This week… under lockdown (seven)

Foraging in the Soča Valley

This week I should have been in Slovenia and, pre-lockdown, was looking forward to exploring the local cuisine and magnificent countryside. Instead, I travelled there courtesy of Zoom. Set in the foothills of the mountains, the Soča Valley reminds you instantly of The Sound of Music. You get the picture, lush green pastures set against a backdrop of snow capped mountains.

Continue reading “This week… under lockdown (seven)”

Afternoon delight: sweet Biscottini

Camporelli’s a fifth generation bakery

In Novara in the Piemonte region of Northern Italy there’s a little bakery where golden, crisp, light-as-a-feather biscottini have been made since 1852 using a 16th century recipe created by the nuns in the 1500s to bake biscuits for the Pope.

Continue reading “Afternoon delight: sweet Biscottini”

Wine launch: first ever Blanc de Blancs from Jenkyn Place

Chardonnay grapes ready to harvest at Jenkyn Place.

I was honoured to be invited to the inugural tasting of the first ever Blanc de Blancs 2015 by Jenkyn Place Vineyard in Hampshire. The English wine industry is a fast-growing area for wine tourism and British wines are winning awards! There are 522 commercial vineyards and 164 wineries in the UK. Wine production is predicted to reach some 40m bottles by 2040. (Source: Wine GB).

Continue reading “Wine launch: first ever Blanc de Blancs from Jenkyn Place”

The Odyssey – restaurant opening

The Holiday Inn at Winchester has been undergoing a front of house transformation. The previously vast open space has been transformed into an ‘Open Lobby’, a vibrant mix of cosy sofas, an e-bar with WiFi, a Media Space with comfy seating, games and TV, and a swish new bar and elegant restaurant.

Continue reading “The Odyssey – restaurant opening”

Exploring the East End

The East End of London is a fascinating area with a rich history, lively food community and some gorgeous architecture. I recently joined Eating Europe for a food tour, seven courses of ‘English food’ from fish & chips to afternoon tea.

Continue reading “Exploring the East End”

24 hours in Chichester

Breakfast at Carluccios because they serve the best coffee. Forget the fluffy stuff, this is  dark and velvety. Ask for a little cream to drizzle over, pure indulgence along with a sweetly bitter almond macaroon. There’s also a little shopping area for stocking up on a few Italian treats.

Classic Focaccia with olives and oil – credit Carluccios
Continue reading “24 hours in Chichester”

Market (Sun)day

Years ago you only found displays of fresh food like these at maybe an Italian or Spanish market. My local market offers a wide range of good quality Hampshire products at reasonable prices. I like that I can pick and choose too. A few tomatoes from the Isle of Wight, a bundle of chard or some fresh butter from a local farm. So many vegetables are shrink-wrapped in plastic in supermarkets today and you have to buy the whole bag.

Fresh chard and kale at Hampshire Farmers’ Market (credit Irene Caswell)
Continue reading “Market (Sun)day”