I have to admit, I have been lusting after a Smeg fridge for years – a red one would be my first choice – if you must know, but I would not turn down any other colour either. There is something about these retro-looking fridge-freezers with their rounded edges that really, really appeals to me. And why not have a thing of beauty in your kitchen instead of a big white metal box? Smeg’s smaller kitchen appliances are also works of beauty. I reckon a toast popping out of a pastel blue toaster from Smeg just has to taste better. And don’t get me started on the Dolce & Gabbana designed kettles, juicers, blenders and kitchen machines with their Sicily-inspired colours and illustrations. They bring the Mediterranean sunshine straight into your kitchen.
You can now find all Smeg products in one place – their brand new state of the art flagship store and only UK shop, just South of London’s Piccadilly Circus, at 14 Regent Street, St James’s. It’s a beautiful store and the perfect showcase for Smeg’s extensive collection of luxury kitchen appliances.
On the ground floor customers can find Smeg’s range of colourful small and large domestic appliances and accessories and they will also be able to buy ingredients produced by Montecoppe, Smeg’s very own Italian farm and drink an espresso made with one of Smeg’s coffee machines. Up the stairs is a mezzanine level that serves as a design lounge and meeting space.
In the basement are the larger appliances, like ovens, dishwashers, washing machines etc. as well as a purpose built theatre, which will be hosting cookery demonstrations and can also be used for filming and screening.
We recently went along to the grand opening of the shop and were bowled over by both the shop’s design and the hospitality that was extended to us; Italians certainly know how to throw a party.
Gennaro Contaldo himself, the well-known Italian chef and star of BBC Two television series Two Greedy Italians, was making pizzas for the guests, incorporating Montecoppe ingredients. Montecoppe’s Parmesan cheese is wonderful, by the way.
Italian prosecco, wine and beer flowed all evening and we enjoyed the salami & prosciutto and hot and cold canapés that just kept on coming.
A highlight of the evening was a mini concert by renowned Italian flutist Andrea Griminelli who played, accompanied by a pianist, Ennio Morricone’s film scores followed by songs from Bizet’s Carmen for a delighted audience in the theatre space in the basement of the shop.
14 Regent St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4PH
Smeg was founded by Vittoriao Baertazzoni in Guastalla, a town near Reggio Emilia in northern Italy, in 1948 as a enamelling plant working with metals. The name Smeg comes from the acronym of this company, Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla. In the 950’s the company branched out into what it is now known for – kitchen appliances and it is still family owned in its third generation. The current Cairman and CEO is Roberto Bertazzoni.