Tuesday, 8 March 2011


The road to the West Country takes you past Stone Henge in Wiltshire, one of those magic places still shrouded in the mists of time. Erected by an unknown people for an unknown reason.

There is still no motorway leading to Dorset from London, and so if you are not in a hurry you can enjoy the country side on the way down. The views are breathtaking.

Tea, an almost forgotten meal, complete with little cakes and in the excellent company of an intelligent and amusing old lady of 94 is followed by a week-end in Lillington near Sherborne. Sherborne Castle, built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 is one of the many wonderful buildings in the area.

An old family friend Anna del Conte came to lunch on Saturday, a tremendous cook and writer of books about Italian cooking, she and her family lived down the road from us in Holland Park when we were children and in her book Risotto With Nettles: A Memoir with Food she talks of those happy days. A wonderful account of a childhood in Milan before and during the last war and then life in England.

There are so many cookery books now available by famous and infamous cooks, but Anna's books are the best on Italian cookery.
As Nigella Lawson says she should be a household name.

The signs of spring are every where, in the trees that from a distance are loosing their winter lack of colour for hints of green and orange................

Dorset is a county of dry stone walls

Ancient woodlands

and wild flowers............

Back to London where the hellebores in the garden are in full flower

New paintings arrived today and a late 17th century tapestry with glorious colours................

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