Le Creuset Offers and Different Learning Styles

Apropos of nothing at all, other than it got my attention earlier this week, my preamble is about realising our potential and the way some children are failed by our education system. And if you happen to be a teacher and think that it’s all well in the land of education, then l’ll take a step towards you and will happily admit that conventional schooling is OK for a significant number of students. But I also believe that it is hopeless for others. And if that’s a bridge too far for you to cross, then perhaps you and I, can agree to disagree.

Babette said to me, on more than one occasion, during our 28 years of marriage, “How on earth did you manage to fail every single O-Level (GCSE) you took?”. "Effortlessly.", came my rather glib reply. And actually, there was truth in that (if I had paid attention I’d never have started a sentence with an “And”, would I?). I was either puzzled by the weird symbols in “modern Maths” or bored stiff by meaningless symbols that somehow purported to portray the structure of a plant in Biology, and this process I just never managed to engage with. Perhaps what was surprising, was that no one seemed to realise I was “thick” until it was too late!  

I was reminded of this earlier this week, when reading Steven Bartlett's book “Diary of a CEO” when he refers in chapter 28, to how conventional education did not suit him. In it, he uses two examples of different attitudes to learning, one from Richard Branson and the other Jimmy Carr.  The former came out of school without qualifications and the other ended up going to Cambridge. 

Branson summarises his philosophy by saying “if you’re running a company, it doesn’t matter if you can’t add up, or subtract. It doesn’t matter if you can’t read a set of accounts. You can always get someone else to do these jobs for you” (they are specialist jobs, don’t try to compete with your accountant, she’ll outstrip at every turn). “What matters” he says “is that you create the best company in its sector" (my interpretation of this is a Jim Collins approach…what we can be best in the world at, (in our case) in Cobham, Redhill and Reigate) . He continued, "I’m good with people. I can trust people, I surround myself with really good people, and I can delegate”.  

Bartlett goes on to quote from the interview that he did with standup comedian Jimmy Carr. Jimmy said ”I think school maybe teaches us the wrong lesson. School teaches us a lesson about mediocrity and being all-rounders. And yet we live in a world that does not reward all-rounders. Who gives a fuck about all-rounders. If you get a D in Physics and you get an A in English, I say, just go to English lessons…” to say, “because we’ll get you to a C in Physics…(really?) I’ll tell you what the world doesn’t need – someone who’s shit at Physics. So, find out what you’ve got a natural ability for, what’s the thing you do best, and just lean into that.”

Now, in case you feel I’m over identifying with these two highly successful people, I promise you, I have no such delusions of grandeur, but I do find it supportive to hear that I don’t need algebra or complicated long division sums to be able to run a very motivated company of people, and that in Branson's experience, people skills are arguably one of the top requirements. Bartlett summarises the learning as this .

“The truth is, your destination will be defined by the sum total of the ingenuity, ideas and execution of the group of people that you assemble. Every great idea, everything that you create, your marketing, your products, your strategy – all of it will come from the minds of the people you hire. “

He finishes “You are a recruitment company – that’s your priority and founders that realise this, build world changing companies."

So coming back to my original point, if I have a skill, then it's building a learning environment where our team can still develop while focusing on what they excel at (rather than emphasising what they don't).

Heady stuff!

Now to product.

Le Creuset usually bombard us with offers at this time year and a couple that caught my eye in the shop earlier, were their new sets of two “Round Eared Gratin Dishes”, and in contrast their Special purchase “22cm TNS Frying pan” for only seventy eight quid.

Le Creuset Deep Round Dishes 20cm & 24cm.

 You may have  noticed that I described them as “Round Eared Gratin Dishes”, which is the name that Le Creuset would have given them in the past. The current description of "Round Dishes" lacks any imagination, in my opinion. Very similar in fact to when they ceased using the word “Cocotte” in favour of the word “Casserole” and they did the same with what they now call the “Shallow Casserole” which used to have the much more sexy French name “Buffet Casserole". Why did they do this…? Because they feared we poor English wouldn’t understand “Cocotte”…?  I find this dumbing down irritating. And, it can be a problem when the marketing department of the company hold such sway, having little or no soul or respect for tradition.

Ok, rant over, they are, despite these shortcomings, an extremely nice and good bunch of people, who have bent over backwards over the years to support us, as a small retailer and its partly because of this support that we do so much of their product range. That and the fact the colours look fantastic and sell well!

Well, so be they “Round Eared Gratin Dishes” or merely “Round Dishes” they are very French and Le Creuset in appearance, with their traditional ears (handles) and entirely practical sizes 20cm and 24cm, for doing anything from a gratin to serving vegetables. Lovely product, crap name. The RRP is £78.00.  Available in Volcanic, Cerise, Azure Blue, Nectar & Flint.  We are price matching at present at only £65.00.

Le Creuset TNS 22cm Frying Pan.

A very nice small Frying pan, good for an omelette for one or two people, scrambled eggs ditto, would also do a modest fry up pretty well too. It’s at the impressively low price of £78.00.

Le Creuset TNS Casserole Shallow 28cm (Used to be called Buffet Casserole!)

A last minute addition. This is a great piece, with capacity to produce food for at least 6 people. Food always looks very good in wide shallow casseroles and the impact of cooking in this casserole is no exception. Its full RRP is £185, the offer price is £135 and at present we are price matching at £119… a significant saving!


Well that is it for this week. Oh, one last thing, the Riedel event on the 25th October  almost sold out last weekend, but there are 3 tickets left at the time of writing.

This week I’ve chosen Winston Churchill to have the last word.

"I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."

How many times in my life have thought I knew better, only to be proved wrong, and learned yet another lesson…the hard way.

I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Kind regards


Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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