Whether you’re a lover or a hater of television, one thing you can’t fail to have noticed is that once TV Executives cotton on to a popular trend, they’ll run with it and squeeze every last ounce out of it until the viewing public gets bored. TV revenue is wholly dependent on ratings, so if a genre works, they’ll do it to death. Nowhere is this more obvious than cookery programmes: we’ve had Floyd, Rick Stein, Jamie, Gordon Ramsey, The Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and dear old Delia. The list is endless. The latest recruits to TV’s cookery- cause are brothers Tom and Henry Baker – also known as the Fabulous Baker Boys. These two young Gloucestershire chefs/bakers run a family firm that’s been around for five generations. They specialise in making baking ‘simple’ and take traditional recipes and deconstruct them so they can be presented in new and inventive ways. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that: the only problem is if you too don’t have access to a wood-fired oven that’s hotter than the surface of the sun, then you might just struggle to re-create their recipes. So, is the programme any good? Well, that depends on whether you’re a fan of the genre or not. What stands out for us, aren’t the recipes per se, it’s actually the battered old chesterfield sofa that features prominently in the programme every week. Recipes come and go, as do programme schedules, but the chesterfield sofa just seems to live on. Now, you have to admire that, don’t you?
To call the traditional chesterfield settee ‘deconstructed’ is actually factually correct, but a little misleading at the same time. It’s ‘deconstructed’ in the sense that it has been taken apart in a manner of speaking, but this hasn’t been done by design. The leather chesterfield sofa is actually falling apart. You could say it appears to have been around the block more times than the local village Bobby and boy does it need some TLC. The wadding is hanging out, the springs are exposed and the leather is shot to pieces. Yet, in spite of this, it still looks elegant. It only goes to show that no matter how harshly you may treat a chesterfield sofa, it will still survive and continue to give years of service. For all its apparent dowdiness, we think it’s still a very handsome piece of furniture.
Now it would be nice if the sofa could be given a bit of a makeover and restored to its former glory, but in some ways that would detract from its enduring appeal. Its battered appearance tells its own story and is a testament to its history and the many years of hard service it’s obviously put in. We all grow older, and at some stage time will catch up with us. All we can hope is that we come through the experience unruffled and with a little grace. Our chesterfield sofas certainly will. They’re built to last and, with care, will age beautifully and last for generations. If you care for your traditional chesterfield settee, then, it too, will one day have that worn-in look and will be able to tell its own story. All we ask is that you treat it with respect and don’t give it such a hard time. If you look after your chesterfield sofa, it will most definitely look after you.