31 Mar 2011

Hestia...tries on-line ordering

I decided that I was having a Kitchenaid Mixer.

<-    This one, in fact.

OK, so I hardly ever bake, and yes, my last foray into baking resulted in a bout of gallstone pain that resulted in some rash promises to God if he would just let me survive long enough to get to the bloody doctors.  But also a lovely cake.

See?  Here it is.  Ignore the Mario figure.  That was Sonshine doing something interesting with left-over red fondant.


Although Tartarus balked at the price of the Kitchenaid (and I quote: ' Four hunner quid for a MIXER? Are you fucking MAD?') and, to be honest, I thought I might be too....but still, the cherry red gorgeousness of it would not let me go.

I researched the Kenwood and the Kitchenaid.

Obviously, Kenwood is a British name (waves little Union Jack brightly) and they also do some lovely colours.  I really fancied this one.

The Barcelona:

It was the same eye-watering price as the Kitchenaid and did mostly the same thing.

But then I discovered that Kenwood was no longer British (owned by De Longhi now) and that their machines are made in China.  (see: Union Jack waved now waved mournfully)

The Kitchenaid, on the other hand, is as American as the apple pie you could whip up with it.

But it was £420.00.

You can buy a lot of M&S cakery for £420.00....

But the clunky robustness of Kitchenaid's Artisan mixer was proving alluring...and I would be keeping some Brothers and Sisters over the pond in a job, so I decided that I HAD TO HAVE ONE OR I WOULD DIE.

(see: Union Jack in the bin)

So it came to pass that I dragged Tartarus into John Lewis to let him see the magnificence in the flesh, well, metal.  There was the red one...and next to it a Candy Apple coloured one that gleamed like a 50s cadillac.  And cost a few hundred pounds more.  Tartarus shot me a warning 'FORGET IT' glance as I ran my sweaty little hands over the Deluxe Candy Apple one.

Tartarus could not be swayed ... and wandered off to look at mixers that were, frankly, wanky.

I went into a sulk that was in no way alleviated by Tartarus subsequently treating himself to a steering wheel and pedals for the PS3.  Instead, I bit my lip, came home and began the laborious (and secretive) process of Buying On-Line.

The process itself - banging in your credit card details and whatnot - is quite straightforward, but the pressure you find yourself under to obtain the best possible deal ramps up the stress factor enormously.

I spend hours trawling through sites and using comparison sites, eyes red and streaming from hours before the flickering screen.  In the end I plumped for the John Lewis site....the machine was less expensive to order online (£399) and you could pick it up in store.  Perfect.

I typed in all my details and my card was....refused.  I admit it might be a little smokey round the edges some days from book-buying frenzies on Amazon, but it should always be ok for actually using for Real Things.

I entered all the bloody details again.  Refused.

My lovely friend Viv said on her blog that if I fell out of a boat I wouldn't hit the water....surely she wasn't going to be right again????  Was it all going to go tits up?

'Bugger you Mr Lewis.  I shall take my custom elsewhere,' I announced to the mac monitor before flouncing out and off to House of Fraser.  Reader - they have a SALE on that ends tomorrow.  I spotted my red Artisan for £377.10!!! Woopee!!! I painstakingly typed in all my details and......my card was refused again.

Now I was starting to get a bit panicked.  Visions of my Italian waiter from Saturday night's meal at Fratelli Sarti picking up his one-way ticket to Bolivia at the airport on the arm of his jewel-bedecked lady-friend - all at Hestia's expense - floated before my eyes.

The phone rang - my credit card fraud department.  All automated.  A smooth-voiced lady told me that some activity had taken place on my card and that I was to listen to the last five transactions and agree (or not) that I had made them.  There was an embarassing amount of stuff from Amazon that caused more eye-rolling from the listening-in Tartarus.  All the purchases were mine.  And my card was made active again.

But what had triggered the fraud department, I mithered.

'Probably because you were using it to buy something other than books and make-up maybe?' suggested Tartarus as he hacked away at the front door (please don't ask, but it will involve me having to do some stained glass panels at some stage).

We shall pick up my gleaming fire-engine red Artisan Stand Mixer on Sunday.

And baking shall commence....



  1. Kitchen envy!! I really want a mixer of that style but budget and space just don't allow for it.

  2. both my mom and my aunt swear by these puppies. my aunt started making yeast breads and cakes when she got one, something she never did before because she hates kneading. i never bothered getting one for two reasons: one - a series of small dinky kitchens and biannual moves and two- i actually like kneading things with my bare hands. there's something sensual and neat about whacking warm fleshy dough with the palm of my hand (SMACK!).

    congrats though, it is gorgeous!

  3. OMG.....what are you like? So, so funny! Sorry, but I have to say I wouldn't dream of even buying a mixer let alone spend that much on one but I do hope you enjoy it when it arrives.

  4. Oh I love that red mixer.. its gorgeous .. I make daily but do not own a mixer .. I use a food processor .. as I needed both that is what I bought.
    Amazon will one day take over the world.. if I cant get to the shops I can even buy mascara on there xx

  5. darling, I'd love one of those - sadly they are bigger than my fucking kitchen

  6. Dear Alison - Sometimes needs must! I have a kenwood which I bought 11 years ago with the same degree of lust I hear from you now re the red mixer. It makes me think of those days where I watched my mum bake and waited for the beaters to lick. As for the credit card, mine was cut off too - getting the car serviced in Chile was a 'flag!'. 'But my address is in Chile????' 'Oh!'. However, one is so pleased to have it back one cannot complain! Lindaxxx

  7. ANother great post. Well done Ali, you certainly maintain a very high standard.

    The Red Mixer looks great.
    I think just having one is enough. Don't be tempted to actally use it, unless you have enough time to write the 3 posts describing how Bute was temporarily removed from the universe when you did.

    "stained glass panels"?


  8. I have a silver one, and I love it. God help you when you start buying all the little accessories, although Tarterus will like the sausage stuffing thingy. The meat grinder is a good one as you can make your own mincemeat (hamburger to our US readers) without having to have ground up arsehole or cow lips in there.

  9. Got my almond cream one for £377 after some interweb surfing. They threw in free delivery and a set of Sabatier steak knives & forks. As I havent eaten steak since about 1975 I immediately sold them on ebay, thereby making it a complete bargain and a totally justified purchase,obviously! mwwwhaaaahaaa

  10. I have super envy. That KitchenAid has been my heart's desire since before I got married. I have the blender, but my husband's opinions on spending upwards of £300 on a mixer are much the same as yours!

  11. In my family there is general agreement that Kitchen Aid is the best mixer there is, the only one worth having. I am now waiting for my elektrolux to finish dying so that I can finally get a Kitchen aide.
    You are going to love it!

  12. Dearest Ali, I don't know how I missed this post.

    Now, I don't know a lot about mixers but I do know that is the nicest looking mixer ever. So glad you got the red, it's lovely xx

  13. AAh Ali.....I've been whistfully looking at those babies too! AND I want a red one (dont we all?) but the recent hammering on finances meant yet again I can only look.

    I hope that you make stonking cakes & post some photos when you do. I will get a Kitchenaid too, it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine *looks lovingly into the distance as the mist surrounds me and I fade to a dream sequence*

    As for the card...could it be that you used it a few times in quick succession? The same thing happened to us, and it turned out to be an "unusual" transaction of more than a certain amount that triggered the fail, and also using the card five times in about ten minutes (Xmas panic time)

    Anyhoooo. Enjoy your mixer...we WILL want the details :)

    S xxx

  14. i've been dreaming of KitchenAid for the last couple of weeks... I simply cannot justify the expense... which is very sad :0(

  15. Dom - making me feel guilty about my hugely expensive purchase. I promise to bake more than just one cake a year *crosses heart, hopes for prompt gallstone operation*

    Sage - could be that we said we'd pick the item up in store, because that's not usual for us either. Promise to post pix of culinary adventures :-)

    Christina - it is gorgeous. It was expensive though *regret face*

    Dancer - wooohooo! I hope that I do love it enough to actually use the damned thing! Get one yourself and we can compare sponges!

    LM - oh God, if YOU haven't got one and Dom hasn't got one, I've maybe gone a bit OTT on my revenge purchases.....

    M - there WERE some deals out there - wheesh or something like that had a hand mixer or steak knives. I never thought about getting the freebie onto ebay *clueless face* Ah well, I live and learn!

    Legend - woopee! You've got one and you love it too. This is excellent news!

    TSB - come on know, you know that Bute is removed from the universe 100% of the time.....

    Linda - hugely curious to know why you are in Chile! Get blogging and tell us everything :-) Hubby has same problem with using credit card in Mexico. Has worked there for about 8 years and tells bank EVERY time he goes, but they still cut off his card when he tries to use it!

    Di - get Keith to make you a bigger kitchen *whispers* you can also use kitchen as workshop for stupendous jewellery-making exploits?

    Ruth - thanks for the heads up on RSoles, will go check them out. Amazon will be the demise of small shops. I try to use local bookshop where possible because we're such a small pond for Karen to make a profit in.... I would die if we had no book shop!

    Lori - thankyouuuuuuuuu - will do my best to enjoy it!

    Polish chick - you can send me a failsafe tasty bread recipe then!

    Alex - it IS expensive. But, as Jennifer Aniston says, I'm worth it. *bwhahahahaha*


  16. You have made a great purchase there - I have a cream one and I use it just about every day - but Legend is right, the extra gadgets are expensive - I have collected them at birthdays etc over 10 years so don't feel bad about it - I use the juicer every day because I am addicted to real fresh orange juice, then I have the pasta roller - making your own pasta is really easy, and the slicer, grater thingy. I've also got the ice cream maker which is more trouble than it's worth - you have to freeze the bowl for 15 hours before you start and it takes up too much room in the freezer. I have never made successful bread before, but the Lorraine Pascale focaccia bread is simple in the Kitchenaid. Happy baking x

  17. Hello! I found your lovely blog via Blighty! I have a cream Kitchen Aid (I got a neutral coz thought it would be cheaper to change the kitchen decor than replace the mixer LOL) and I LOVE it. My husband freaked too - its all part of the fun! :)

  18. Kitchen envy!! I really want a mixer of that style but budget and space just don't allow for it.
    Thanks for post.


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