Wine growing is not new in Britain. While it seems likely that the Romans introduced vineyards it was in the Norman period, with the arrival of William the Conqueror in 1066, that successful viticulture really took off. English wine is a growing industry with increased sales both here and overseas. Recent years have also seen a rise in wine tourism initiatives including Cellar Door openings and wine festivals across England and Wales. There are around 3,500 hectares under vine in the UK, up 150% in the past ten years, with an additional 3.2m vines planted in 2019.*Continue reading “How to enjoy heritage English wines”
I’ve been really enjoying my food recently. Food is an intrinsic part of travelling and I’m missing this element of exploring the world. With time on my hands, three-meals-a-day have taken on even greater significance. Planning what I’m going to eat adds structure and that’s important when it’s often difficult to remember the day of the week, living in lockdown number three.Continue reading “This week… gin, gorgonzola and paddy fields”
How have you been? It’s been mostly cold, grey and wet in Britain this week. I have been learning about the piddock and its antics. I Zoomed to the Sainsbury Centre in East Anglia to review a fascinating new Bill Brandt Henry Moore exhibition and drunk copious cups of tea, spiced with cacao, orange and cloves to warm my cockles. Confused? All will become clear, read on…Continue reading “This week… bears, bocadillos and Banksy”
More than ever this year it seems we are all looking to nature and simple traditions to soothe our souls. It’s feels like the time to take a slow, deep breath and steady ourselves as the year draws to an end. It’s also a time to be thankful. We got through the roller coaster ride of 2020. There has been sorrow and sadness but we made it. A new year is on the horizon and we need to nurture that little spark of hope for new beginnings. Let’s take the time to find our simple pleasures where we may and follow the pragmatic example of Dame Joan Collins, who declared this week her intention to “squeeze every ounce of joy from life”. The show must go on.Continue reading “This week… the festive newt, feasting and festivities”
The annual World Travel Market London went virtual and the buzz was all about the future of travel, what the future holds for the industry, how it is adapting and the trends (sustainability, travel with meaning and authentic experiences, thanks for asking). Personally, I think this is what we’re all seeking in every aspect of our lives but it’s not so simple in a troubled world. I don’t have the answers either, but here’s my quick round-up of six things that have made me smile this week.Continue reading “This week… baobab trees, cod fish and tiaras.”
The quality of the food we eat is critical to our health and wellbeing and supporting independent growers, farmers and producers is essential for sustainable living. This month I asked Gruffydd Rees, a beefarmer since 2010, why single-origin honey is so important, and what makes it taste so good.
Food fraud is big business. Generally, it’s the foods that we pay the most for that are most at risk of fraudulent practices. Foods such as coffee, olive oil, wine, and honey. While single-estate wines are not new there has also been a rise in independent specialist coffee roasters, offering beans from single-estate growers. Traceability is important, not only with regard to quality but to ensure fair prices and best practices, and blended products don’t offer that reassurance.
So when it comes to the honey you drizzle over your breakfast porridge, you want one that’s not only full of taste but is produced sustainably from a reputable source.Continue reading “Interview: Honey Master Sommelier”