The Log Burner Reveal – Mendip Churchill 8 Double Fronted Stove
*** This post is in association with Woodburner Warehouse who provided us with a discounted product in exchange for this post. All views are my own unbiased opinion.***
Lee had always dreamed of a log burner that was built in to an opening between two rooms. In fact it was the first thing he said to me after we viewed this house for the first time ‘you can have an opening and a room either side of a fire there’ and so for three and a half long years, we’ve been working to get to the point where we finally have a log burner again.
It’s not been the easiest three years. In fact, to get here we’ve had to:
- Knock down one of the rooms, as it was in an extension that wasn’t suitable which we ended up rebuilding from scratch
- Take the chimney breast down from the other room so that the fireplace would be in a more central location
- Cut a channel in the floor to fit a vent to the fire
- Install a sump underneath the hearth for the vent
- Level the floor
- Fit a hearth (on each side)
- Rebuild a chimney breast
We spent a lot of time researching the right log burner for this space. With log burners you need to match their heat output to the size of the room, and we have two good sized rooms either side. On top of this we wanted a multi-fuel (will burn coal as well as wood) and ideally we wanted it to heat water too. Normally stoves that do this have a back boiler (essentially a radiator fitted to the back) but as ours was double fronted we needed one that had a water-jacket (the radiator wraps around the side) instead. On top of all of this we wanted one that was DEFRA approved.
In all honesty, we were quite naive as we didn’t think it would be difficult to find one that ticked all the boxes. However after three years of both of us searching, and contacting companies who will build stoves bespoke, we kept hitting brick walls. There was a firm local to us who looked like they’d build us the perfect stove, and another company which looked like it had a ready made solution, but customer service with both of these firms let them down massively.
We knew we needed something where we could trust the build quality and warranty (the flue goes up through Ewan’s new bedroom so we were taking no chances) and so we had to rule both of these options out.
We realised we needed to compromise and the first thing we had to let go of was the water jacket. There was just nothing that was going to give us the build quality. Letting go of this gave us about five different stoves that would have worked, two of them both made by Mendip. Both the Churchill and the Loxton 8 designs they did were available in the double fronted option. After a lot of deliberation we decided that we prefered the Churchill option, and the lovely people at Woodburner Warehouse agreed to give us a discount in exchange for me blogging about it.
You might remember the photos I shared a few months ago of the scale version of the fire Lee made ahead of us ordering it:
And if you read regularly you’ll have seen the real thing feature in some of my other posts, but I have shot a few official reveal photos to share here. Bare in mind that one half is very much a work in progress and it will feature much more heavily in the Snug reveal photos (whenever we finally get there!).
We’ve been really impressed with how efficient it is. We’ve had other log burners in the past (and used lots at others peoples houses and on holidays) but this one definitely burns through wood the slowest out of all the ones we’ve tried. Three logs can keep it burning quite nicely for a couple of hours in an evening after work.
In terms of heat – it’s not a massively obvious heat source. It’s much more subtle – but in the living room side (which is where we’ve been to use it as the snug is still a building site) it’s sunk completely into the chimney recess so we’d expect to feel it more when we’re in the other room. We’re happy that it gets both rooms up to a really good temperature really quickly though – literally we have no complaints, we really, really like it.
And we just adore having a fire back in the house – there’s nothing quite like wrapping Christmas presents in front of a fire with a mulled wine.
And for anyone who hasn’t seen my Christmas decorations, then here is how it looks when it’s lit (and decorated for Christmas because obviously it doesn’t get much better than that!)