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@nigelslater
The tree went up this weekend, with mostly second-hand decorations picked up in Nuremberg, Vienna, Cologne and Venice. Some are incredibly fragile (I’ve broken one already this year) and shatter like egg shells, but still sparkle under the tiny Christmas lights. I’d like to think a tree has been put up in this room every year for last two hundred years, but the property has had a extraordinary life (at various times, a hospice, a slum and the home of a celebrated art collector) so who knows. It has, however, had a tree in it for the last twenty Christmases. I hope its cosy glow will be there for many more.
Wed 11th December 2019
@nigelslater
Getting the decorations down from the attic. These incredibly fragile glass walnuts and fir cones, found at a Christmas market in Cologne, are among my favourites.
Mon 9th December 2019
@nigelslater
Pork chops, parsnips and red onions baked with cider and stock. Robust eating for a cold December day. Details in today’s @obsmagazine and on theguardian.com. Plate by @floriangadsby
Sun 8th December 2019
@nigelslater
Horse chestnut, 6:30am. I often wake to a pink and lavender sky in winter, but this morning’s was the most dramatic I’ve seen at that time. The colours, completely unfiltered, are more reminiscent of sunset than dawn, and the birds were strangely silent.
Thu 5th December 2019
@nigelslater
This year’s advent calendar. A german made calendar, bought with several others at the Christkindlmarkt in Vienna. Its day has come.
Sun 1st December 2019
@nigelslater
The Loft Pots. A collection of some of Steve Harrison’s extraordinary, beautiful pots (the ones he has been putting away in his loft) are currently on show at @bluemountainschool in Shoreditch. Thank you @steve_harrison_pots and @bluemountainschool for a wonderful evening.
Fri 29th November 2019
@nigelslater
A full Scottish breakfast; a castle shrouded in mist; a 3am serenade 🙉and a city all dressed up for Christmas. Wish I could stay another day or two. Thank you Edinburgh for being so welcoming and especially those who came along to @waterstones_edi today. 📙📙🧡
Wed 27th November 2019
@nigelslater
I briefly stop for tea and cake, sometimes just a biscuit, most afternoons. (And I do mean stop, pushing whatever work I’m doing to one side, even taking it on a tray to another room.) But this week, feeling heavily under the weather, tea has been my life saver. My usual daily favourites from @postcardteas have been joined by citrus infusions from @perfumerhlondon, @lrbbookshop, (and fabulous treacle tart), jasmin tea @bettys in York and Gamip-cha persimmon leaf from @tea_collective 🙏 @rosaliapark. The extraordinary thing is that I only drank my first cup of tea aged fifty. 🙄 Until then I couldn’t stand it. (I still can’t if someone puts milk in it.) I genuinely don’t know what I would have done without tea this week, it has been both comfort and cure. (Blue handled cup @steve_harrison_pots, @gallerykuga ) 🙏Thank you for your kind messages. I really appreciate them. I’m sure I’ll be fine again very soon. Tea and plenty of sleep will do the trick. 🙏
Sat 23rd November 2019
@nigelslater
Lunch with @gilesrcooper at @skoshyork. Brussels sprouts Manchurian (my favourite sprout dish ever); sashimi of sea bass with horseradish and pickled turnip; scallop and trout dumplings with lemon grass; and pork belly ‘massaman’ with crisp, sharp apple. I don’t often have dessert in restaurants but new season pears with matcha sponge and yuzu (a sort of Japanese trifle) was a whole bowl of gorgeousness as (apparently) was G’s warm donut with quince and saffron custard. It is the original and quietly dazzling use of spices that made the food at Skosh so memorable. Thanks to everyone there for looking after us today. 🙏 (And yes, we had the fried chicken with fluffy brown butter hollandaise. How could we not?)
Wed 20th November 2019
@nigelslater
York all dressed for Christmas. Only a sprinkling of snow could make this city more gorgeous than it is tonight. Toast the play is on here at the Theatre Royal until Saturday. How I wish I had longer than just one night here. ✨🎄🎭✨
Tue 19th November 2019
@nigelslater
It feels like an age since I’ve been in the kitchen. Thank you to everyone who came to Dublin for my conversation with the fabulous @marian_keyes (what a kind and generous audience you were 🙏) and thanks too, to those who came to see Toast at the Lowry this week. A particularly poignant venue for the Toast team as that is where the play started, nearly two years ago. (We are in York this week.) Back at the stove, I’ve been baking as befits the autumn weather, including this crumbly tart of mushrooms and Parmesan, the details of which are on the Guardian website and, very soon, on Nigelslater.com. @obsmagazine
Sun 17th November 2019
@nigelslater
Looking forward to being back at work this week after a fortnight’s break. The office table, currently bathed in late autumn sunshine, will soon be reinstated as our place for production meetings and planning and working lunches. The studio kitchen will once again be busy with recipe testing and photographs. The welcome peace that has enveloped this house for the last fortnight will be gone. But before that, a book signing in Manchester on Monday (Waterstones, Deansgate, 12:30) then off to the @the_lowry in Salford to catch the first night of Toast and then on to chat with the wonderful@marian_keyes on Wednesday evening at the International Literature Festival in Dublin. As I say, it’s good to be back.
Sun 10th November 2019
@nigelslater
Autumn has taken hold of the garden. No frost yet, so the last of the dahlias and Japanese anemones are still standing. The occasional rose blooms. For the next week or so it is a question of clearing the vast yellow fig leaves from the paths and beds where they have fallen and risk smothering the tiny plants beneath. There is some good colour this month - in particular the acers, Cornus and Cercis Forest pansy. The beeches and hornbeams are just turning. I love the garden more at this time of year than any other. Thank you @theloosehorse for all your hard work.
Tue 29th October 2019
@nigelslater
A big thank you to everyone who came to the Greenfeast event at @toppingsbath last night; for battling the traffic, the queue and the rain and wind. And thank you especially for being so patient whilst I scribbled away on your copies of GreenFeast with my old fountain pen. It was lovely to meet you all. (Wish we had more time to chat.) A heartfelt shout out to everyone at Toppings for looking after us, bringing wine and cakes and gorgeous bread and cheese. That butter! And I really appreciated the endless pots of ginger tea for my wretched, lingering cough. Thanks to Michelle Kane and everyone @4thestatebooks for organising everything. 🙏🙏🖌🖌📙📙📙
Sat 26th October 2019
@nigelslater
The garden has been a welcome distraction this week. The acers on the kitchen roof turned the most glorious shades of amber and scarlet. The spring bulbs have arrived (orange tulips, yellow crocuses and white narcissi) and a hundred and twenty rust coloured wallflower seedlings have just turned up. Much needed new terracotta pots from @whichfordpottery are due to arrive tomorrow and the whole place will soon get its big autumn tidy-up.
Sun 20th October 2019
@nigelslater
📙 💕🌿 GreenFeast Autumn/Winter. Publishing Day. Huge thanks to James Thompson and Jonathan Lovekin, to @tom_kemp_ and @typeasimage and to everyone at @4thestatebooks for all their hard work on this little gem. 🙏🙏 💕🌿📙
Thu 3rd October 2019
@nigelslater
Malvern. Here for 🎭 Toast, which is at @malverntheatres until Saturday and wishing I could spend longer. The hills and bookshops, the tearooms and the mist around the street lamps that, it is said, inspired CS Lewis. Even the station is a gem, with its stopped clock and Lady Foley’s proper fruit cake.
Thu 3rd October 2019
@nigelslater
A thousand thankyous for your heartwarming comments about the new Autumn/Winter edition of GreenFeast. Your kind words are much appreciated. I’ve spent much of the morning pottering in the garden, the soggiest it has been in months. It has now reached the point, as it does every autumn, where I can barely find the kitchen door. Such is the tangle of wisteria, fig branches and the rampant Mme Viennot rose. I do love the garden like this, even though I get soaked just walking up the path with its collapsing dahlias, Japanese anemones and Cornus kousa. I must have swept up two hundred unripe figs from the path today. The garden smells of mushrooms and wine.
Sat 28th September 2019
@nigelslater
There were four plum trees in this little garden: a Czar, Ouillins gage, a damson and a greengage. For various reasons only the greengage still exists. A wilding, I never actually planted it, it’s fruits are difficult to collect without trampling over the beds beneath. I keep it there mostly for its blossom, a creamy white froth that flowers late, usually just as I come back from holiday in late spring. My local organic greengrocers has had a fine collection of plums this year. This crumble was made with some of them. The crumble crust is spiced with cardamom, ground ginger and cinnamon lending a faintly gingerbread tone. Details are on theguardian. com and nigelslater.com under recipes, autumn, puddings.
Sun 22nd September 2019
@nigelslater
So lovely to be back in this beautiful room at @spring_ldn again. Thank you @4thestatebooks and 🙏🙏💕to @skyegyngell and everyone at Spring at Somerset House for looking after us so splendidly tonight. 🧡🧡
Wed 18th September 2019
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