Posted on 30/05/2018 by David
Gone are the days of sparsely equipped self-catering kitchens where you'd be lucky to find a battered old pan, an empty ice cube tray and a few mismatched pieces of cutlery. Forget a bottle opener at your peril!
Today's holidaymakers are both more discerning and more demanding when it comes to self-catering accommodation and expect their holiday home to be just that, a home from home.
Therefore, it's really important to consider how you will equip your property, especially key areas of the house such as the kitchen. Guests like to split their time between eating out and staying in, especially if they are in a remote location or holidaying with the intention of spending quality time with one another.
The kitchen is the heart of any home and so it makes sense to equip it fit for purpose - be that heating a tin of beans or whipping up a dinner party for 8.
Whether you're a culinary whizz or not, owners will need to invest some time and money in bringing their kitchen up to scratch at the start. There will be a lot of one-off items and sets of items to purchase to fully-equip your holiday home kitchen.
Kitchen equipment checklist
We've based the list on equipping a standard, three-bedroom house, so scale up or down depending on the size of your own holiday property.
It's by no means an exhaustive list but it's a good starting point and will give your guests the option of cooking up a storm or ordering in - as they wish!
Here's our rundown of kitchen must-haves:
Large appliances - every kitchen needs the 'essentials': cooker, hob, fridge freezer, but it's also nice to include 'nice to haves' if you can: dishwasher (remember, your guests are on holiday!) and a laundry area or room with a washing machine and dryer.
Small appliances - like large appliances, some of these items are essential, while others just make your guests' stay more pleasant. Must-haves are a kettle, toaster and microwave, and it's nice to provide extras such as a coffee machine or grinder, food processor, weighing scales (don't forget spare batteries if digital!), DAB radio and a juicer.
Some of these might seem like indulgences, but for many they are a key part of the daily kitchen routine - we couldn't live without fresh, real coffee, for example.
Utensils - buy the very best quality utensils you can afford and you will rarely, if ever, need to replace them. If you prefer to provide shiny and new each season, then big store utensils (think IKEA) are cheap and ideal for seasonal use.
Useful utensils for your kitchen could include:
- wooden spoons, assorted sizes
- slotted spoon
- palette knife
- metal spoon and fork, large
- lemon squeezer
- garlic crusher
- vegetable peeler
- bottle opener / corkscrew
- knives - including bread, paring, carving, vegetable, boning, multi-purpose, cheese
- kitchen scissors
- cook's matches
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- rolling pin
- potato ricer/masher
- knife sharpener
- pyrex measuring jug
- tin opener
- laundry baskets
- pegs (for washing line/rotary dryer)
- condiment set
- ice trays
- toast rack
- oven gloves,
- tea towels
- dish cloths
- hand towel
- bin / recycling bins
Crockery - the number you require depends on several factors: how many guests your holiday home accommodates; if you have a dishwasher (where two sets are handy so you don't need to run it every time you eat); in case of extra dinner guests; and for the chips and breakages that inevitably occur.
If you plan to have your property graded - as an accredited agency, all North Wales Holiday Cottages properties must be graded by Visit Wales - you will need two sets of crockery as a minimum when you have a dishwasher.
Either way, we recommend purchasing two complete sets, with one kept in storage as the reserve set.
- dinner plates
- side plates
- cereal bowls
- pasta bowls
- cup and saucer
- wine glasses
- pint glasses
- water jug
- salad bowl
- serving plates
- dinner knives
- steak knives
- dinner forks
- dessert forks
- dessert spoons
- soup spoons
- serving spoons
- sauce boat
Pots and pans - again, we recommend you buy the best you can afford. We find that it's useful to get them with metal handles, in case budding chefs put them under the grill, and stainless steel will conduct heat best.
A set of pots and should comprise:
- two frying pans - one large, one small
- a deep sauté pan
- assorted suacepans
- cast iron/ceramic casserole dish
- roasting tin
- vegetable steamer
- mixing bowls assorted sizes
- chopping boards - wood or colour-coded plastic for meat, fish, vegetables
- cake and bun tin
- pie dishes - one shallow, one deep
- quiche tin
- loaf tin
- cooling rack
- pastry cutters
Fire safety - holiday home owners should also consider the safety of their guests, in case of an accident in the kitchen. The National Quality Assurance Scheme (NQAS), an organisation that assess and grades holiday homes for national tourist bodies such as Visit Wales, requires owners to install a wall-mounted fire blanket or fire extinguisher and heat detectors in the kitchen.
Ideally, the blanket or extinguisher should be located somewhere between the cooker and the nearest exit. Heat detectors are preferable to smoke detectors as they won't give a false alarm if you burn something while cooking. Both heat detectors and fire extinguishers should be inspected and tested regularly.
To learn more about your fire safety responsibilities as a holiday home owner, read our blog on Fire Risk Assessments here.
Take away menus - because, let's face it, we all have days we can't face cooking!
Let us help
Want to know more about preparing your property to let as a holiday home? We'd love to talk to you! Get in touch or request an information pack and we'll be delighted to help you take your first steps towards managing and promoting your holiday property throughout North Wales.