Oh my feet hurt! I spent the day at Excel in London traipsing up and down the aisles at Grand Designs Live. I think it’s been worth it though – I caught up with a few colleagues, made a few new contacts and saw many beautiful products. I think my favourites were the outdoor petal lights by PetalPod, the glass swirling, two-colour worktop from Southern Counties Glass and the marble pebble/ semi-precious stone-look freestanding basins from Color 1 Design (unfortunately I don't have an image of that). Of course there were also lots of food and drink stands selling hand-made chocolates, confectionery and drinks with a difference – toffee vodka anyone?
One item that really stood out for me was the Wonderbag this is literally a bag you cook in, and it is making a big difference for poor people in Africa, as it cuts down on fuel consumption. The makers - who give a Wonderbag to a family in Africa every time one is sold here - say it cuts fuel usage by around 30%, which makes a big difference to families there. It’s a weird-looking thing but the idea behind it is so simple – an insulated bag that continues cooking food after you take it off the stove, like a very slow cooker. It’s eco friendly as well as a money saver. While I was at the stand the Wonderbag people were cooking a syrup sponge pudding in the bag - they started it off on the hob for 25 minutes, put the pudding pot with lid in the Wonderbag, put the lid on the bag and left it for a couple of hours. Et voila! Lovely looking sponge pudding.