L’évier

sink1

One of the things I absolutely insisted on in my kitchen was a huge sink. Since I spend roughly 11 to 18% of my day standing over it, considering some women spend a fortunes on tall shoes, and there are men who spend a lot of money on fancy, oversized watches – and vice versa – I thought I was entitled to a big sink. However finding one was a whole ‘nother story. Long gone are the days of “French farmhouse sinks” and any that you are likely to find are either still firmly installed in French farmhouses – and aren’t for sale – or the ones that are for sale are only available in America and England.

I didn’t think it would be so hard to find a big, simple, white sink of generous proportions, but it took me two months of searching and walking past sinks with decorative curls and swoops carved into them, which are marvelous places for gunk to collect. And perhaps to hide any bits and crumbs, there were no shortage of sinks in colors like aubergine (eggplant) or citron vert (lime green), or with basins so tiny that they would barely hold a regular-sized dinner plate. I finally tracked down the one company in France that makes the one large sink that is sold here. And, as is often the case, there was a rupture de stock and no one seemed to know when they’d be available again.

So I took to the old-fashioned internet, using my new-found (and hard-earned) vocabulary for French kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and tracked one down on Le Bon Coin, a classified ad site in France that just about everyone seemed to know about — but me. (Until now. And now I’m hooked.) I don’t know how I lucked out and found a new one, but we ending up racing up l’autoroute to Lille, which was a good excuse to eat French fries and mussels. And to use our muscles, too, since we found out the sink weighed a dos-disabling 57 kilos, or 125 pounds.

wine glasses

One of the problems with the giant sink is that water can splatter everywhere. I’m used to working in restaurants where everything is surrounded by big sheets of stainless steel, so errant water isn’t a problem. And even though there’s stainless steel next to mine, there’s also wood, windows…and me. So I’ve made a patchwork of Oxo silicone drying mats, which may be the best thing I’ve ever imported from the United States. In fact, I just ordered three more for a relative en route to Paris to bring me. When people who are coming to France ask me what to bring French friends, I’m going to say these, as well as dried sour cherries. And aluminum foil. And if you want to save them a little bit of time, and trouble, perhaps a French farmhouse sink.

117 comments

  • DAVID, i live in Hungary and there is an endless supply of dried sour cherries available here. let me know if you want me to send you some.
    love your new sink.

  • I wonder if VitroClean, the product they sell for cleaning glass cooktops, would help with cleaning stained and etched glasses. I’ll have to go try it. Leroy-Merlin also sells a sink similar to your new one and similar to the 1960s-vintage sink in my kitchen here in Saint-Aignan.

  • In Canada, I bought a Villroy & Bosh double porcelain sink just a couple of years ago. It’s made by Villroy & Bosh, the French manufacturer! I love it and cannot think how I lived without it.

  • Would it be better to find a big and ‘deep’sink? I can see that the sink is shallow.perhaps a deeper one would minimize water splatter…..

  • Well Villeroy & Boch is technically a German company….although it was founded in 1748 in France and later moved to Luxembourg, the company headquarters have been in Mettlach, Germany since the 1800’s. Then again that entire region has changed hands between the French and Germans several times, but please don’t mention the war. My husband grew up in the area and my in-laws still live there, near the most amazing V&B outlet. Our everyday dishes are V&B French Garden and we got married on the Villeroy & Boch estate called Linslerhof in Überherrn which is now a hotel/event venue run by the current generation of V&B children. V&B besides making great dishes also has great kitchen sinks, here is the French website: http://www.villeroy-boch.com/fr/fr/home/cuisine.html With some gorgeous pictures of big sinks…heart.If you are ever in the Mettlach area the V&B Museum and outlet shops are well worth the visit. Plus the area is great wine country and has gorgeous scenery, have a look at the Saarschleife area (http://www.tourist-info.mettlach.de/english/index_e.html) and take a boat ride on the Saar, then go to Mettlach to the V&B outlet and buy your sink. But first have a piece of cake and a coffee in the little cafe in the V&B museum (http://www.villeroy-boch.com/de/de/home/unternehmen/villeroy-boch-erleben/erlebniszentrum/museumscafe.html).
    Can you tell I am a big fan?

  • Thank you for the lead on the OXO mats…you have solved a problem that has really irked me since our kitchen re- do a few years ago. The rectangular one fits perfectly behind the sink in front of the window. Rinsed glasses, kitchen gadgets etc are quickly placed there to dry and no longer do I use valuable counter space for this task. I love how air can circulate with these as well, unlike using a towel etc as a drip collector when air drying on a counter top.

    And while I am saying thanks- thanks for all you do, all you write, all you teach and so on. You are an important part of my daily life, your email alerts of a new blog post always cause a smile to appear – without me even thinking to smile. Just an automatic reaction to knowing I have another chapter waiting for me to read and something new to learn about, drool over, ponder or dream about. Thanks!

  • I personally love a hugs single sink. the bigger the better. I can fit whatever needs cleaning into it. (including kids and dogs). and cleanup is a breeze. I don’t have an aesthetically pleasing sink, but it is huge and does the trick.

  • I love the sink! We found a similar one in Ikea and had it installed in our kitchen. It was a good decision – it’s just so useful and practical. I would recommend it to everyone.