Divertimenti is the ultimate Cookshop, if you love all things culinary then you’ll absolutely love this store – it’s a treasure trove of kitchen essentials and gems. They have an enormous range of kitchenware, kitchen accessories, cooking utensils, tableware, glassware, cultery, kitchen electrical goods and cookers – in fact, just about everything a food lover could possibly want. Divertimenti has over 4000 items of professional quality cookware and tableware and stock over 60 leading brands – from hand decorated pieces by Nicholas Mosse, Solimene, Richard Bramble and cookware by SKK Cristel, AGA, Le Creuset to knives by Global, Henckels, Sabatier and kitchen gadgets by Magimix, Kitchenaid, Cusinart and Dualit. Divertimenti also works with new British talent, their buyers select products on the strength of their quality, functionality and aesthetics and travel to places off the beaten track in countries such as France and Italy to find unique pieces that cannot be found elsewhere on our shores. If Divertimenti don’t sell it then you don’t need it!
There are two shops, one in Marylebone and one in Brompton Road. The shop in Marylebone Lane was established in 1963 and was called Divertimenti to capture the notion of diverting the mind to entertaining. Originally owned by Mike and Suzy Schneideman who arrived in London in the 1960s (Mike from New Zealand and Suzy from Australia) to find that the standard of home cooking in Britain was limited by the availability of basic equipment. The kind of kitchenware taken for granted on the Continent was virtually unknown on our shores and so Divertimenti set out to change this, playing an influential role in laying the seeds for London to become the culinary landscape that it is today. In 2005 it was bought by the AGA Group.
To give you an idea of what you can find in store, Divertimenti has recommended 5 products …
5 recommended buys from Divertimenti
1) Solimene 24 Pieced Mixed Set, hand decorated bright and sunny pottery tableware made in Italy, the full set costs £315 but you can purchase as individual pieces
2) Mauviel M’heritage Copper Saucepan, made in France by leader in quality copper cookware, £110
3) Dualit Architect Toasters, £69.95 for the 2 slot, £99.95 for the 4 slot
4) Patrick Valent Platters and Bowls, made in Provence and exclusive to Divertimenti, prices start at £45
5) SKK Titanium 2000 Plus Non-stick Frying Pans, from £59.95
What you’ll find in store is an open plan layout where the products are the stars of the show – the products sell themselves because they say “cooking is a hands on activity and so we like our customers to be able to touch and feel our products. Ensuring that our products are functional and well-made comes foremost before aesthetic but ideally we look for products that fulfil all three factors.” Here’s some pictures of the stores inside …
Interiors, 33-34 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4PT
Interiors, 227-229 Brompton Road, London SW3 2EP
The culinary world is constantly evolving and so does Divertimenti – “we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve and being able to anticipate what the next big culinary movement will be.” The Divertimenti team is extremely knowledgeable and are on hand to answer any culinary questions you may have. Customers go to Divertimenti for advice as much as they do for the extensive product range. If there’s a culinary item that you’re after but can’t find it their buyers will endeavour to order it in especially for you.
They also house a cookery school as well as La Cornue and AGA showrooms making Divertimenti a truly one stop shop for everything culinary. They host events and provide a variety of services such as knife sharpening, copper retinning and a wedding and gift list. This year Divertimenti are celebrating its 50th anniversary and have set up www.divertimentififty.co.uk to commemorate the event. The Divertimenti 50th is an event so big that it’s going to take a whole year to celebrate it. So stay tuned for events such as the upcoming launch of “50 London Cuisines,” where they’ll showcase recipes from their staff, Divertimenti Cookery School teachers and some of their favourite London Chefs.
Do pop into the shops if you’re in London. The branch at 33-34 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4PT is open Monday to Friday 10-6.30, Thursday until 7.30pm, Saturday 10-6pm and Sunday 11-5pm. The branch at 227-229 Brompton Road, London SW3 2EP is open Monday to Friday 9.30-6pm, Wednesday until 7pm, Saturday 10-6pm and Sunday 12-5.30pm. You can buy online so check out the website at www.divertimenti.co.uk.
Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Divertimenti, special thanks to Chris Kader.