This week I pulled on a sweater and my wellies and headed out into the Hampshire countryside around Winchester. Despite muddy ground underfoot the ethereal autumn sunlight danced on the surface of the River Itchen. I never tire of exploring this ancient countryside in the footsteps of Iron Age and Roman peoples. The city was subsequently the medieval capital of England and is surely a candidate for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amongst this green and pleasant land I can breathe deeply and it literally goes to my head, as surely as a glass of vintage champagne.Continue reading “This week… wellies, weather and wild food”
Autumn seems to have arrived in all her glory with chilly mornings, cool evenings and stunning sunsets. Despite the focus this time of year on hibernation in the natural world, it’s a season of magnificant abundance and colour. This is a time to enjoy nature, to ‘bank’ the remaining sunny days and the splendour of nature while we can. We need all the positive experiences we can muster to carry us through the long winter months to come.Continue reading “This week… conkers, coffee and Christmas lights”
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”
You know how news bulletins always end with a ‘feel-good’ story? Well, this week I’m opening by shining a light on positive news, inspired by the contents of incoming emails recently focusing on paying it forward. Sometimes we’re not in a position to repay a kindness directly but a time will come, in the near or distant future, when we’re able to pass on that goodwill to another, and possibly in a different form. It might be as simple as passing on a theatre ticket you’re not able to use or a voucher for a complimentary coffee. It always lights up my day when it happens to me and I enjoy paying it forward when the opportunity presents itself.Continue reading “This week… bling, boats and broken biscuits”
The first thing I check out, when I check-in to a hotel room, is the bathroom. Not the view, the hairdryer or even the mini-bar. Whether I will be enjoying my stay begins not only by checking out the shower, the fluffy towels and guest robes, but also the layout and design, the lighting and the flooring. I imagine it’s very shallow of me but I simply can’t help myself. This week, I confess, I’m obssessed with the beautiful bathrooms at Nobu! There’s no hope for me, I have bathrom viewing compulsive disorder. Is that even a thing?Read more
I’ve tried meditation, virtual festivals, coffee mornings and yoga. I’ve brushed up my social media skills with online training and travelled to Slovakian green pastures courtesy of Zoom. Most days I feel I’m getting a handle on the world. This week though has been a humdinger. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry any more.
Continue reading “This week … under lockdown (eleven)”
In the words of Simon Evans, writer and director STAGED BBC1, “If the world is going to end, get on and do it. I’ve had enough of this f**king teasing”. @SimonEvans25Tweet