A couple of weeks ago I spent a jam-packed morning shooting the recipes for Cherie Denham’s summer cookery demonstrations. It was an indulgent session of laughing and gorging on all the treats that faultlessly emerged from Cherie’s kitchen.
Nestled comfortably in the idyllic Hampshire countryside, West Green House is home to one of England’s best-loved gardens. Continue reading
Chickpeas have always been something of an obsession for me. I can eat hummus by the gallon load, and I tend to justify this addiction with the fact that chickpeas are ridiculously good for you. I make hummus practically every week, and once in a while I like to mix up my recipe a little bit. A new favourite is Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. It’s wonderfully easy to make and adds a little pizazz to the age old classic. Continue reading
Does the world need another guide to Venice? Probably not, and yet I can’t stop myself from joining the chorus. Truman Capote was right when he said, “Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueur in one go”. It’s a sensory assault on the eyes, taste buds and sometimes even the nose. Walking through its myriad of canals and shady piazzas is like stepping into a baroque painting and catching a glimpse, of another, grander time.
There are few things that say English summertime quite like a glass of homemade elderflower cordial with icy cold water and sliced lemon. Its tangy, botanical flavour is the perfect accompaniment to a sunny day, especially when paired with a sneaky tot of gin! Now that the summer months are upon us, I must confess to being something of an addict, and enjoying a chilled elderflower refresher most evenings.
Cooking with rhubarb is still something of a novelty for me. I’ve spent much of my life living in hot countries like Hong Kong and South Africa, where delicious fruits and vegetables were always abundant, but sadly rhubarb was never one of them. Over the last couple years I’ve grown to know this peculiar vegetable, and after a few false starts, we are now the firmest of friends. There is something quintessentially English about it, enjoyed on a spring day in the garden while soaking up the first of the year’s sunshine.
With every tousled country lane and picturesque hamlet, the Chilterns capture a little more of my heart. Covering around 324 square miles and stretching from Berkshire to Hertfordshire, the chalky Chiltern Hills are one of 38 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK. People have been farming here for thousands of years, shaping the landscape we see today. Once described as the “Larder of London”, farmland still covers nearly two thirds of the area and the network of local food producers is thriving.
When I visited Chiltern Charcuterie a few weeks ago in the picturesque village of North Dean, they were hard at work making salami. It was an impressive operation as the team expertly tested flavours.