kiss the cook

July 30, 2018

My grandfather was a great cook. We’d land in Bermuda, where he and my grandmother spent half the year, and within minutes of arrival, he’d be in the kitchen preparing a bolognese. Chicken à la King served on vol-au-vent was another favourite. Oh, the butter! In everything! Two whole sticks went into his tomato sauce! For dessert, there was always a baked apple, slathered in more butter and brown sugar. All this was prepared in his signature plaid shorts, (worn way above his belly button) a sleeveless, white undershirt and an apron. And at the end of the meal, my grandmother would always say, “excellent PAM, (his initials) just excellent.”


July 9, 2018

It’s pink, so of course I was drawn to it. Set on of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines, Uva do Monte is a charming hotel in Melides, Portugal. The 12 rooms are a creative mix of decorative tiles, vintage fabrics and antique furnishings in a palette of pinks, ochres, greens and  sea blues. Portugal, anyone?

al fresco

July 6, 2018

I’ve had strep throat for a million days, so not much in me today, but can we all agree that this is a heavenly setting for lunch à quatre? Goodness knows what’s on the menu. Maybe cheese, bread, Ottolenghi salads and lamb kebabs. And wine, lots of wine.

ice cream for ice cream

June 7, 2018

My children are young, so trips to the ice cream parlour are in technicolour. They always choose the most extreme flavours, the ones that turn teeth smurf blue. They’ll wait 45 minutes for a Diperie ice cream, even though there’s great, old fashioned vanilla with no lineup down the road. I get it. when it comes to ice cream, (and whipped cream and icing and sprinkles) more is more. One day, they’ll love vanilla. And not even care about the cone.

cheese, please

May 10, 2018

When my friend Kate got married she eschewed traditional cake in favour of five tiers of cheese. That’s my kind of cake. I’d take Brie over a Blondie any day. This spread right here –– five, six varieties of soft cheese –– looks delicious to me. Bring on the bread, crackers and wine, and that’s dinner and dessert in one.


April 19, 2018

I found this image of tarts made by the Le Meurice‘s pasty chef, Cedric Grolet, and I had to share it. Aren’t they beautiful? Have a look at Grolet’s instagram feed, it’s one exquisite confection after another. His almond cake (keep scrolling) looks like heaven on a Carrara marble counter.

tea and biscuits

April 6, 2018

If I had to choose a favourite biscuit, it would be a Petit Ecollier in milk chocolate. They’re simple and absolutely delicious. You don’t see them at many supermarkets –– Fiesta Farms, perhaps –– but they remind me of my childhood. I used to eat them by the dozen with milky, sweet tea after school. First I’d eat the chocolate, and then I’d eat the biscuit. Perfect.

tiers galore

March 15, 2018

Naked cakes are nothing new, but I do love their rustic charm. This pistachio cake is a beauty, and so is this classic vanilla sponge with raspberries and cream. One can never eat enough Madeira cake, and this one is pretty sweet. A fridge full of naked –– they’d last less than three days in this house.


March 13, 2018

As a child, I loved éclairs. What’s not to love? My Mum used to buy them often, from Richoux or Patisserie Valerie. I could eat two of three in one sitting. I seem to remember them being a weekend thing –– choux and chocolate on Saturday mornings. I’ve seen so many variations on the classic, lately. But the original is always best.


February 21, 2018

I’ve been flattened by flu twice this month, so I need to beef up my immune system. I’m starting with liver. It’s packed with nutritional gold, and I don’t mind the taste. At least I didn’t as a child which is the last time I ate liver. My Mum used to make it for us with a heap of wilted of spinach once a week. I looked up some recipes, but I think plain and pan fried is how I’m going to do it. Oh go then, add a few rashers of bacon if you must.

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