I’m not in full food blogger mode all the time. Most of the time I’m cooking up meals that I make regularly and visiting favourite restaurants and cafés; I’m not always searching out new things for the blog. Food, however, has always been a bit of an obsession: I’m always thinking about the next meal or where I can go for a good coffee. I blame it on my parents (of course!), but an appreciation of good food and seeking out great cafés and restaurants is part of the life I grew up with. So while I’m not always in blogger mode, I’m always serious about what I eat during the day. Here’s a typical week:
Sunday – An Italian Theme
Last Sunday was a beautiful sunny day and in the morning I set off down the road to Church Street – the prettiest road in Twickenham – to Corto Italian Deli. Run by the friendly Marco and Romina, their croissants are the Italian kind – filled with either marmellata (jam) or crema (custard) and sprinkled with a dusting of sugar; their cappuccinos are just as you’d be served in Italy – no Antipodean or American influence here. Often I’m surrounded by people talking Italian and it makes me feel as if I could almost be in Italy.
In the afternoon I met my lovely Italian friend Lucia at Franco Manca in South Kensington – her favourite pizza place. We weren’t sure why the pizzaiolo made our pizzas heart-shaped but we thought it was fun. Afterwards, we walked to the nearby Cine Lumiere to meet up with Lucia’s husband and some others for an Italian film which was showing as part of the Italian Film Festival.
Monday – Inspiration
Monday I felt inspired to cook something new and made the lovely pasta and creamy tomato sauce that I put on the blog (click here).
Tuesday – Ready Made
On Tuesday I thought I’d better leave blogger mode and enter work mode. I wanted to make some serious progress on an editing job I have so was comforted by the thought that when I packed up for the day, there was a portion of some lovely mushroom cacciatora sauce in my freezer, left over from some I’d made the week before. I heated this through and made some polenta (a quick version I buy in Carluccio’s), seasoning it with plenty of butter, Parmesan, salt and black pepper. What a fantastic ‘ready made’ supper!
Wednesday – Sweet Treats & Fabulous Fish
On Wednesday I had to go to Kingston. This is not a treat. Kingston is the nearest shopping centre for serious shopping, especially if I need something for the home. By the time I found myself carrying six bags I decided it was definitely time for a treat. So I headed into the Carluccio’s Caffe in Bentalls and sat quietly for a while with a little carrot cake and a cappuccino. Since I wasn’t with an Italian who thinks you can’t drink cappuccino after 11.00am, there was no one to complain that it was 3.00 in the afternoon and tell me I should be drinking espresso!
I took a healthier route in the evening, making the fabulous sea bream dish that I put on the blog (click here).
Thursday – An Old Favourite
On Thursday evening I met my good friend Annie at our favourite haunt: Joe Allen in Covent Garden. Their early evening menu at £14.95 is amazing value for such good food, but what we really like is the wonderful buzzing atmosphere. I had smoked trout with Russian salad to start and a delicious pan-fried salmon with potato cake and chipolte sauce as a main.
Friday – Food on the Go
I was on the go all day. I met Lyndsey and Freddie early for coffee and croissants at Your Bakery Whitton, which has become a favourite place for us. Their croissants are stunningly good and their coffee excellent too. I couldn’t resist one of these little spinach and ricotta slices to take home for lunch. They are so good. Late afternoon I went into central London. I was meeting a friend at The Old Vic to see The Master Builder, starring Ralph Feinnes. It was brilliant. But to sustain me through nearly 3 hours of Ibsen, I had to find something to eat first. I went into an old favourite for a quick snack near Waterloo, Le Pain Quotidien.
Saturday – Takeaways
Saturday morning found me back at Your Bakery Whitton, buying croissants to take to Jonathan’s. I’m having to share so much of my croissant now with Freddie when I take him there on days I look after him, I decided that he could have his own one. At just 13 months Freddie has developed a fine appreciation of a good croissant! I saw some wonderful little savoury pies on the counter and asked what they were. They were their Saturday special: a foccacia dough rolled with fillings of chorizo, artichoke, scamorza and other lovely things. I bought two of those as well. I ended up staying at Jonathan’s the whole day. Lyndsey was at a hen do. Jonathan made Freddie a courgette omelette for his lunch, which was delicious – I tried a small piece. However, Freddie loved it too and one can’t take food from the mouth of one’s grandson. But it was fine as Jonathan and I had those lovely little pies I’d bought. They were just as good as they looked. Come evening, we decided to order in a takeaway from Tangawizi, our favourite local Indian restaurant. It had been a day of takeaways – but my, what fabulous takeaways they were!