Andrew Bluett-Duncan

NEC and Index Boards

12 FEBRUARY 2022

Andrew Bluett-Duncan


Le Creuset Bamboo

A story

Last Sunday afternoon found Jeanne, Em and I, in my Alpina, on our way to the NEC. Or to be more precise, on our way to  the Hotel du Vin, in Stratford upon Avon, where we were to stay for the next two nights whilst visiting the NEC. This was a bit of an extravagance, but as Babette and I had previously stayed at the Hotel Du Vin, in Winchester, at Le Creuset's expense, on a number of occasions over the years, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I thought we might treat ourselves this time.  And a treat it indeed was. Excellent food and wine, the latter being served in the correct Riedel glass and, naturally, the company more then passed muster!

So why the NEC?

Well it houses the Spring Fair, normally the biggest buying event of the year for us. This year however it was something of a shadow of its former self. The housewares hall was less than half the size it normally is and a large number of our suppliers weren’t there. The whole show that normally takes up all 20 or so halls, this year it was only 8 halls, if I understood the plan correctly. We, nonetheless, found some good stuff, picnic ware, some unlikely stuff on the Kikkerland stand, much of it nothing to do with cookware, but it amuses me. A new range of frying pans from Kuhn Rikon, a new and beautiful colour from Smeg and some lovely new designs for Emma Bridgewater tins and fabrics. And whilst going over what we were looking for and hadn’t found, it fell to me to ring Nick Squire (he of the BMW X5)* as I wanted to see if he still stocked Tala individual icing nozzles and bio degradable plastic straws, strange mixture I’ll admit. It seemed to amuse him that I'd driven all the way to Stratford to then ring him about such prosaic matters.   

Anyway, when I sat down to write this email I wasn’t feeling very inspired, so casting around in the shop downstairs, with two of my “give me some ideas for the email, and get me out of trouble" people, Paul and Jackie they pointed out that we’d got lots of stock of a special offer set that we bought at the rag end of last year.

Joseph Joseph Large Index Chopping Boards Set

A very good offer on the older, original model, called Index Chopping Boards Large. This has 4 double sided, non slip chopping boards, colour coded for four differing uses, (Veg, Meat, Fish, and Cooked Meat).

They are dishwasher safe and really quite a decent size at 34cm by 27cm (approx 13.5" x 10.5”), so not huge, but big enough for most(?) jobs in the kitchen. They won’t skid around on the surface and are easy to get at when you need them,(assuming you keep them out on the work surface). The RRP is £65.00 and we have them on offer at £49.00 and, in fact, for this weekend I’m going to be taking a further four pounds off to make the saving from RRP, £20. This is a long winded way of saying £45.00 if you use code INDEX4 on the website. Tell us who you are if coming into the shop and we will do the rest.

Joseph Joseph Index 4-piece Chopping Board Set Large Graphite

Joseph Joseph Index Chopping boards are a worldwide bestseller, helping people reduce cross-contamination of their food with a simple, yet effective, colour-coded system of boards. 

Set of 4 colour-coded, non-slip chopping boards plus storage case.

RRP £65.00  £49.00

with code INDEX4

valid until 11.59pm 14/02/22

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Art of Living Website

I thought I'd just mention that our website appears to be out of stock of an awful lot of products at the moment. This is somewhat  misleading . The story is this. In the weeks leading up to Christmas we were getting frantically busy and our new-ish system Brightpearl was not coping well with transferring stock, from around the company to the website, (the website at this point was showing as “in stock” so long as we had stock somewhere in the company).

Without going into minute detail, a huge amount of work was being generated by the mistakes that were occurring and the inflexibility of Brightpearl. A blame atmosphere started to emerge with over worked people get ratty with each other at transfers not turning up when they should. And the amount of time and effort we were taking in remedying our mistakes, was really becoming a bridge too far.

So, we decided to “hide” the shop stock from the website. This had two effects. A huge number of products went “Out of Stock” overnight on the website, which had the desired effect of cutting down transfers dramatically, but of course it also cut down sales as well.

Having seen what it did to morale when the shop stock was available on the website and then the benefits, in morale, when switched off, I’ve been very reluctant to switch it back on again. As things get calmer we may revert the situation, but at present if you want something that “appears” to be out of stock then do please pick up the phone and ring the website or one of the shops or send an email.

That’s it for this week.

I hope you have a peaceful and pleasant weekend.

Kind regards


  *  Incidentally, I spotted an even uglier car than the X5 on the motorway up there, the badge said X6, it looked like an X5 on some sort of body building drugs! I like to imagine that if there’s an X10 (and for all I know there maybe) it would be gorganesque in looks, cause the onlooker to be spontaneously sick or turn to stone, or possibly both. Of course, if both, it would need to be in that order….  if you think about it.

1 comment

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