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Once it was your choice of car or the time you served your evening meal that marked you out as middle class.
Today, anyone attempting to assess social status needs to look in the kitchen. For Cabinet minister James Brokenshire and his wife, Cathy, it was the sight of the two double ovens in their extended kitchen in South-East London that left no doubt they are keeping up with the Joneses.
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Whether feeding a growing brood or wowing dinner party guests, size matters when it comes to cookers, with homeowners who have space — and spare cash, of course — splashing out on not one, but two double ovens.
Middle-classes - Home - Supper - Dinner - Parties
That's because as the middle-classes increasingly socialise inside the home rather than go out, being able to cater for supper (note: not dinner) parties of ten or more has become a serious brag. The craze for extending also means kitchens are bigger than ever — and increasingly the social heart of the home in the way living rooms once were.
Size isn't everything, however. 'Most popular nowadays are ovens with multi-functions,' explains Paul O'Brien, brand director of independent kitchen designer Kitchens International, who says that such appliances might look like 'old-fashioned double ovens' but be blessed with new-fangled technology.
'Steam - Ovens - Flavours - Vegetables - Way
'Steam ovens are very popular now,' he explains. 'They retain the flavours of vegetables and are a much healthier way of cooking.' Prices range from £2,000 (Jenn-Air) all the way up to about £8,000 (Gaggenau). Neff's 'slide and hide models', as featured on Bake Off, are also desirable.
The once fashionable Aga appears to have been displaced by heat-up-in-an-instant induction hobs and 'smart' ovens such as The Stoves Sterling Deluxe S900EI (£1,849) that allow users to adjust the...
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