Saturday, 24 September 2011


Pete and I are well known for entertaining, especially on a large scale.  We quite often organise a dinner party or BBQ for six and it ends up with twenty or more guests.  We have entertained many times on Carpe Diem and are used to knocking up a roast dinner for eight or an impromptu supper for anyone who drops by.  I insisted that I didn't want plastic on the boat, so we have china and glass which, touch wood, has survived crossing the North Sea and the Channel several times.  So it was Sod's Law that when we moved on to the boat full time that the door of the oven would drop off!
We are reluctant to buy a new cooker at the moment, so the oven has become extra storage space.  Luckily we had an electric oven to hand and that came on the boat with us.

It has proved somewhat of a Godsend.  We cannot use the rings and the oven together because of the wattage, so I use the electric oven and the gas rings.  On the barge we are going to have a Rayburn which will be fuelled by solid fuel.  Not only will it do the cooking, but it will provide all our hot water and heating in the winter.   We have decided to buy a brand new Rayburn, as the modern ones are very efficient and hopefully will outlast us!  But for now normal service with entertaining has been resumed, so feel free to drop round and have a bite to eat.


  1. Just give me five minutes and I'll be around for breakfast :)
    Great idea to have a solid fuel stove/cooker no home wether on land or afloat should be without one.

  2. Sounds exciting! I'm not sure how I can survive with a minimal exciting but it sound doable. Enjoy the fabulous week ahead, Kellie xx

  3. Okay, Fran, when I'm in England I'll expect a dinner party!
    My best friend and her English-born-and-bred husband have just retired to a narrow boat on a canal in the middle of England, even taking their two cats from British Columbia. No room there for entertaining, but there's a single bunk in the wheelhouse I can share with one of the cats.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. Mel - no problem, although I am veggie part of my job role is managing a pig farm, so plenty of bacon and sausages! How do you like your eggs done x
    Kellie - amazing what you can get by on, but I do have a good amount of stores, so not as minimalist as you might think.
    Kay - you are more than welcome, don't share with the cat come and stay with us when the barge is done x

  5. Well actually I 'm a semi veggie- meaning that as a rule I don't eat meat regularly, only when my body demands me to do so, but I do eat a lot of fish!

  6. I looked up the Rayburn and it has lots of attractive features. What will you be using for the fuel? Sounds like a good choice for the cabin lifestyle as well. We could use wood or propane. What do you do when the weather is hot but you still want to have hot water? Does it run 24/7? - Margy

  7. Hello there !
    What does the smallest Rayburn cost in GB?

  8. Mel - veggie sausages it is then, see you in a while x
    Margy - we will be burning wood and also briquettes which will help keep it on overnight and throughout the day. We plan to have solar panels for our hot water in the summer and an induction hob with convection microwave/oven for cooking when the Rayburn is off x
    Ib - the smallest Rayburn costs £3350 for a cooker only, but only £3500 for a cooker that also does the heating and water. Obviously the bigger the cooker the bigger the price x

  9. You are amazing, Fran! Dinner for 8 on a small sailing boat! I always claim I don't have room to cook on my 19 metre barge :) I have on electric ring and a microwave. The truth is I don't like cooking, so entertaining becomes rather limited that way. By the way, I'm a partial veggie too...partial to being a veggie, but difficult to achieve with a carnivore partner, so partial in both senses of the word :)

  10. Thank´s Fran !
    Will see if I can fit one somewere.....

  11. Val - as my 'oldest' blogging friend (not your age I hasten to add!)you are welcome anytime. I'll conjour up a veggie meal for you and me, and Pete can do the steaks for him and Koos x

    Ib - you're welcome :)