You wouldn’t normally think of Gatwick Airport as providing inspiration for anything much, it used to be lumped in with the Bullring Shopping Centre (Birmingham) and Streatham High Street as the kind of place you’d never want to spend much time.  Needless to say things change, The Bullring has been re-built and Streatham is now up an up and coming area – something to do with a big Tesco project… 😦

So where can you find inspiration in the North Terminal?  Well Jamies Union Jacks Bar did for me, when I say inspiration, I don’t mean anything spiritual (that happened way back in Patagonia), I mean Kitchenspiration, and thats important, because I love food, so does Laura – I’ve never seen somebody so small happily eat so much!

Why did I like Union Jacks?  Well appart from the fact that they have Chapel Down’s Curious Brew on tap (its getting more well known), for a new bar (in an airport) the design is really nice.  I like the retro tiling, painted boards and metal work surface finishes, I thought that it gave some nice pointers for how some second hand furniture / DIY elements could be combined.  What do you think?


Restored Wood Burners – These Designs are Hot!

A few weeks ago we started our search for stoves, we really want to add one to the proposed rear extension as a focal point. We experienced our first real fire in the property that we rented when we first moved to Whitstable. It was a basic Victorian open fire, so not massively efficient, but we were hooked!

Whitstable is a good place for people to have a wood burners, the smoke gets blow away by the offshore winds! That’s why £2billion has been invested in the London Array – the worlds largest offshore wind turbine operation. When fully online later this year it will be able to power close to 500,000 homes…

Back to wood burners, in addition to their being no domestic smoke control in the area, Whitstable is also close to The Blean, Canterbury & Swales Ancient Woodland. The Blean has been shaped by humans for a thousand years and has been used as a renewable source of Chestnut (for supporting hops) for decades. It has also long been a source of firewood, and is carefully managed to supply local residents to this day.

We like the idea of using wood to heat our super insulated house through the winter months, assuming we can get the property to the levels of energy efficiency we hope, we should then be able to transfer the heat it generates in the extension round the rest of the house via a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) system. Space Shuffle our chose architects seem to think this is viable, subject to other factors. It should be notes though, that they are not suggesting that we should just rely on this type of heat source.

Our favourite wood burners so far are available from Thor Stoves, they sell refurbished antique stoves, mainly of Danish origin. These are very cool, and of course very eco friendly as they have already bean made. No additional demand is being stimulated by purchasing the product.

Thor Stoves Example Wood Burner

Thor Stoves refurbish antique wood burners mainly from Denmark

We have also heard of boiler stoves that can be plumbed into a wet heating system, such as and electrical boiler & under floor heating rig, we would be interested to hear your thoughts.