This year we celebrated Christmas on the 19th December. Sister Number 1 alternates her Christmases: one year with us, one year at her girlfriend’s parents in Scotland. 2015 was a Scottish year, so we decided we’d do the whole thing one week early. The full festive shebang.

It’s strange, doing Christmas before everyone else. Even […]

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10 years ago Sara and I cemented our friendship over a year-long cookery course at a college in Richmond. It was called ‘An Introduction to French Cooking Techniques’ and it was tremendous. We learned how to gut, scale and fillet fish; tie up a joint for roasting; debone a chicken; make hollandaise sauce; […]

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I had a plan. A vision. I would make chocolate chip cookies, thick as duvets and chewy in the middle. There would be white chocolate chips, all creamy with vanilla; lime zest for zing; and a subtle glow of chilli heat. They would be great cookies and everyone would be amazed by me […]

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A office Christmas party without alcohol is basically an after hours meeting. One without an agenda, obvious end time or biscuits. It’s a prospect too horrible to consider. So when our department do hoved into view, I made sure to kick start it with some miracle gin.

“Miracle gin?” you ask, possibly unable to comprehend how much […]

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Back in September a PR got in touch about a campaign Aspall Vinegar were going to run called Pickle With Pride. Simple idea: they send out some pickling kits, everyone pickles things, hashtags it #PickleWithPride and society at large realises how brilliant pickling is and buys more […]

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The run-up to Christmas is better than the day itself. Christmas Day is mostly waiting. As a child, it’s waiting for the clock to tick round to the magic hour when you can run into your parents’ room, screaming “PRESENTS!” and jumping on their heads.

In our house, that was 5.30am. Now my sisters and […]

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You may have noticed a lot of Rick Stein in my previous blog post about Padstow. It’s not nicknamed Padstein for nothing. Four restaurants, a cookery school, deli, patisserie, gift shop, fishmongers, 39 rooms and one cottage to rent in the town make for quite a presence. But […]

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Eating Padstow, Cornwall

On November 20, 2015 By

You’ve heard of Padstow, haven’t you? Of course you have. It’s a small fishing village on the North Coast of Cornwall with just under 3,000 inhabitants and, staggeringly, 500,000 day trippers every year. The reason they come? Rick Stein.

It started in 1974, when Rick and Jill Stein bought a nightclub on the […]

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During one of my occasional back sweeps through the blog, I realised this recipe had vanished into the sinkhole that opened up when I moved the site from its original home to this shiny new palace. So I’ve rescued it in time for Stir Up Sunday.

This is a Christmas cake […]

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I know what you’re thinking: Bonfire Night is over. You don’t need Bonfire Night recipes any more. What you need are recipes for aspirational homemade gifts, chutney and festive spirits. Then you can file them away till a week before Christmas, when you’ll remember your good intentions, panic and sweep round the shops buying novelty socks, […]

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