Ask the experts

PUBLISHED: 06:58 21 April 2014

Experts, Interiors, EDP Norfolk

Experts, Interiors, EDP Norfolk


I’m intrigued by the new steam ovens; will my roast still brown and my potatoes go crispy?

Experts, Interiors, EDP NorfolkExperts, Interiors, EDP Norfolk

Yes, and yes!

Meat is particularly tender and juicy as most nutrients in the meat are retained when cooked in the steam oven. A steam oven means you can cook the best roast joint, and your potatoes still go crispy.

For the ultimate results and complete versatility steam combination ovens are best. These offer combi-cooking - crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside: The combination of moisture and hot air gives excellent baking and roasting results.

Experts, Interiors, EDP NorfolkExperts, Interiors, EDP Norfolk

There are various combinations, including:

Steam/grill - particularly crispy and succulent, ideal for cooking fish and meat with a high fat content.

Steam/fan-plus - additional moisture guarantees excellent results with bread, rolls, meat, etc.

Steam/conventional heat - perfect from above and below, ideal for baking bread. You can cook nearly anything in a steam oven. They are versatile, so you can do everything from proving yeast dough to making the perfect breakfast egg to cooking seafood, and chocolate, which melts to perfection at 90°C with no burning or lumps.

Mark Gook

Miele Centre Manager

Gerald Giles, 16-20 Ber Street, Norwich, NR1 3EJ; 01603 621772;

I have security lighting which illuminates the driveway but I’d like to illuminate some garden features too, such as a fountain and a tree. What’s best and will it mean digging up the lawn to lay cables?

I think we can unfortunately discount solar lighting at present in this climate for anything other than low-light markers, so yes, you will need to get cables across the lawn to any feature to provide a feed for proper illumination.

The good news now is that LED low energy light sources for gardens and landscape have really moved forward in availability output and perhaps most importantly colour rendering, so the cables are handling much lower wattages. We used to regularly look at two 70W sources for large trees for instance, but may now use two 10 or 15w projectors to good effect.

Wireless switching systems are also a great aid in allowing use of existing outside cabling to extend to new fittings and to provide segregated switching for effect; giving you an internal (wireless) switch (switches) where you want it without the need to bring wiring through the walls into the building. Most of these systems allow control too via smart phones and tablets with extensions for remote access.

Andrew Fisher, The Norwich Architectural Lighting Company, 38 Hurricane Way, Airport Industrial Estate, Norwich, NR6 6JB; 01603 418821;

Our dining room is bright and cheerful, and ideal for chatty family meals. How can I easily transform it for an evening dinner party with friends?

We feel that lighting is a key feature in turning the ambience from day to evening for dining.

To create a more relaxed and social atmosphere with a unique edge, scattering scented tealights on and around the dining area will not only produce a gorgeous aroma but will give your guests a sense of occasion. Sea salt tealights emit a fabulous relaxing subtle scent, not overpowering, and they are enclosed in a safety holder so they can sit on a table alone, however a small tea-light holder will add a little sparkle without causing a social obstacle in the middle of the table.

Alternatively a clear glass hurricane with a chunky church candle gives a classic feel without being over-complicated to create. Beautiful table linen and champagne ice buckets inject a little elegance, along with wine carafes.

Nicole Pugh, Berrys and Grey, Royal Arcade, Norwich, NR2 1NQ; 01603 627505;

What household questions would you like us to put to the county’s experts - anything from how to keep your conservatory warm in winter and cool in summer to space saving ideas for your kitchen? Send your queries to EDP Norfolk magazine, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or email

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