In 1991, my former business partner Jeff Searle and I started a business called Farmhouse Furniture, which later evolved to become Searle & Taylor Ltd. During that time, I have been very fortunate to have received a number of unsolicited testimonials from delighted customers. In the past, happy clients actually put pen to paper and wrote kind letters praising our work.

These days, most of the charming letters we receive arrive in the form of e-mails, or via posts on our social media sites, such as Facebook. I always appreciate receiving feedback in any format, especially when the content is similar to these letters below.

One of my most treasured letters dates back 22 years and was sent to me from Sir John Fairclough (1930-2003); the former chief science advisor to Margaret Thatcher’s government, and is printed below.

“As a young cabinetmaker at the time, I hand-built two pieces of dining room furniture for Sir John and Lady Fairclough from solid English oak that were then distressed to match the surroundings of his country house, which was a very old building with exposed beams. I also built an oak radiator cover that linked with the aesthetic of the furniture and using an old lathe, I made over 50 hand-turned spindles that had to be exactly the same as each other. It took a vast amount of time and patience, but I remember it being a labour of love and the end result looked fantastic.”

Darren Taylor

“…Hopefully as this kitchen comes to fruition we can be a local ambassador to our friends and neighbours for your good services. (That said, we already are – as you have more than earned our recommendations.)…

Mr P. Menin


(by email)

“Now the dust has settled on the installation of our new kitchen I feel compelled to write to you to say how very pleased we are.

“I feel well qualified, having spent the majority of my working life in the home improvement industry, to say that the quality of your products is exceptional. Well designed, well manufactured, innovative and above all sturdy. Having products of this standard though can be wasted if they are not installed properly, so in my book the quality of the installation is absolutely paramount.

“In this regard you simply excelled….

“…So a really big thank you to you all…”

Mr & Mrs D. George
Eastleigh, Hampshire


“I just wanted to write and thank you very much indeed for all your hard work designing, ordering and overseeing the installation of our kitchen and utility room. Both rooms look just brilliant and we are delighted. It has transformed things.

“…At all stages of the process a fine job was done and all within schedule due to the long hours put in…”

Ms. D Thrower
Alresford, Hampshire

“I just wanted to e-mail you to pass on my sincere thanks for the great job that your company has done in supplying and fitting our new kitchen.

“…The finished kitchen has surpassed our expectations and looks superb. We’ve been particularly impressed by the quality of the build and also with the attention to detail of both the kitchen fitter and also the stone mason who fitted the worktop.

“I’ve also got to point out what a great job Gavin has done in planning our kitchen, helping us through the whole process and being incredibly flexible and supportive…He has provided exceptionally good customer service and designed an ideal kitchen given the space we have – as such I wanted to bring this to your attention.

“As a result of the work we’ve had done, we have recommended your company to several of our friends in Twyford who are also having building work done and need a new kitchen.

“…I’d be grateful if you could pass on my sincere thanks to the whole team, and particularly to Gavin, who has done such a great job. “

Mr. G. Fisher


(by email)

“We are writing to thank you for making our dream kitchen a reality now that it’s completed.

“After waiting so long for a new kitchen we were concerned about making the right decision in planning the room from scratch but your ideas about what we could do have proved absolutely right for the room and for practical use of the space.

“We are absolutely delighted with the finished product from the layout you suggested to the quality of the fitting to the quality of the units and we have already received lots of complements on the complete transformation of the room.

“We were particularly impressed by your personal interest and attention throughout the whole project accommodating changes which we requested. This made us feel that you were committed to ensuring that we were entirely happy with the finished product.

I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Searle & Taylor and you in particular to other customers; we have enjoyed truly excellent customer service.”

Mr & Mrs A Moore
Alresford, Hampshire


“Thank you, thank you, thank you for the most sensational bedroom in the entire universe; we are extremely delighted with it, all of it.

“…Now that you have done such a great job on our bedroom, we are really excited about the new kitchen you have designed for us, so as soon as building work is underway, we can get together again to finalise plans…”

Mr & Mrs S. Slade
Northwood, London


“THANK YOU so much for making it possible for me to buy my kitchen from you. It is going to make such an improvement to our lives and home.

“…We are very pleased with our new kitchen. Thank you, Darren….”

Mrs. S Ingram
Liss, Hampshire


“…We are delighted with our new kitchen; you really achieved amazing things in creating such a lovely room in such a challenging space.

“We were really happy with all aspects of the service that Searle & Taylor offered and we would not hesitate to recommend the company to any of our friends and contacts.

“The planning was efficient and imaginative. The building of the units completed on time and to a very high standard, and the fitting also carried out with great attention to detail and quality.

“Everyone that we had dealings with was polite and extremely helpful….

“Thank you all so much, you have transformed our house and the result truly exceeded all our expectations.”

Mr & Mrs S. Johnson
Winchester, Hampshire


“…It seems hard to believe that it is only nine weeks since we first came to your showroom. As you know we have been extremely pleased with the design, quality and professionalism we have met with throughout the project. In my opinion it is really quite rare to come across a company that is as truly customer focused as yours.”

Mr. A. Haines
Overton, Hampshire


“…I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for building and installing a most fantastic kitchen. From the outset, you have been incredibly helpful and attentive. The standard of workmanship has been top notch. I have been overwhelmed at the attention to detail (however minor) and the spark of flair and imagination that turned my dream kitchen into a reality.”

H. Kennedy
Southampton, Hampshire


“Farmhouse Furniture have recently designed and built a complete stripped old pine kitchen for us. We are highly delighted with the kitchen and are particularly pleased with the craftsmanship and attention shown to every detail of the project.

“Our every hope for the kitchen has been realised and without hesitation we can thoroughly recommend Farmhouse Furniture to anyone requiring a unique and individually styled kitchen. We are looking forward to using Farmhouse Furniture in the future.”

Mr. M Bundy
Hartley Wintney, Hampshire