Monday, 29 November 2010


Driving along the picturesque but scarily-icy roads on Friday, I was too busy listening to the soporific voice of the woman inside my new Sat-Nav ("Turn around where possible!" "Turn around where possible!") to be able to concentrate much on the magnificent scenery of the North Downs Way.

I was on my way to the wedding of the lovely Lucetta who was marrying Glenn at an amazing hotel at Newlands Corner.
And here are the happy couple, having just plighted their troth.....


It was a fabulous wedding - with people of all ages having fun and my enduring memory of the day is one of laughter.
Here's a picture of the cake I made for the newly-weds.

Regular readers of this blog may remember that I also made a cake for Lucetta's mother's wedding (what a lot of apostrophes!) almost a year ago. No-one can say they aren't a romantic family!

And here I am with not only an extravagent confection of feathers on my head.....

But also a handful of golden glitter which was thrown on my hair by my god-daughter!
Well, it was a glittering kind of day...

Have you done anything glittery recently?

Friday, 26 November 2010


Yesterday, I had lunch at Skye Gyngell's sublime restaurant at Petersham Nurseries - which was a fairyland of creamy candles, sprays of green foliage and waxy, scented gardenias. And lots of Christmas trees....
Look closely and you'll see that (in true panto fashion) there's one behind me!

It is the most incredible place to eat - full of light and atmosphere and using locally-sourced incredients wherever possible. Somewhere in among the branches behind me in this photo - a little robin is hopping around.

It took some time before I could be persuaded to remove my coat because the temperature outside was ARCTIC! But the restaurant helpfully provides soft, tweedy blankets which you can snuggle up in. We ended wrapping them around our waists, sarong-style and staging an imprompu fashion show (thanks to the diners on the next table for applauding!).

And the best part of the meal? The conversation, naturally - though the baked ricotta and Italian peasant soup came a close second.

I'm off to a wedding this afternoon - after I've scraped an inch of ice from my windscreen....what will you be doing this weekend?

Monday, 22 November 2010


Once again, I visited Waddeson Manor - the luscious Oxfordshire pile belonging to the Rothschild family. Only this time, Christmas had come early.

Usually, I'm one of those people who try to hold off from buying a tree or being bewitched by twinkly lights until the very last minute - but this time I just couldn't resist cooing in admiration.

The slightly spooky soaring building was enhanced by Christmas trees....

Which, when viewed en masse - looked a little like a troupe of Daleks gathering before attack (question: are Daleks famous throughout the world?).

And has Christmas "got" to you yet?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Just back from a weekend spent in glorious Umbria, picking olives with a highly-entertaining group of people.
And here I am in a shot which made feel feel as if I was taking part in a rural cookery programme!

Only four of these crates were filled this year (we had eleven last year), since weather conditions meant a sparse crop.
Next they will go off to be pressed and turned into rich olive-oil.

Fresh air, simple physical work and al fresco lunches (in November!) made me feel deliciously relaxed.
What has made you feel relaxed recently?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Dan sent me this amazing photo of autumn in all her glory, taken close to where he lives, in Chicago (or is it near Chicago, Dan?).

The leaf colours are particularly spectacular this year....there's a reason for it (too much rain? not enough rain? wrong kind of sun?) but I can't remember what it is.

What's it like where you are?
Oh, and I'm playing word games over at ihearts presents - so do come and join in.