This week… the festive newt, feasting and festivities

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”

This week… baobab trees, cod fish and tiaras.

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.”

Interview: Honey Master Sommelier

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”

This week… bags, birds and The Beatles

I filed copy on two features this week, the first on wine and the second on coffee. Both were fun to do (sitting around tasting wine and coffee, what’s not to like!). Also, delving deep into a subject is right up my street. I like to tell myself it’s my natural journalistic skills but it’s probably more a case of being just plain nosey.

I’ve become fascinated by terroir, the magical combination of temperature, climate, soil composition and production methods, that impacts on wine, food and, yes, coffee. Fresh authentic seasonal food, produced sustainably and prepared simply.

Continue reading “This week… bags, birds and The Beatles”

This week… recovery from lockdown

I’ve been battling with admin all week. A necessary but tedious round of paperwork, bills and similar chores has left me feeling caged up. I’m missing travelling. Much as I like my home, all I want to do is escape to somewhere warm, sunny and new. Finally, one morning I woke early and decided to play hooky (where do I get these Americanisms from!). I packed a breakfast picnic and headed for the beach. Walking for miles I made it out to the sandbanks, only revealed when the tide is out. The fresh sea breezes brought me literally back to my senses. A couple of hours later, like a child I returned home with sandy feet, windswept hair and soggy trousers from splashing through the pools of clear, warm water. Bliss.

Continue reading “This week… recovery from lockdown”