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I can’t say I’ve ever given a great deal of thought to bread knives. Occasionally I get frustrated because they’re not sharp enough to cut through a bigger than average loaf but we’ve soldiered on with our rather pretty antique knives for years.

Not any more. This week I was sent an Opinel Couteau à Pain no. 116 by Richard and Jo Bertinet of Bertinet Kitchen as a thankyou for doing a cheese and wine tasting for them last week. (To promote my cheese book so I hadn’t expected to be paid). It arrived with a large homebaked sourdough loaf so I could immediately try it out and it was just perfect. Wooden-handled, satisfyingly chunky to hold, beautifully balanced and razor sharp it was the most perfect tool for the job you could imagine

Of course it was great business. I was smitten by both the bread and the knife and being a writer they must have known there was a fair chance I’d blog about them. But it was such an imaginative and perfect present that I really wanted to share it with you.

You can buy both from their cookery school and also online. The knife costs £25 and the loaf (which is 1.2kg) £5 (£6.50 by mail order) The bread is also available from several Bath restaurants including Marlborough Tavern, King William and Beaujolais.

That might sound a lot for a loaf – it is – but with this demon knife you can cut it thinly and it has so much taste you don’t need to eat a lot (though I undoubtedly will).

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