Author: Alice

Memories of spring

I’ve written a poem, and as that’s something I rarely do, I thought I’d share it here. In the midst of this parched and listless summer, it’s a reminder of the soft, dewy spring. While I’m here, let me say that everything is good, even if the endless sun has found me impatiently hopping from foot to foot, watching the clouds for rain. We’ve been busy. In the past month we’ve been to Venice (to talk to a man about a wedding), and the Lake District (to eat a 10 course tasting menu of dreams). And in two weeks we’re going to the South of France. It’s been a good summer. Memories of a Spring Each week I watch the quiet journey of spring along the A-roads leading from the North West to the east East. The furthest east that you can go. The place where elderflower grows too fast, blooming and bursting and heavy with scent, foaming from the side of the road, always drying up too quick to make cordial. Next year, next Read More

ossobuco with borlotti beans

Beef shank with borlotti beans

Ah a recipe! And a distinctly un-springlike one at that. I hope you’ll forgive me. This is something that we cooked during our last couple of weeks in Venice: slow-cooked beef shin with borlotti beans. I don’t think I’ve talked much about our Venetian kitchen, and when I think of it now it doesn’t seem like a place where all that much cooking happened. Mostly just polished wood and a cranky gas hob. I used to work at the table there until the bench made my legs numb. And in the morning, while waiting for the kettle to boil for coffee, I’d look out at the patchwork of apartments opposite.  There were habits that I learned; the student who was always at her desk by 9; the woman who filled her chilled marble window ledge with groceries; the old couple who ate at 7.30, always with the tv on in the kitchen. On the ground, Venice eludes any sense of normality. But up there, up there mornings started with radios and breakfasts and moka pots Read More

Saying goodbye

On our final night in Venice, we paid one last visit to Osteria Ruga di Jaffa. The owner, Alvise, gave us a bottle of sumptuous olive oil as a goodbye gift, sparking a discussion from the men at the bar about the best way to use such a treasure. Their parting words: “just please, please don’t cook with it”. We then took a walk along Riva degli Schiavoni towards the Giardini, stopping along the way to talk about how it feels to be leaving; both of us staring blindly at the iridescent sheen of Saint Mark’s, having seen its domes from this vantage point so many times before. From Via Garibaldi, we burrowed into Venice, following a half-remembered route home. The bells tolled midnight. Dom said that perhaps he could live here forever – I replied that I need to leave and then come back to know that for sure. I thought about that again the other day, while eating my lunch on a bench in Bungay and looking out over the flooded marshes: The best thing about leaving, Read More