Live blog from the first day of the Ideal Home Show, Friday 11 March…
Coronation Street House
Have started off with a tour of the Coronation Street House, a recreation of Ken and Deirdre’s house apparently. I don’t actually watch Corrie, but I’ve enjoyed Jonathan Harvey’s Ken & Deirdre’s Bedtime Stories, playing in the snug of the ‘Rovers Return’ while you queue. (watch them here: http://tinyurl.com/6cfjrm7)
I think that might have been a celebrity* who just came in. He was wearing foundation and lots of women of a certain age went a bit fluttery. He must be on daytime TV or some sort of home makeover programme.
Some lovely attention to yesteryear detail: avocado bathroom suite, Belling Classic cooker, Ewbank CombiSweep, a radio cassette. In K&D’s bedroom, copy of Wolf Hall on Ken’s side.
Did one of the other visitors actually just say she liked the wallpaper?
The girl on duty in the house making sure we don’t nick any of the ceramic figurines is too young to know who Hilda Ogden is! Do they teach them nothing in schools these days?
Ken & Deirdre’s bedroom; note copy of Wolf Hall on Ken’s side.
The Rovers Return bar prices
Next up, either the Prince’s House, or Linda Barker Open Plan Living House. I never can resist a reconstructed house or street (perhaps a top 5 reconstructions is called for some time. The 1930s House in the Imperial War Museum definitely in there. And the Geffrye Museum roomsets.)
* George Clarke, apparently.
Ideal Home of the Future
Queues for Prince’s House and Open Plan Living House way too long, but the Ideal Home of the Future has a show every half hour.
Some brilliant stuff:
- a portable fire that you just roll into the next room (Encompassco);
- a fridge in a draw that can also be a freezer if you just turn the temperature down (Fisher & Paykel);
- taps that also dispense fizzy water (Grohe);
- a bath that you can control remotely to run itself before you get home, with specified bubble bath. Plus it will stay at the same temperature, and has built in TV and fridge.
- multi-vitamins and/or caffeine you inhale (Le Whif);
- scales that break down your fat and body mass as well as just weighing you – then tweet the results (Withings);
- tiny hydroponic garden for your kitchen worktop (Aerogarden)
- robo-vacuum cleaner that scuttles around the floor (Neato);
- an infrared heating system that just heats you, not the whole room;
- electric cars that can charge wirelessly (Nissan Leaf/Energizer Induction Charger/plugless poer);
- 3D printer;
- a smartpen that allows you to write shopping lists on intelligent paper then just by writing the word ‘buy’, drawing a box around it and clicking on it, you can transmit a message to your PC to order it for you. You can also use it to write To Do lists, but unfortunately the computer doesn’t then do everything on the list (Echo Smartpen).
Back in the bloggers’ lounge I nearly sit on Linda Barker who is being interviewed on the sofa. Make hasty exit.
The upstairs bit
Not easy finding the stairs up, or indeed the way back down. And it’s tricky dodging the nail buffer and eye cream sales people in the Ideal Woman zone who see haggard midlife mums as vulnerable prey. Mind you, the London College of Beauty is giving free manicures, massages and make up, or you can get one of those fashionable fish pedicures for a tenner at the Garra Puffa Fish Spa.
No need for lunch as all the tasters in the Ideal Food kept me going. Some of the more, er, unusual samples: whisky cheese, banoffee vodka. Among the tastiest, spicy chorizo from the Bath Pig and Lord London cheese from Alsop & Waker.
Whisky flavoured cheese
Banoffee vodka – tastes alarmingly banoffee-ish
Of course the Ideal Home Show wouldn’t be the Ideal Home Show without its demonstrations, and they really are classic entertainment from people with enviable energy levels. But no matter how advanced the product, there’s still something dustily retro about the gadgets section, or ‘Ideal Housewares‘ as it’s called. A corridor of regional door-to-door salesmen selling microfibre cloths, sushi makers, and high-performance mops. A couple even have mullets. Non-ironic mullets.
A be-mulletted demonstrator at Smart Innovations. Next stand: ‘Miracle Shammy’
Tempted by these
Cave in an buy this (miracle cooker/pan cleaner)
The queues have died down for the show homes so might take a peek.
In the end I didn’t have the energy to queue, so here’s some paint porn instead: