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House rules

The first Northern Hemisphere of Aussie cookware giants House has arrived in the Home Counties and online and OMG mate, you're gonna love it.

Gawd knows we love a new shop on Muddy Stilettos, and House, the new brand new cookware store at the Westgate Centre, has us itching to get in the kitchen (well, at least buy some new clobber to display in it).

House is a huge deal in Australia, with over 170 stores, and Oxford is its first northern hemisphere retail space, joined from this week by Bracknell in Berkshire though you can buy online too so really it’s fair game, mate, wherever you are.

You’re probably thinking that the UK doesn’t need another cookery store, what with John Lewis’s massive kitchenware department and the likes of Steamer Trading Co. But the big ace up House’s sleeve is its curation. Everything you need for preparing, baking, serving and drinking is in one easily navigable space, but it’s not an exhaustive choice – and what there is a lot of new brands that are unique to the store.

There’s a wide knife selection, including these Cuisinepro ID3 Santoku Knives using Japanese steel  -superlight to hold but feel really dexterous and look much more stylish than the heavy traditional stacks, currently around 45% off in the launch sale.

If you’re after pans, you’ll find the one you want here too. The Aussies take their cooking very seriously, so we’re talking every type of pot and pan at every size.

I’ve just bought these red wine glasses by Cellar (front of image) – currently in the sale at £30 per pair. Over the years I seem to have slowly smashed my existing taller glass one by one and now I have some serious mis-matchery going on. I like serving my red wine in basic glasses sometimes but I more enjoy it with luxurious round versions, so I’m really excited about these.

I’m also about to get these yellow Ambrosia mugs – I’m addicted to yellow, it makes me really happy to look at it (weird, what of it?!), so I’m getting a couple for home.

But I also LOVE these Alex vibrant Liddy Lustre mugs – I’m getting both. This is the problem you will have with this shop too, there’s so much to buy!

And then there are the really fun bits – for starters, there’s everything possible for your inner barista, and as major café consumers at Muddy Stilettos anything related is much appreciated.

Plus there’s more chopping boards, serving platters, and apron-ware than you can shake a chopping knife at.

But actually the biggest trick up the sleeve of House is its staff – these guys are trained to really  know their stuff in a way that I’ve not experienced even in the kitchen department of the Holy House of John Lewis. The staff take the products away to test, they all cook, they have an opinion on what’s right for you. I’m fussy about customer care and would expect a good level of service anywhere but I think you’ll be very impressed with House if you walk through the door. Foodies will love it but also basic cooks like me who really value expert advice.

The launch sale has been on since last week – I’m not sure when it’s going to end, so it’s worth having a look here – there are whopper discounts particularly on the pans.  And if you make it into House at the Westgate, as ever, please feed back what you think of it. Knowledge is power, let’s share it!

House, Westgate, Oxford OX1 1TR. Tel: 01865 200406.



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