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Chattering Class

Leicester City overkill

Yes we get it, it's lovely. But can we talk about something else now?

Online petitions

Please sign our online petition to have them banned


The new Frozen

Artisan marshmallows


The word “artisan”


Discussing sourdough recipes

You buy it? Might as well wear a Burberry baseball cap

Getting the right shade of fake tan

“Just enough to stop my legs looking like something I dug up”

Travelling off-peak on rural branchline trains


Pointless gadgets made by start-ups

Usually no better than Innovations catalogue stuff

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Entries in MCH (106)


    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Butter

    Who knew something so pure and comforting as butter could elicit such fierce emotions? Well, of course it does, this is MC world and we are nothing if not particular about our brands. 

    But a note before we start. In this thoroughly scientific investigation it has been necessary to narrow our focus: 1) Only butters have been examined. It has been assumed that margarines, being a synthetic product rather than a lovely natural one, are automatically inferior, socially speaking. 2) The spreadable vs block debate is a minefield demanding its own separate exploration. 3) Although unsalted butter is preferred for baking, when it comes to something to melt on toast, it seems only the obtuse and health freaks can resist the salty crystal. 

    Self-actualisation – Président
    Or, for those with deep pockets, Echiré (which even has its own appellation). French butter is to other dairy spreads what the wines of Burgundy are to those of the New World. These pale lactic butters (to do with the presence of lactic acid which lends a slight tang) tend to be more popular on the continent than in the UK, our home-produced butters being of the creamy variety. Hence the attraction. What better way to show that you are a cut above the common butter-eating class than by demanding something that not everyone likes?

    Esteem – Yeo Valley
    One word: organic. And Yeo Valley are nothing if not the kings of organic dairy produce. 

    Love/belonging – Lurpak
    Before Borgen, before The Killing, before Arne Jacobsen, there was Lurpak. And bacon. Basically the Danes once owned breakfast. It is still easy to appreciate Lurpak’s understated lack of pretension. Which is probably why two thirds of it ends up in the UK.

    Safety – Anchor
    The cheery yellow wrapper. The happy cows. The nostalgia. This is all about your mum treating you to a knob of better on your potatoes at tea. And now that Anchor’s being produced in the UK rather than New Zealand, you can get over your food miles guilt.

    Physiological – Country Life
    You can see what they’re doing here. By slipping in the word ‘country’, and turning the Y into a tree, they think they’ll conjure up images of small-scale producers living a simple life amid rolling hills. Rather than big supermarkets and sister brands such as Cathedral City cheese. Well you are way too sophisticated to fall for that


    Middle-Class Colour Chart: Yellows




    Must be MC; they have a waxed jacket, says @heidistephens

    Mini M&S 99p cheeses


    Personalised gifts

    Always luggage, never towels. Distinction c/o @ohchrisburton

    Cheese toasties

    Need a more grown-up name, says @Gary_Bainbridge

    America's "grilled cheese"

    Not good enough. Implies there's no bread involved

    Croque Anglaise

    Possible winner from @Robins_Books

    Supermarket pasta salads

    Always, always rubbish

    Andrex's "rollaphobia" campaign

    No, we do NOT leave loads of rolls around the house!


    Grand and colourful; very MC


    Secret snob #16: The most skilfully grown english roses

    Can you get anything more quintessentially English than a rose garden? Maybe one with more than 800 varieties of bloom, one that includes the National Collection of English Roses and is tended by a multiple RHS gold-medal winner at Chelsea who also boasts an OBE ‘for services to horticulture’. 

    Here at MCH, we love a specialist. The expertise. The passion. The skill. The attention to detail. The exceptional standards. The decades of hard graft to become a master of their trade. All supremely admirable qualities, we say.

    David Austin Snr has been breeding roses in Shropshire for 50 years and, along with eldest son David CH Austin, oversees one of the world’s larges garden-rose breeding programmes in his beautiful centre at Albrighton. Among the 200+ roses he’s created in his time are the Constance Spry, the Gertrude Jekyll, and the Darcey Bussell.

    Yes, you can go online and knock yourself out ordering from the overwhelming selection (Which? magazine has heaped praise on their service), but you’d be missing the spectacle (and heady scent) of the two acres-worth of formal and walled gardens, shrubberies and floral hedging, open to the public all year round. As middle class days out go, we can’t recommend it highly enough.


    Chattering class: Come to think of it...

    BBC Weather app

    Beautiful and really works, says @HollieNuisance

    The demise of Irish supermarket Superquinn as it gets rebranded

    @EmilyAM reports lots of MC love out there

    Mixing up white and wholewheat pasta

    Aesthetically pleasing, and a little bit healthy

    Paying kids to do chores

    Still happens

    Paying boys more than girls to do chores

    Must not happen

    The people who wear those shoes that look like socks with toes cut into them

    Don’t worry, @Eve_Barlow, we are keeping an eye on them

    What middle-class Londoners did before halloumi was available

    Yes, @sophandtherest, this is a great mystery

    Postcard still beats email as favourite way to write home when on hols

    Long may this continue

    Channel 4’s Phoneshop

    MCs are loving the sociolinguistic observation

    ‘Liking’ stuff on Facebook just because other people have