Beltane Holford Review:

Beltane Holford Review:


The Beltane Holford is a relatively affordable inset stove sold under a different name but the same company who make Mendip Stoves, sort of like Seat or Skoda to the higher end VW and Audi, they're all a similar thing underneath but marketed slightly differently.

The Holford is made from steel and is multi-fuel with a full riddling grate and ashpan, it is focused on being clean and flexible for evening and weekend use. Inset appliances like this that cassette into a wall have convection boxes around them to maximise heat output, this particular one is designed to fit into a British standard 16" fireplace, which tends to be around 16" wide and 22" tall, but they also make a landscape version to fill a larger space or just to give you a wider view. This version will tend to use fuel a little quicker, costs more and is slightly less efficient, but given this stoves focus on look this is its primary focus.


Lighting the stove: 8/10

Lighting this stove with its lower air vents owed to its multi-fuel design is easy. It's trickier to get accurate readings of precisely when inset stoves are unto temperature, but they tend to take longer generally due to their design. This one was easy enough either way.


Cleanness: 5/10

It obviously has all the modern day approvals and I never had trouble with it going black on the glass, but it did seem to cloud and mist quite a bit. It was no big problem because that mist does just wipe off very easily, but it wasn't as good as some. Its efficiency is high, but it favours running a little hotter and quicker rather than on low for longer periods.


Controls & Controllability: 6/10

Smoke spillage during re-loading wasn't a problem, but the controls are not beautifully refined. If you're a bit more utilitarian you'll get on fine with it, because everything works well and in fact better than some others that look a bit smarter. But the tool did look a little home made, there are a couple controls that again aren't the smoothest to use and the handle did feel a little generic and utilitarian after a few firings. But from a function point of view everything worked correctly and easily and as I've mentioned was an improvement on some other appliances with a more refined look.


Fuel economy & Burn time: 5/10

The stove worked in a very normal way, inset appliances are never going to be at the top interns of performance, because it is harder to get heat out of them, but this still worked well. The burn time was also respectable, and when closed down getting the stove to run for a few hours whilst you're, out to lunch, or if you've gone shopping for a few hours is more than possible.


What I thought:


This was our first inset review and it was a great bench mark. Inset appliances are very hard to design and costly to buy, but this offers everything but at a reasonable price. It wasn't beautifully finished or wonderfully engineered or refined, but it does a good job, looks smart and is a massive upgrade on any current little open fire that you might have awaiting a new inset stove.


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