As a child, one of my most genuinely mortifying moments was being seen with my mother wearing her Birkenstocks. The NYC hippie was definitely not the run of the mill in my North West London prep school, and my sheer horror and embarrassment of her attire was more than little sensitive me could handle. Roll on 35 years, and here I am, sporting what has to be the most comfortable footwear on the planet. And they keep my perennially freezing feet so warm, I might never again take them off. I am sorry Mum for all the scorn. I am just lucky that I have no daughters to criticise my outfit.
I have a new kitchen companion, and she is upping my game. Samin Nostrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat re-explains the fundamentals of cooking by answering every single culinary question that has ever entered my head. Rarely does a book find its way onto my shelves where I want to make every recipe; this one is the exception. Regardless of experience, this book will improve your cooking prowess and empower your kitchen creativity. Lightbulb moments appear in every chapter, such as the science behind why oil is better than butter in some cakes (spoiler alert: butter’s high water content does not always create the best crumb). With wonderful seasonal recipes and beautiful illustrations by Wendy McNaughton this needs to be on every cook’s shelf. Even if you know it all already.
Until this month, only one scent possessed pride of place in my bathroom cabinet. Call me boring. Or Consistent. Or maybe it is the sensory overload and inability to decipher what I actually like when I enter the dreaded perfume hall of any department store. So almost my entire adult life has passed either happily avoiding, or gleefully skipping through the enormous flowery rooms without the need to stop and smell. It all changed when I stumbled into the Covent Garden residence of Le Labo at the beginning of the summer. Drawn in by the aspirational interior, I stepped into the shop and immediately knew it was time for a renaissance. And the indecision immediately took hold. Many sample bottles later, I have discovered the best of all combinations. While all summer I leant towards the Neroli 36 with the perfect amount of zesty zing, I finally settled on Thé Noir 29 as the warm weather was well and truly over. But with Neroli 36 shower gel in hand alongside my new bottle of scent no final decision was really necessary. And I adore my new perfume uniform.
Pedrino (and my new favourite Gin and Tonic recipe)
Each Supper Club brings its own excitement with guests we meet for the first time, new menus and themes, and collaborators who bring their flare to the evening. For our event earlier this month our tables were adorned with smoked fish from Panzer’s Delicatessen, produce from Clifton Greens, flowers from Achillea and menus letterpressed at Harrington and Squires. Bartender Daniele Ziaco welcomed our guests with a choice of two cocktails, including a Gin and Tonic made with Pedrino. This spiked tonic raised the Gin and Tonic game, and opened up my eyes to a whole new world of mixer for my favourite cocktail. Daniele kindly shared his secret. And I only feel it is right to pass it on. For anyone who indulges in the odd G&T give this a try. You won’t be disappointed.
47 Drunken Monkeys:
15ml Monkey 47 (or Gin of choice)
3-4 large ice cubes
1/2 bottle of Pedrino
1 long zest of pink grapefruit
1 lavender stalk
1 pink grapefruit wedge
Mix everything together in a wine glass and serve.