Latest dispatch from the garden war zone

The potatoes (Sharp’s Express;Charlotte; Nadine) have done ok. The Sharp’s Express is still the finest of the First Earlies in my book: sweet as a nut; firm but not waxy; with an elusive, teasing earthiness. Very, very good just dug,just steamed and just eaten with just butter. And I’ve just picked the last of the […]

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Proper Books

Tom Parker Bowles is a friend. I like the chap. He’s passionate and knowledgeable. He has a mellifluous way with words on the page. Even rarer among food writers, he knows what a story is. He’s very good company. And he believes that lunch is always better for another bottle, and very possibly one or […]

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Diet of Worms

I knew it was a mistake as soon as I said it. ‘Dieting,’ I said to my companions, settling down for a spot of business at Zedel. ‘I’m on a diet.’ Well, not so much a diet as an intake reduction program. Less of everything. It’s not about losing weight. I’m as fat as a […]

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The Tramshed

Mark Hix’s Tramshed is a beast in every sense of the word – vast space (it really was a shed for trams); vaulting glass ceiling; bar the length of the room; 130 covers; Damien Hurst art installation of a cow in formaldehyde with a cockerel perched on its back rises up like the golden calf […]

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Elizabeth David, advertising copywriter

Who wrote ‘Some of the very first cooking utensils I ever owned were orange-red cast-iron casseroles lined with white enamel…. Everything I cooked seemed to turn out right. They never played me an unwelcome trick. They were cheerful and clean- looking. They saved me washing-up and storage space. They looked civilized on the table. My […]

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Brasserie Zedel

Ou sont let plats d’antan? Gone to Zedel, every one of them. A dream of a dream, A dream of filet de hareng, pommes a l’huile,; lapin a la moutarde, baba au rhum, of celeri remoulade; choucroute alsacciene, éclair Paris Brest, of escargots au beurre persille, blanquette de veau and peche Melba. Zedel is a […]

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Gormless Gove

It’s an absolutely classic government ploy. When you want to do nothing, call for a report. The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has called for Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, the founders of Leon, the chain of healthy eateries, to investigate the state of food in our schools. Let us put aside for […]

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