The highlight of the past couple of weeks has got to have been every single quality chef in the country attending a function at Number 10. It was amazing, I just went from mate to mate with various glasses of wine, doing catch up chats and food talk and oh, yes, a quick chat with Sophie Dahl!
We celebrated my mum’s 68th birthday at the Crab & Winkle in Whitstable Harbour. All 3 of her boys were there, me (obviously the most important one, seeing as I’m on the telly) and my brothers, Biffo and Adam, their wives and my Tom and Libby. Big family gathering, many cockles and glasses of wine. Love my mum.
I got to become an Ambassador for Wahaca, the restaurant owned by Thomasina, winner of Masterchef. This means I get to eat all that Mexican food FOC, I actually can’t resist it, I felt guilty at first, but I don’t anymore, I just have to e-mail back about my experience, they actually want me to do it, so last Saturday, I actually ended up going to Bluewater Shopping Centre not once but twice! Once for lunch with Tom and once for dinner with Libby, where we sat in an adapted Volkswagen Camper, such good fun.
I managed to have a lovely chilled out weekend in the Lake District. Found a fantastic cosy hotel, called Holbeck Ghyll with incredible views over Windermere. The restaurant has a star and the lounges are log fires and bay windows. I played croquet, ate and drank and went on nice walks across streams and over walls down to the lake and back, taking care to avoid the gangs of delinquent sheep which plague the area.
I also attended and enjoyed a party hosted by my friends at Waitrose. Live music, flowing champagne and of course, great nibbles which I unfortunately, due to my spell check, posted as “nipples” on Twitter.
This week I will be attending the Budgens Award Ceremony, the Good Housekeeping Awards Dinner and a charity walk with my mate, Matt Hampson from Richmond to Twickenham on behalf of the Hambro Foundation. With much talk of rugby and much sipping of beer.
Speak to you soon.
I’m not going to talk about the rain because, let’s face it, it’s just a bit dull. Too much I say, too much. Too much rain, too much moaning. So instead, I reckon you should join me in a parallel universe where the sun is shining, the sun cream is to hand, ice cream is melting down your arms and it’s all just a bit delicious.
A sure-fire way to sweep those doom-mongerers under the soggy carpet is with a big dose of fresh SUMMER BERRIES. In whatever form our RASPBERRIES, STRAWBERRIES and BLACKBERRIES may take, they’re an instant flavour of warmth, sunshine and smiles. Also found in this category, sporting a big, fat, official title of ‘Joyous’ are our TOMATOES; in particular BEEF MARMANDE, HERITAGE and iddy biddy, oh so sweet PICCOLO, SANTORANGE and SAN MARZANO.
Not to mention (but of course I will anyway) our beautiful ASPARAGUS. Hitting the high-notes all over London and further afield, its reputation precedes it.
What’s more, we have beautiful COS and BABY RED WATERCRESS available for all those summery salads I see in your not-so-distant sunshiny future.
On the flipside, we’ve waved a gloved farewell to CELERIAC, SAVOYS, TRIMMED SAVOYS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES and ORIENTAL MUSHROOM MIX.