Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Best of British

What with it being the Jubilee this weekend, we thought it was an ideal time to celebrate some of our fabulous British-made fires and stoves.

We have more than sixty different models of stove in our stove showroom, and we featuire some wonderful designs manufactured in the UK. We stock the highly efficient Burley stoves, the popular ESSE range and Town and Country stoves made in Pickering in Yorkshire.

Our hand-built made-to-measure fires and surrounds are made in Britain by local craftsmen in wood, stone and marble. We stock British-made gas fires, and most of our antique fireplaces were made here in Victorian or Georgian times and were certainly built to last!

So, if you're thinking of a British-made fire or stove, come along to Westcombes and see what we have on offer.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Best time to buy your fire or stove

The sun is finally out here in South-East London after what feels like endless grey weeks of rain, and the evenings are at last warm enough not to need to light the fire or stove - but if you've been thinking that maybe you'd like a new fireplace or stove at some point in the future, this is the ideal time to come and have a look.

We always find that we have a sudden mad rush of customers the moment the weather gets chilly in the autumn and it means that manufacturers tend to start building up longer lead times for delivery, and our fitters get booked up too.  If you are able to think ahead and come and visit us at Westcombes to discuss your fires and stoves over the summer months, you'll have your fireplace or stove ready, installed and waiting for you to use it on that very first chilly autumn night.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

How to light your fire or stove?

We're often asked how to light a fire or stove, as the art of fire-lighting is no longer something we're taught as we're growing up. Although it's nearly summer, it's still very chilly outside and we've got our woodburner blazing away to keep us cosy, so we thought we'd bring a timely reminder of how to light a fire or stove.

First, you need to prepare your stove or fireplace. Check that the damper is open, and that the air vents on your stove are all open,

Then, lay your kindling.  We like to use either our flamers firelighters - or some scrunched newspaper - which we place inside across the base.  Then, make a pyramid of kindling on top.

Light the paper or flamers, and once the kindling begins to burn you can layer some slightly larger pieces of wood, and as soon as the fire is established, put on your coal or logs.

You will need to tend to the fire or stove to top up the fuel as necessary.  You should always make sure that you have a smoke alarm in the same room and don't ever leave the fire unattended.

Finally, it's worth remembering that using the right fuel is key to lighting a fire successfully.  All too often, we've had customers reporting problems when they've been using damp unseasoned wood - it makes it really difficult to light a fire, and what's more it will fill your chimney with soot and tar.  The kiln-dried logs we sell here at Westcombes are ideal - and that's why people who've bought them tend to keep coming back for more.  Once you've used dried logs, you'll know why it makes such a difference!

Magazine and TV fame for Westcombes...

We're delighted here at Westcombes to discover that the prestigious Guild of Master Craftsmen have decided to feature us in their magazine!  We are proud to be members of the Guild which is a sign of reliability and quality - things that matter a great deal to us at Westcombes.  So often now, customers are faced with sales staff who know nothing about what they are attempting to sell - or end up buying online where you may have no idea who you are trusting with your money. Buying a fire or stove is something you want to get right. You need good advice and will want to think about all your options.  Here at Westcombes, we pride ourselves on our service and want to be able to help all our customers find the ideal fire or stove for their homes, and we're overjoyed that our expertise is being recognised by our inclusion in the Guild's magazine.

We're also very excited about one of our fires appearing on ITV's "6O Minute Makeover" this coming Tuesday at 2pm.  The show's producers came to Westcombes for advice and we're delighted to win yet another endorsement for the excellent service and range of products that we supply.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Decorative tiles

One thing customers are often delighted by in our shop is the antique tiles displayed around the shop.  Most are Victorian or Edwardian and come in a huge range of styles, patterns and colours, including many beautiful Art Nouveau designs. Some are preserved in entire sets and can be purchased to go into an insert for a fire, but we also have many individual tiles or smaller groups of tiles.

Retailing at anything from £3 upwards, we're endlessly fascinated by the uses people find for our tiles from coasters or hotplates to creating patterned hearths or for use in Victorian porches.  Sometimes particularly attractive tiles are bought by people who want to hang them on the wall.  If you're looking for a quirky, original design feature, you may want to come and check out our tile selection at Westcombes!