Monday, 20 April 2020


Wild garlic and cheese scones are my absolute favourite and it is law that they must be eaten warm with lashings of butter on, straight from the oven. Use your favourite cheese scone recipe, mine is Monty Don's from his Home cookbook but there are plenty online. Just add a big handful of washed and roughly chopped wild garlic leaves to the mixture before rolling out and baking!

Sunday, 19 April 2020


With the lack of a greenhouse due to space and children playing football in the garden I have converted my industrial trolley into shelves for seeds indoors. I've planted a whole range range of seeds I could find and order online. People seem to be buying as many seeds as they are loo roll in lockdown! I guess we are all turning into Tom and Barbara from the Good Life in an attempt to become self-sufficient amidst a pandemic! 

The courgettes, sweetcorn and artichoke have started well, but after two weeks there is no peep from the runner beans or peas! We've also made two raised beds in the garden where the tree house used to be so that we have plenty of space to plant our seedlings out. 

The growing and daily watering is bringing me great comfort, I guess the feeling of being in control and delight in growing in these strange and unprecedented times is therapeutic. Who knows I might even get the seedlings to their point of harvesting! 

Wednesday, 8 April 2020


Nettle & Wild Garlic Soup | The simplest soup ever!

Chop up an onion and cook in a pan with a generous lump of proper butter, for around ten minutes over a medium heat. Add two handfuls of young nettles, and two handfuls of wild garlic leaves - washed. Wilt the greens down in the pan. Add a pint of veg stock, salt and a handful of frozen peas and bring to the boil. Once boiled take off the heat and blend with a hand blender being very careful that it doesn't splash. Serve with a hulk of sourdough!

Wednesday, 2 October 2019


I love cook books and prefer reading them over fiction, I have a stack by the side of my bed. I wouldn't however consider myself a 'foodie' and often stray from a recipe, using them as guidance and inspiration rather than gospel. I guess after watching the stage adaptation of Nigel Slater's Toast last night, it's something I have in common with his mother. 

“It is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you.” Says Nigel Slater in his memoir, and as we walked into the Malvern Festival Theatre, the smell of nearly-burned toast made us feel quite fuzzy and nostalgic, although in my house that aroma is usually accompanied by the sound of the over zealous fire alarm!

Toast is the most beautifully written memoir, and I must admit to being somewhat sceptical about it being brought to life on the stage, especially with an adult playing young Nigel, complete with short trousers as I'm really not keen on an adult playing a child on stage as it always feels quite weird to me but Giles Cooper led the narrative with a mixture of wit, pathos and absurdity on occasion too!

Of course the thread that weaves the story together is food - preparing, eating it, enjoying it - and director Jonnie Riordan has done the most wonderful job of adding an interactive element to the production which acts as a device to make the audience feel like part of the show, even mischievous when sweets are passed around the stalls and the ensuing 'naughty' rustling of wrappers as they are scoffed. I had a rhubarb and custard boiled sweet and was instantly transported back to my childhood. 

The character of Joan, played by Samantha Hopkins, was for me the best, with a cracking Wolverhampton dialect, sixties fashion and chain smoking, she had something of a Joan Holloway from Mad Men feel about her. She is, however, the baddy of the play, competing with Nigel for the affections of his widowed father, which culminated in the ultimate bake off. 

Having sons, it felt close to home, uncomfortably at times, especially with the passing of Nigel's mother. The mother we all aspire to be, adored by your children. I thought of the times I cook with the boys and I hope that I have given the same fond memories to my children as Nigel had of his mother. 

I would give Toast ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ perfect entertainment for an autumn evening and as nostalgic as home made apple pie and bird's custard. 

Thank you to the Malvern Theatre who gifted me two tickets to their beautiful theatre. All thoughts and opinions in this review are entirely my own. 


Saturday, 24 August 2019


We spent the most gorgeous week in Cornwall this summer in the bell tent. It's our favourite place in the world, but we haven't been for a few years for a variety of reasons. We choose to camp at Trevedra Farm, near Sennen, a family run campsite, quite exposed on the top of Escalls Cliff, you can see the Scilly Isles on a clear day, and it's within walking distance of Gwynver and Sennen beaches. 

We pitched the bell tent for our week stay behind a Cornish hedge which is traditionally made of stone. 

We took only the bare necesseities for our holiday, but I managed to squeeze in a few sheepskin rugs to make it more homely. I take all the kitchen pots and plates in a crate which then doubles as storage in the tent. We have an inner tent for the bell that creates two bedrooms and a bit of privacy for the teenagers. 

Board games come too in case of bad weather, but we only got the monopoly on the first night as the boys quickly made friends. We visited our favourite beaches, stopped at roadside stalls to buy fresh fruit and veg and drove down our favourite road, the B3306, which now has a pop-up Moomaid ice cream stall in a container by the roadside!

We celebrated a birthday whilst we were there, sixteen already! *sobs* Although it would be fair to say he'd have rather spent it at home with his friends than camping with us.

I love this part of Cornwall, so rugged, with granite boulders strewn across the countryside and tiny field systems that haven't changed since neolithic times. It's hard living here, farmers diversify by turning their fields into campsites for the hoards of tourists that make their annual pilgrimage here each summer. I allowed myself to daydream about living here, pressing my nose against estate agents windows and wishing I had bought an old wooden beach hut twenty years ago before they were snapped up by developers and turned into huge New England style mansions. 

The wooden chalet (above) was built by an artist as her studio and sits perched above Sennen beach and accessed only by a footpath. I believe it remains owned by her family and I hope it always does. I would love to stay in it in winter, watching the storms roll in from those windows. 

Until next time Cornwall, we won't leave it so long next time.

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