Fresh Produce from the Hampshire Farmers' Markets.

Are you tired of the disappointment of ready meals?  Apparently cooking from scratch is back and that’s official, well it must be – Mary Berry says so!  In her recent TV series she is seen close to our patch at the farmers’ market at Guildford, selecting lots of seasonal food to turn into delicious meals.

At Beau-Port we are located close to both Alton, Petersfield and Winchester which also boast their own Hampshire Farmers’ Markets.  This not-for-profit community interest organisation reports that visitor numbers to their markets continue to increase, as more people want to know where their food comes.  Their shoppers also don’t want to pay the premium for all those unwanted and environmentally damaging food miles.

The huge range of great cookery programmes currently on television are tempting us back into our kitchens to cook proper food. Perhaps after the freezer, microwave, ready meal revolution that started in the 1970’s, that changed not only what we eat, the way it was prepared but also deeper social changes such as the loss of the family meal time and the beginning of the fragmentation of family life.

Hopefully this new food revolution and desire to cook from scratch will not only improve the nutrition of the nation, but also help to bring families back together in the kitchen to enjoy preparing, cooking and eating the best quality food together.

Perhaps there is some hope that the family meal together is returning.

So many of our clients are now looking for the open plan living lifestyle where they can all gather together to cook, eat and relax together.  Many of our clients love to have some form of Central Island where they can cook while entertaining their guests or chatting with the children when they come home from school.  This was the added bonus for one of our clients, Jo Bowler who commented on her new Beau Port kitchen: “Mark has created a kitchen that is the heart of the home and where everyone could relax and enjoy the space together.  It has really changed the way we live.  The family gathers around the central island and my children are spending more time with me and together, rather than in their respective bedrooms.”

(Header image, fresh produce for cooking from scratch from the Hampshire Farmers Markets)

The kitchen is the hub of the home and according to singer/songwriter MIKA it is a place where memories are made. Speaking on the BBC’s One Show recently, MIKA reminisced with top chef Michele Roux Jr about happy times in the kitchen with his family.

Most of us can recall pivotal moments in our lives that happened in our family kitchens – as young children home baking and making a huge mess, birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, Sunday lunches and family gatherings.

The kitchen is the special place where treasured memories are created.  It is also a place where our family history is demonstrated through the kind of food we eat. MIKA mentioned a mix of Lebanese, British and French food cooked in his family’s respective homes in different locations.

Nigel Slater’s new TV programme “Eating Together’ also touches on the link between our cultures, family history and the food we eat, in particular the special signature dishes that each family enjoys, remembers and passes on to future generations. Each episode of the series is recorded in the kitchens of families from different cultures – Brazil, India, Japan, and Italy. Whatever the culture the sense of family and the importance of the kitchen comes across very clearly.

Plus it has also given the viewers the opportunity to see other people’s kitchens!

Creating kitchen living spaces that combine comfort, intimacy and are not only a joy to work in but also to relax in, eat and spend time with family and friends, are all primary considerations when our designer team of Mark and son Jacob start to plan each new kitchen project.  Their first focus is to find out how each client wants to use the space.  They listen carefully to their needs, what they want to achieve and how they want to live, work and relax in that space.  Mark and Jacob understand that a kitchen is not just about the furniture and appliances, it is about creating that special hub of the home where memories are made.

Nigel Slater’s “Eating together” is on Fridays, 8:30am, BBC One or iPlayer.

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