I can’t complain. London’s had one of the best and longest summers of recent years, with endless hazy sunshine stretching all through September. Utter bliss! But now it’s about cosying up and hunkering down and for many that means food, friends and family.
Just after London Fashion Week, I went to the launch of Sasha Wilkins’ (aka Liberty London Girl) clever new book, aptly called Friends, Food, Family. It’s full of Sasha’s legendary (if you follow her blog or tweets) comfort food recipes including triple-layer lemon cake, halloumi, avocado and chickpea salad, and fried gnocchi with mozzarella and tomatoes (yes, lots of veggie options).
Full disclosure: I don’t cook. But I do love to look and fantasise about creating these convivial scenarios. And that cake. As it happens, Friends, Food, Family is as much about the informal communal gathering around food as the feast itself. So there are stories and pictures of Sasha’s nearest and dearest alongside the kind of lifestyle lists and how-tos you’ll recognise from her seven-year-old blog. Sasha took most of the photos and tested all the recipes herself (and there are tons of them) so kudos to you Sasha…!
Still on the convivial foodie tip, a couple of weekends ago, I spent a jolly morning at Gail’s Bakery in Exmouth Market,
scarfing sampling the new autumn brunch menu. I don’t do much food blogging on here, so it’s not often I get asked to events like this but the promise of rugelach*, buttermilk blueberry pancakes, shakshuka**, and double cream bacon rolls (I know) was too good to pass up. Even though my brunch date was a no-show, I overcame my social awkwardness and broke freshly baked artisan bread with some fab food and lifestyle bloggers including Girl Lost In The City, Food and Lycra and Plumdidlyumcious.
What Gail’s is great at is creating a relaxed, homely mood. I’m a regular at both my locals in Queens Park and Portobello Road, for informal work meetings and unhurried weekend brunchtimes. Gail’s actually does very good healthy lunches and breakfasts but seriously, the double cream rolls have got to be tried at least once (
*mini ‘laminated’ flaky croissants with almond and chocolate filling
**Baked eggs and feta
Words and images: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl.net