Are you fed up with Christmas yet? Want me to go on? For this post, I thought I would have a look at kitchen equipment, especially as it's the sort of thing that you might be giving as a present.
I'm fascinated by the concept of kitchen equipment- the sort of stuff that people buy for show, and then never use. I suppose Terence Conran invented the whole caboodle, back in the Sixties, with his innovative market stall-like displays at Habitat in the King's Road, Chelsea. You know the sort of thing: blue and white striped Cornish ware, copper pans, red enamel coffee perculators, 19th century French dial clocks, and scrubbed pine tables. All offset by a framed Toulouse-Lautrec poster of the Folies Bergère. This was a new non-aristocratic, democratic look for the upper middle and professional classes, with a nod to the Welsh Methodism of Laura Ashley. An amlgamation of Mrs Bridge's "downstairs" kitchen, and the rustic charms of the imagined French countryside. It said "I'm a sophisticated urban person, but I don't have servants".
One of the highlights of the Christmas season used to be my annual Christmas Eve visit to The General Trading Company in Sloane Street. Here, a guaranteed quota of gormless, spaced-out men wandered around like Neanderthals, while dippy alice-banded girls flirted with their hair, and flogged them useless ethnic nick nacks from Sri Lanka. You see, typically, I always leave my Christmas presents to the last minute.
Incidentally chaps, probably about the worst present you can give to a girl is kitchen equipment. It's a funny thing. For some reason, women seem to think that it relegates them to the status of kitchen slave, by appointment. A few years ago, I very generously gave a pasta machine to my then girlfriend, and she went ballistic. The ultimate Christmas present nightmare would be a Magimix stuffed with kinky lingerie.
I would be delighted if anyone gave me some kitchen stuff- even a humble wooden spoon. Tom Parker Bowles wrote an excellent article recently, in which he urged readers to dispose of their gimmicky gadgets, and, instead, buy a few, high quality (albeit expensive) kitchen utensils. Brands of note are: Wusthof (knives), Le Creuset (pots), Stellar (pans), Mauviel (copper cookware), and Anolon Professional (non-stick). You have the advantage that these will probably last you a life time.