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.

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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).

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Emily Brontes’ Yorkshire

The ruins of Whitby Abbey

Yorkshire is everything Emily Bronte promised in her most successful book, Wuthering Heights. Vast, wild and breathtakingly beautiful. I stayed recently at Gisborough in the heart of the moors and took a day out to explore the coastal town of Whitby which has literary links to another famous writer, Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula.

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A taste of the Languedoc way of life

Mas Neuf, Vignobles Jean-Jean

The Languedoc way of life is about locally produced food and wine, lush landscapes, sunshine and warmth, art and nature and community. All of these combine to make a deliciously languid and moreish lifestyle. I toured the region this summer courtesy of the CIVL to meet some of the wine growers and makers, and stayed in the elegant countryside Mas Neuf, home of Les Vignobles JeanJean.

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The Musée Louvre-Lens: 5,000 years of art

A satellite of the iconic Louvre in Paris, the Musée Louvre-Lens in the Pas-de-Calais region of France, is a jewel of a discovery. Once an important mining region, Lens is now home to an art gallery, a luxury hotel of the same name and a restaurant, L’Atelier Marc Meurin.

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Review: Surviving or Thriving

A new exhibition on ‘Plants and Us’

Four eyes, a rare photo of me wearing my specs!

All life depends on plants. I’ll say that again. All of life, and that means human life, depends on the survival of plants, and 25% are currently under threat, according to the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst at a preview of a new exhibition.

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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.

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