Satisfied’ and this has become our modern mantra for our business today, especially when designing and installing our kitchens in a range of homes – it is such a personal thing – everyone has their own personal taste and desires for their dream kitchen and we take their wish list and ideas and combine them with our own expertise to create a very personal space where they want to spend a lot of time.
Providing the perfect service to our customers has meant that they then recommend us to friends and family and it is those recommendations that have been the lifeblood of our business, helping us to grow and be able to open our 2000 sq ft showroom at Bentworth, close to Alton in Hampshire.
“Mark listened to my vision and worked closely with my husband and I to create our dream kitchen. He was so patient and meticulous in every detail and finish and came up with creative ideas and solutions.” Christine Boot – Oakley, Hampshire.
I’ve recently been putting together some case studies on some of the projects that Beau-Port has recently completed and I was totally knocked out by the incredible response from our clients – made me blush with pride! (Take a look at them on our website under Kitchen Case Studies if you want the full and detailed story). Our success isn’t all down to the front-end team of the Johnson family; we are also blessed with an incredible crew of skilled and talented craftsmen who really care about each project as though it were their own home.
“We felt so comfortable with Mark and confident of his expertise that we took ourselves off on holidays and left Mark and his excellent team to get on with the project. We are really thrilled with the design, finish and quality of the kitchen. It has really changed the way we live for the better and the reaction from friends and family has been WOW! They just can’t believe the transformation,” Christine Boot – Oakley, Hampshire.
As the song goes ‘Gee but it’s great to be back home, home is where I want to be…’ and the kitchen is always the very hub and heart of every home and we understand how important it is to our customers
February 8, 2013
AGA Total Control in Heather
Following on with our literary theme for this month, another more contemporary writer Joanna Trollop has been famous for writing ‘ AGA Sagas’, as the literary media called her novels, usually set in old Vicarages and country cottages. There was a time when AGA ranges were seen only in farmhouses and fine country homes, set in very traditionally styled kitchens. But now they are often incorporated into the most contemporary kitchens and hold their own in terms of modern design and efficient green technology with state-of-the-art touch-screen control panels with independently controllable hotplates and ovens – ON when you need them and OFF when you don’t. They now come in all sizes and colours and can run on gas, oil or electricity and still offer the uniqueness of AGA- cooked food produced from its radiant heat which treats food differently. It doesn’t blast food with drying direct heat. Instead, radiant heat from the cast iron ovens gently cooks food, locking in flavour, moisture and goodness.
We’re planning to have some AGA Cookery Demonstrations in our new AGA showroom kitchen this year, so keep an eye on our website for news on these, or sign up to receive direct alerts. We might even try out some of the historic recipes Jane Austen enjoyed in her home in Chawton, which is close to our Beau-Port showroom, as well as some more modern delicious dishes.
AGA Total Control in Heather
February 1, 2013
Just a few miles away from our Beau Port showroom is the village of Chawton, where Jane Austen’s House and Museum is located and is currently busy with the visiting media of the world filming everything and anything to do with the publication of Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ two hundred years ago. For those of you who have visited this historic house, you will have been able to explore the fairly recently restored kitchen, the last part of the house to be opened to the public – thanks to some lottery funding. The simplicity of these historic kitchens makes you wonder how the cooks of the day managed to turn out such fine food. The kitchen is separate from the rest of the house, with access to it outside, a few paces away from the side entrance to the house. The baking oven is in a separate building and where all the laundry was also completed – a kind of Georgian utility room!
I wonder what Jane Austen would have thought about today’s modern kitchens, maybe she would feel more at home in our more traditionally styled kitchens, complete with one of our AGA ranges. Our more contemporary styled kitchens and the high speed cooking times would stretch her active imagination.
Jane Austen’s House still displays the cookery book containing 135 recipes and 49 household tips collected by her dear friend Martha Lloyd – the Delia Smith of her day. Recent coverage on the television included the making of a meal from this book with delights such as White Soup and Gooseberry Flan, with little to sweeten it as sugar was an expensive luxury at the time. I wonder if Jane’s brother Edward Austen Knight, who lived just down the village in Chawton House, a far grander property, could afford sweeter treats. The kitchen in this grand Elizabethan manor house has also been restored to the way it was in Jane Austen’s time.
The Chawton House Kitchen. (Click for larger image)
There is a comforting simplicity about these historic kitchens, and we have to stop ourselves getting too sentimental about the loss of these very basic kitchens. They presented many challenges to those who had to use them and everything required more ‘elbow grease’, hard work and longer hours. Now we can have all of the comforts of these kitchen forerunners, yet enjoy the benefits that modern design and technology has given to us, freeing up our time and giving us working, dining and relaxing spaces where people want to linger longer, spaces where they want to cook, eat, laugh and communicate – I’m sure Jane Austen would approve.