Belling Farmhouse Deluxe 90 vs Stoves Richmond 900

The launch of a new product collection is always exciting for us as range cooker specialists (cooker geeks that we are) so the introduction of a new traditional range cooker from one of the UK’s most loved cooking brands Belling was much anticipated.

Belling Farmhouse Deluxe 90DFT
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The new Belling Farmhouse series is very impressive, and the designers have been at pains to continue to give customers a well engineered, solid feeling traditional cooker for a family-friendly price. The new Farmhouse series is more evolved, with more powerful 4kW wok burners on dual fuel and gas models, and touch control panels on all. Along with some nice styling this all represents a good step forward for this important mid-priced brand and is going down very well with customers. One interesting and inspired change is the addition, available to a very few retailers, of a small selection of Farmhouse Deluxe models with enhanced specifications which bring the specs a little closer to those of sister brand Stoves, which is built alongside Belling at manufacturer GDHA’s extensive factory in Merseyside. Stoves is the fully featured, flagship brand with a little more refinement and higher (but still very affordable) price-points, and is a major rival to market-leading Rangemaster, built by Aga-Rangemaster in Leamington Spa.

90cm Format Only


Firstly, this review will only cover 90cm dual fuel models, as this is the only format the Belling Deluxe comes in, and there are no plans to introduce 100 or 110cm models. The Belling Farmhouse 90DFT Deluxe and the Stoves Richmond 900DFT should both appeal to the same sort of customer, but with £200 between the two it would seem like a good idea to see what these two products have to offer and whether investing in a Belling could be the shrewd money-saving choice.

Stoves Richmond 900DFT
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Traditional Styling


One differentiator between these two brands has always been the plainer, everyday look of Belling compared to the more elevated and elegant looks of the Stoves. This is still the case (as it should be in our opinion), but of course there is an element of personal taste here and the new Belling models are certainly eye-catching and appealing. On the Belling Farmhouse, the lightly rounded-off edges make the doors look flatter compared to the heavily bevelled doors on the Stoves Richmond, but on the Farmhouse the arch on the oven window adds that country feel without overdoing it. The control knobs are chunkier in design than the Stoves, with a cylindrical front bar feature, and the flat touch control clock area looks more up-to-date than the Stoves, although its simple three button design is nice enough (if a little trickier to clean). The door handles on the Stoves manage to look more polished and elegant than the Belling’s pleasant-enough simpler version, working as they do in tandem with the full-width towel rail which, like the temperature dial on the tall oven door, are an obvious Aga reference. Both brands offer black or cream as standard colours, plus a silver on the Belling, with the livelier Colour Boutique colours as an optional extra on the Stoves Richmond (and standard Belling Farmhouse, but not Deluxe).

Farmhouse vs Farmhouse Deluxe?


The key difference between the standard Belling ranges and the Deluxe models is the oven specification. Like the Stoves Sterling, the Deluxe has a versatile multifunction main oven, with fanned, non-fanned and grill functionality, and the top cavity doubles as a conventional electric oven as well as a grill. On the standard Bellings the main oven is fan-only and the top cavity is just a grill. It is this upgrade which make the Belling a real contender, giving the Stoves a run for the money. However, there are other refinements which may sway you towards the pricier Stoves.

Belling Farmhouse Features

Features


Whilst the Belling has been designed to be a lesser creature than the Stoves, its more recent design means that as well as a more modern chassis and tidier construction it currently has a more powerful hob than its Stoves cousin, with a full 4kW wok burner against Stoves’ 3.5kW. The designers have also acted on customer feedback by raising the top surface of the cast iron pan supports higher above the outer frame of the hob, thereby avoiding the risk of scratching. On the Richmond the top surfaces are flush.

    Belling Farmhouse Deluxe 90DFT Stoves Richmond 900DFT
*Current price:   £995 £1095
Towel rail:   No Yes
Wok burner:   4.0kW 3.5kW
Pan supports:   Raised Flush
Griddle plate:   No Yes
Ignition:   Push button Auto (under-knob)
Clock/timer:   Touch screen 3-button
Tall oven door:   Painted Steel Painted steel, with dial
Top cavity:   Grill + conventional oven Grill + conventional oven
Grill pan handle:   Yes Optional extra (£35)
Shelves:   Standard racks Telescopic (main and top ovens)
Shelves (tall oven):   3 (£35e option) 4
Plate rack:   Optional extra (£30) Yes
Standard colours:   Black, Cream, Silver Black, Champagne (cream)
Colour Boutique:   No Yes (7 shades), £350 extra
Warranty:   1 year parts & labour 5 years parts, 2 years labour


The Stoves Richmond gives you what is termed auto-ignition, meaning that you hold the control knob in to light a burner, whereas this is a separate push-button on the Belling Farmhouse Deluxe. Inside the ovens there are a couple of key features you get with Stoves that you do not with Belling - telescopic shelves in the main and top oven, and four shelves plus a plate warming rack in the tall oven compared to just three shelves with Belling, where a rack and extra shelf are both optional extras. Also, with Stoves you also get a cast iron griddle plate for the hob as standard. Both brands give you the same easy-clean enamel oven interiors and removable inner door glass. When it comes to the warranty your extra spends also give you Stoves’ 5 year parts and 1 year warranty (free upgrade to 2 years labour if purchased from Rangecookers.co.uk) against Belling’s 1 year parts and labour.

Stoves Richmond Features

Ultimately these are both great mid-market range cookers and whichever you prefer you will be very happy. If you are not concerned about the fancier look, telescopic shelves and longer warranty of the Stoves Richmond and you prefer the the look of the Belling Farmhouse Deluxe you will not be losing out. Recent Belling improvements aside it is important to remember that there is no difference in the quality or feel between these brands - they both come off the same production lines - it is just the spec and cosmetic differences that you are choosing between. The Stoves Richmond is being redesigned will be re-launched on the new chassis in late 2017 and will no doubt have a couple more extra features to put greater distance between the two brands. For now, whether you pay the extra price for the Stoves may well come down to how much you are drawn to its classier looks and more aspirational branding.




*Pricing as of March 2017