All posts filed under: Stories From The Table

Coffee: A Journey

Dom’s three-part treatise on coffee is the latest post in our Stories From The Table section – a place where we explore memories, cultural vignettes, and anthropological musings on eating and drinking.  I’ve not been a coffee drinker for very long, but I have had a respect for (and possibly a little fear of) it for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I revered coffee as one of those mysterious “adult flavours” (read as bitter). A taste for it indicated the presence of a developed palate. So when the time came for me to leave home for university, I felt somewhat incomplete. I’d developed a fondness for all the things that, as a child, I’d watched adults devour, and had been anxiously waiting to be able to enjoy myself; the salty bitterness of olives, the sharp tang of feta cheese, the peculiar texture of a cooked mushroom, and even whisky (my first experience of whisky having been a capful of Bell’s in a cup of milky tea, offered to me by my grandfather, Read More

5 November

Michelle Lovric explains that to write about Venice is to seek new ways to describe the effect of water on marble. Sitting at a desk in Castello, a small canal just below the window – stone, wood and marble resting on the water’s lip – I’d be inclined to agree. Except there’s a little more to it than that. On a Sunday morning, there’s the effect of 128 church bells on the clustered life of six sestieri. Right now, the bells are best described as the sound of fireworks on Bonfire Night. Loud and convincing, then quiet and distant; when they peal from the furthest reaches of Castello, their echo merely ripples the November gloom. Perhaps on a sunny day it will be different. Then there’s light on Venetian plasterwork. The saturation shifting with the afternoon sun: gilded at twilight; drab and dirty on a white-washed morning like this. And of course the effect of fog, rain, ice, the aqua alta sirens, but we’ve yet to experience those. Writing about Venice – properly I mean Read More

Crêpes

We used to have pancakes once a year at home, on Shrove Tuesday, when the squeezy Jif would appear at the table and my mum would stand at the stove, grumbling about what a fuss they were to cook. English pancakes were never a breakfast thing. I only remember them with the backdrop of a cold February evening, rolled up tight with lemon and sugar, a little damp, a little thick. A couple of Saturdays ago I broke tradition and cooked them for brunch. It was all because of Tiphaine really, my lovely French coworker, who gave me a hand-written recipe for crêpes – the English pancake’s superior cousin.  I’d asked her what her favourite childhood meal was, and like a good Breton she told me it was crêpes. More so now that she’s been in London for sometime, because they remind her of home and weekend breakfasts. It’s funny how moving away from a place draws us closer to the simple foods we grew up with, and more often than not, to one of our national or regional Read More