Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Kenwood kMix Boutique SJM047 Orange

As Duncan polished off the remnants of his wood-fired chicken madras, a quandry passed through his mind. Never a hesitant being, he rose from his beanbag as his perplexed acquaintances gazed at him. His odd behaviour had started to concern them somewhat, but they shrugged it off as a minor allergic reaction to the new cushions, and resumed watching Granada Breeze.

After several minutes, Duncan approached the boiler cupboard, upon which he opened the door and was met with a pile of largely unused devices amongst varying crannies. He chucked his now empty dinner plate in the bin, it being one of a number of leftover paper plates from the recent party they held for St Kaleidoscope's Day, also handily granting them at least a fortnight's worth of less washing-up. He knelt down and started to rummage through the spare basins, pepper fountains and polystyrene chess sets presented to each other ill-advisedly as birthday gifts over the years, for he sought the old NES console they once played many years ago, for old times' sake. He had already discovered the cartridges they came to possess over the years: Ice Climber, Uninvited, Genghis Khan, Nintendo World Championships 1990 and Journey to Silius, as well as a few others.

His search was soon interrupted, however, when he found the Kenwood kMix Boutique he thought he'd lost in a bumskating contest two years ago.

"What you looking for Dunc?" called Tancred, his eyes never breaking from the captivating episode of Judge Joe Brown on the tellybox.

"Great news!" replied Duncan, returning to his pals. "I've found that Kenwood kettle among all the rubbish in the boiler cupboard!"

"The one you thought you lost a couple years back to Kev in that stair-sliding challenge?" asked Florence.

"Aye, haha!" answered a reminiscent Duncan. "Don't remind me! Still got that red bit on me left cheek!" he started to kneel down to place the appliance on the floor, before realising he had already knelt down at the cupboard earlier, so stood up and knelt back down again.

"Woah," started Albert, as the kettle descended to the floor. "I remember one of these. The Kenwood kMix Boutique, in orange. My doctor used to have one of these, 3 kilowatts of power, 1.6 litre capacity. Beauty!"

"Absolutely!" continued Tancred. "Also featuring a mesh filter for a cleaner drink, water level indicator and rapid boil function, all at the same time. It's a stainless steel miracle!"

"Isn't it just!" exclaimed Duncan. "Not to mention it's cordless, meaning you can take it pretty much anywhere, and its non-slip SureGrip handle surface and comfortable design allow it to be handled with a great deal of safety. It also says it comes with a one-year guarantee, though given how long it might have been in there I'm not sure if it's still going anymore!"

As the group were sharing a round of joyous laughter, Florence pointed excitedly at the device. "Oh, wow! Look! It even has an illuminated power switch to let you know when it's on or off!"

Her other friends gasped loudly, taken aback in sheer awe and amazement at this revelation. "That'll be very handy coupled with the auto switch-off function!" mentioned Albert.

"Indeed," added Duncan. "It cost quite a bit, though, £50.99. Still, sure beats a few pints down the Elephant Arms, right guys?"

"Heh heh, not half Duncan!" answered an amused Tancred. "Kev doesn't know what he's been missing all these years!"

As they all shared in the remainder of their mirth, Duncan sat back down on his beanbag and began watching television with the rest of his companions. After half a minute or so of viewing, another thought crossed his mind.

"Guys?" said Duncan. "Why are we watching an old recording of Granada Breeze?"

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bosch Private Collection TWK6831

The man nervously gripped the lamp in his tired hands, clammy with anticipation. This mystical device had been the talk of travellers and archaeologists across the globe for many, many centuries, and after a long embattled and ferocious 8-year expedition, here he was at long last. The sole occupant of the world's long lost final magic lamp, unfound for many years deep within the unforgiving climes and intimidating mountains of Nepal.

With bated breath, the man gave the lamp a vigorous clean. An ominous smoke began to emanate from the spout of the fabled object, initially formless, but gradually it came to take on a more human shape.

"Salutations, brave mortal!" boomed the apparition's voice. "As the first being in centuries to discover me and release me from the infernal lamp, I offer you my sincerest gratitude by granting you but three wishes."

"Three wishes!" the man uttered, still lost in his own sea of amazement and wonder. His imagination spilled over with the many incredible possibilities this revelation yielded. The apparition kept patiently for several minutes until the man finally set eyes upon him once more, with a decision reached.

"I wish for a Bosch Private Collection TWK6831!" the man exclaimed. The apparition seemed taken aback by the enormity of the man's request.

"A Bosch Private Collection TWK6831?" he questioned. "You mean, the device with the coveted 3.1kW power rating that allows for a superior rapid boil function?"

"Indeed," the man replied. "With time often of the essence these days, I fear there is little time to lose for one's beverage to be brought to the boil." He paused, and gazed wistfully into the air. "I must say, though, its sleek, stainless steel finish is... most divine."

"It is very much a thing of untold beauty." the apparition agreed. "Yet there is so much more to the piece than superficial expertise. A base that allows for safe position in any direction, a concealed element, furthermore a removable limescale filter within its voluptuous lip."

"Not forgetting, the generous 1.7 litre capacity, o fabled one!" the man added, his voice starting to tremble with growing anticipation.

"But of course!" the apparition vociferated. "So much more space than that infernal lamp which has remained my prison for many long years. I dare say, I very much like the sound of this... 'TWK6831' which you so desire." The apparition remained pensive for about half a minute, before indicating readiness with a swift motion of his hand.

"All right, you shall receive your first wish, but with a single condition." started the apparition. "You shall forever share with me your luxurious new chamber, as a habitat in which I may live and cessate for all eternity."

"You desire to live in it?" the man asked, concerned. "But what of the boiling water that surround you? The electrical current? Won't your new surroundings be too harsh for you to survive?"

"Ah!" grinned the apparition. "You seem to forget, I am not a tangible being. Such surroundings shall bear no ill effect to myself. Besides, it will bring me better health and wellbeing for certain. I've got terrible diarrhoea, you see."

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Dualit 72702 Dome Cream

There is an old saying that goes "a watched kettle never boils". There is also a remark that refers to "the pot calling the kettle black". Such is the incredibly ubiquitous nature of the kettle in everybody's day-to-day lives that it is referred in a number of timeless sayings. It is testament, therefore, that so many high-quality brands of this humble device exist in the world today, such as this model by West Sussex based Dualit.

This remarkably stylish model bears an essence of the traditional tea-room with its cream-coloured 360 swivel base and plastic handle. Other features include a decent 1.6 litre capacity, concealed element, a removable/washable limescale filter which proves ideal for harder water supplies, 3kW of power and boil dry protection, which causes the kettle to switch off automatically when emptied. The Dualit's plastic features also allow for easier pickup when boiled, with it's plastic handle and heatproof knob.

If you ask me, the knob on this kettle proves to be a rather delightful feature which only adds to its quaintness. Not a lot of kettles these days have a knob, so its always welcome to see such an appendage acknowledged in more modern day kettles. There's nothing like a decent knob to make a kettle look more attractive, an ideal addition to brighten up anyone's household. The knob also proves to be an immense amount of fun to twiddle, as it allows for a satisfying drinking experience to suit the individual's desired tastes. Of couse, it goes without saying that you should avoid the temptation to use the knob too much as it may wear out, become discoloured and, in some rare cases, stop working altogether. It is recommended that you clean your knob at least once a week, especially if you have a busy household as many more people may handle it, and there's no way of knowing where their hands have been.

This particular Dualit model can be bought new for between £60-£80 from some stores, placing it in the higher-end of the price range as far as conventional kettles go, though there are prices available sub £30 from some retailers. One retailer previously had the model available as new for just £17, so it pays to shop around if you are looking for a quaint and stylish kettle with an attractive knob.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Russell Hobbs 19340 Jewels Sapphire

Founded in the 1950s, Russell Hobbs has grown to become an established and highly respected manufacturer of appliances for the kitchen. The company has been responsible for a variety of innovations for kettle technology, such as the first automatic electric kettle, and the first kettle made entirely of plastic, and the website boasts of being the leading brand for kettles.

The cordless Jewels Sapphire is one of many of the brand's current models. It's sleek, modern and fitting design provide a stylish and versatile fit to the modern kitchen, if a little imposing. 3kW of power, 1.7 litres of capacity, with water level indicator and a gauge which illuminates to indicate when it is switched on or has completed its boil cycle. The model has in-built water filter and concealed element to keep limescale at bay, ensuring a cleaner drink. It also has a 360 degree swivel base for easy storage, and comes with a one year guarantee by the manufacturer.

Mind you, probably just as well. I'd be incredibly ticked off if I bought a kettle from a well-known manufacturer with the knowledge that it probably wouldn't see out the year. Then again, what even after that? By only providing a one year guarantee, are Russell Hobbs suggesting that this kettle is likely not to live for much longer after that length of time has expired? If so then that's a rather shoddy and poor job if you ask me. I, personally, would expect any kettle to last me for a good few years. 3 at the very least, even if I weren't necessarily going to hang onto it for that long, and that includes cheaper brands. If this company can't guarantee that this potential piece of good-looking scrap, with a name that bears too much of a resemblance to a porn star name (I mean, "Jewels Sapphire"? Seriously?), then I'd be a little bit wary of parting with my dosh.

Prices tend to range around the 30 to 40 pound mark as new, as usual it may be bought cheaper if you shop around for any used models available. That is, if you can discover any that have survived their alarmingly short guarantee. Nevertheless it is an ideal model for those seeking a beautiful, almost executive, traditionally modern and old-fashioned design.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Morphy Richards 43974 Accents

Over the years, the humble kettle has constantly been shaped and fashioned to compliment the kitchen in whatever style is considered modern at the time. This model by the UK's Morphy Richards demonstrates a quietly contemporary example of the current modern trends.

The Accents model sports a modest 1.5 litre capacity, but boasts many of the features one would be looking for in a modern kettle; it has a removable and washable limescale filter, 360 degree base, concealed element and 3kW quick boil power rating as standard. Its appearance is understated but modern, stainless steel with a smooth red finish and a pleasing roundedness, not particularly eye-catching but a subtle fit to most contemporary kitchens since it retains a traditional kettle shape.

Then again, how can one really define what the "traditional" shape of a kettle is? Sure, this model looks like a kettle, but so does the one depicted in the banner, which is a remarkably different shape as well as having its handle on the top. Even that barmy Legion Of Doom from DeLonghi reviewed earlier is (at least vaguely) recognisable as a kettle. Essentially, pretty much any heatable basic container can be regarded a kettle so long as it has a lid and a spout near the top. One day I would like to see a kettle in the shape of, oh I dunno, a donkey or something, with a spout bursting out of the poor quadruped's face while a square portion on its back (perhaps a saddle?) can be removed to insert one's gunky tap water into. Come to think of it, a camel might be a better idea. The hump could in theory be fashioned into a lid shape anyway. Plus it has a reputation for spitting so that would explain the spout.

Originally at the £60 mark from the manufacturer direct, the Accents can be found from some retailers for half the price. This model is a nicely understated fit for many contemporary kitchens, though one simple fact remains: the camel kettle is a brilliant idea, and I am a flaming genius.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Breville VKJ160

If there's one esssential item every household needs, it is a reliable, long-lasting cordless jug kettle. The highly revered Australian manufacturer Breville prides itself on delivering this promise with its innovative and respectable range of household appliances.

Perhaps better known for its toasters, Breville's kettle range certainly isn't to be sniffed at. Take this model for example, the VKJ160. It has 3kW of power, allowing for a quick boil, a sleek stainless steel finish and water gauges on both sides, which illuminate in a blue light to indicate the boil, perhaps also reassuring the consumer of the purity of the water. It has a concealed element, which is easy to clean and safe from limescale, a non-slip 360 degree rotational base and safety lock lid to help prevent spillage.

One drawback to this model, however, is its slightly lower storage capacity of 1.5 litres, which can prove to be a little inconvenient in a world where many other kettles have a 1.7 litre capacity as standard. Not ideal if you have a great deal of company on a regular basis, though one has to admit it certainly looks the part. I suppose you could fill it further if you really needed to, though I would never recommend overfilling a kettle as it may well lead to a messy worktop, possible burns and, if situated too near to a socket, a potential electrical fire. You wouldn't want that, would you? All your posessions, your family photos, your golf trophies, that ribbon you won for coming 5th in the national amateur breakdancing contest (Heat B), all reduced to mere cinders in an instant, because you foolishly chose to put that little bit extra into the kettle? Maybe someone gets hospitalised, your family leaves you, you have to start your whole life from scratch, if you're less fortunate. No! Never, ever, overfill your kettle! The "MAX" is there for a bloody good reason!

Recommended retail price for the Breville stands at £39.99, though it can be found for less from certain retailers, with some prices beneath the £30 range. A stylish kettle that wouldn't look out of place in most homes, though best suited for quieter households due to its limited capacity.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

DeLonghi Brillante KBJ3001.BK

The Italians have often been associated with style, taste, beauty and a remarkable sense of fashion, whatever the endeavour. Their fine craftsmanship is no different in the world of kettles, as is proven by this stylistic and eye-catching model by Italian manufacturers DeLonghi.

This 3kW model, from the glamorous Brillante range, has a 1.7 litre capacity, 360 degree detachable swivel base and a remarkably quick boiling time that allows even the inefficient consumer to make a quick cuppa without the unnecessary waiting time. The Brillante is also an ideal model to use in regions with a particularly hard water supply, with its detachable and rewashable anti-limescale filter. Furthermore, the stainless-steel element is concealed allowing for further prevention from limescale, which will result in a longer life.

The model has a recommended price of around £59.99, though it can be found brand new for less than £50 from some stores. Whether you find it desirable or not, however, depends entirely on whether you would be comfortable having an item akin to the dismembered lower half of a robot Mary Poppins sitting on your kitchen worktop for year after year. I mean seriously, look at it. Many consumers would consider this a monstrosity, I know I would. The base and the handle are sleek enough, but the jagged triangular effect does nothing to rescue the grotesquely plump shape which rounds off to an unfittingly tiny peak. A peak that the DeLonghi designers decided to top off with something that looks like a woollen bobble hat ham-fistedly fitted onto a Teletubby. It looks ridiculous.

Still, if it's the subtly zany, retro-futuristic look you're going for, knock yourself out. In spite of its appearance, the Brillante is a technically highly capable, and very efficient, model of kettle. If it's pure stats you're going on and have no qualms about style or appearance then I would recommend it. Just, er, best to keep the guests in the lounge.

Welcome to The Kettle Review!

Welcome readers, to my new blog The Kettle Review, a unique new publication which will focus on reviewing an immense and diverse variety of kettles, from the basic to the deluxe, the plain standard to the plain weird, and highlighting potential value for the money along the way, with the aim of helping you, the consumer, to find the ideal kettle for your home.

I hope this blog will prove to be suitably informative, as well as occasionally entertaining and easy to follow. Any comments and suggestions about my coverage are more than appreciated, feel free to drop me a few words of wisdom if you so desire!

The first review is underway, and should be up shortly. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you'll continue to read for the foreseeable future.