The hazelnut brown enamelled cast iron Le Creuset cookware came all the way from France, where, back in the 1980's, they were much cheaper than here in the UK. I bought the three different sized pans with their separate matching lids on a day trip to Boulogne. My Le Creuset buy turned out to be an even bigger bargain than I had originally thought. In addition to the pans, my parents and I had a trolley full of wines, beer, cheese, chocolate, baguettes and all the other continental delights we had crossed the channel for. It was only when I got home and looked closely at our receipt that I realised that the cashier had only taken for the lids and not for the pans themselves. Being back in another country and not fluent in their language, I felt that phoning the hypermarche to explain their error was not really an option, so I pushed aside my buyer's guilt and enjoyed my absolute bargain.
Over the years the Le Creuset range and its accessibility has grown. Stainless steel toughened non-stick pans, bakeware, stoneware and ceramics have joined the cast iron cookware. The innovation , quality and performance of Le Creuset has put it at the forefront of cookware brands for over 100 years and it remains a favourite of professionals worldwide.
I love the range of colours available: Cerise, Coastal Blue, Cassis, Volcanic, Teal, Almond, Soleil, Cotton, Kiwi, Marseille Blue and Satin Black. They offer so much choice when it comes to matching your kitchen decor or making a bold culinary statement.
The new cast iron Signature Casseroles from Le Creuset are absolutely gorgeous. They come in round and shallow, with sizes from 20cm to 30cm diameter. Prices range from £79.20 to £210. In my ideal kitchen I would have a set of these casseroles in Satin Black ready to cook up some wonderful vegetarian delights. I love that they are stylishly designed while still retaining a homely, traditional, farmhouse quality.
Le Creuset is such an iconic brand and the products last for years. They aren't cheap but you are paying for their timeless design, quality and durability.
Unfortunately I don't have my pans anymore. At some point in my late 20's when we moved house, we made the decision to buy a new lightweight, non-stick, fancy looking saucepan set and gave away my cast iron Le Creuset. I wince when I think of what a bad decision this was. That replacement set of pans have been replaced ten times over, but I bet my Le Creuset pans would still be cooking up a storm had I have kept them. I do however, still have a cast iron rectangular Le Creuset oven dish that is over 20 years old and is still going strong! I use it for lasagne and vegetarian shepherd's pie and love being able to serve my food from it.
You can see the Le Creuset collection of products at House of Fraser where you can currently claim a free 18cm stoneware dish if you buy a Signature cast iron casserole plus you can find some homeware items on sale too.
This post has been written in collaboration with House of Fraser but I retain all editorial control.