Slightly giddy with excitement

26th October 2016

By Helen Parker


Once upon a time I was in the deVOL London showroom and a famous chef walked through the door, in search of a new kitchen, yikes!!! I love John Torode and now several months on he has a deVOL Kitchen and the best bit is he was lovely and said we could come to his home and take photographs.


Photoshoots are always fun and exciting, we come back to Cotes Mill with lots of lovely images to inspire us and our customers. This shoot however, was a bit more exciting and a bit different, Paul suggested taking some food along so John could do what he does best in front of the camera, great idea. I checked with John to see if he was up for this, rather than just posing in his kitchen and he said yes!!!!




The day before the shoot I wanted to get some simple ingredients to take along, so Tim and I went to the fabulous Borough Market. This old market under the arches near London Bridge has become ‘the’ place to buy great food and ingredients. Neal’s Yard, one of the very best cheese sellers in the UK and Brindisa, purveyors of fantastic Spanish produce, both moved into the areas empty warehouses years ago and this kick started the rebuilding of this 1000 year old market into the foody mecca it is today.




Walking around the maze of stalls is so exhilarating, everyone is passionate about what they do and the stuff they sell, it makes you swear you will never step foot in a supermarket again, if only!



Spoilt for choice and in awe of the displays of food we wandered around and decided on a ‘brunch theme’. Heirloom tomatoes, Chanterelle mushrooms, beautiful big white duck eggs, sourdough bread and the best dry cured bacon ever. I also bought some incredible garlic, soft and freshly picked and perfect with a big bunch of English flat leaf parsley all wrapped in good old fashioned brown paper bags and greaseproof paper for the bacon.




Shopping the old fashioned way is so much fun, chatting to the vendors about their passion for mushrooms or fish or cheese makes the whole cycle of shopping and eating so much more fulfilling, we should do it more often.


It’s easy to think that all this artisan food is overrated hipster fodder, if you never try it, but it’s all really wonderful stuff. An heirloom tomato is properly good, I mean really really different from what we now know as the taste of a tomato today. The sourdough bread that has been properly proved for days and is full of big air pockets and chewyness but crispy on the outside, is on another level, total perfection.


So the big day!! We arrive at John and his partner Lisa’s home and instantly they made us feel so welcome. They have not lived in their house for long, it’s their first home together, but you would never believe it, the kitchen is full of a lifetime of kitchenalia and a wonderful mix of old and new things all with a story. Their deVOL Classic prep table is groaning with the weight of two cooks pots and pans. I did spot the Masterchef trophy that Lisa won for coming first in Celebrity Master Chef, it was tucked up in the corner of the pantry!




They worked together preparing the food and it was a joy to watch them both, we chatted away for a couple of hours while they chopped and cooked. I was happy as could be, my favourite things all rolled into one memorable morning, what a treat, I couldn’t stop smiling!!


It’s good for the soul to meet two such lovely people, who have made a perfect family home, after all there is nothing quite like just being in the kitchen in your own home with the smell of dinner and familiarity. You have to make that work it doesn’t just happen, they have done it with a real style too, art collections and good taste make it a really cool home.



We hope you enjoy the pictures and will take a trip to Borough Market in London or one of the wonderful Farmers’ Markets that many towns and villages hold weekly. Thanks as well to John and Lisa for such a lovely morning spent in your company.

Need any help?

Cotes Mill
- 01509 261000

St. John's
- 020 3879 7900

Tysoe Street
- 020 3837 5900

Need any help? Please email:

Cotes Mill - 01509 261000

St. John's Square - 020 3879 7900

Tysoe Street - 020 3837 5900

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Cotes Mill, Nottingham Road, Cotes,
Loughborough, LE12 5TL.