Food & Wine

Thai curry is just one of those things. If you go to an authentic Thai restaurant and order their staple dish it’s just bursting with flavour and I always love it. I went to a Thai place in Brixton the other day for a friend’s birthday lunch and we all sat outside – yep, that’s right we sat outside in Britain in January. But along came our big bowls of steaming Thai curry and everyone was happy – warmed, satisfied and chipper, if a little numb in our fingers and toes.

Read more…

The Ultimate Thai Green Curry

I’ve never been much of a soup person. Other people always go on about how great it is, how easy to make and how delicious it can be. Maybe it’s because I used to eat those Covent Garden soups from the supermarket which are bulked out with butter and cream – and that’s all they taste of to me. Soup from the supermarket, especially Tesco own or even Sainsbury’s own, just doesn’t cut it one bit. And they all seem to have funny, artificial, unidentifiable ingredients, just like almost everything else on the shelves. I’m also really not a fan of boiled vegetables or watery soup (keep broth away from me) – for me it has to be thick, creamy and tasty to the max.

Read more…


Who can resist this charming Southern Italian region? Be it the sea, the sand, the sun, the food or the wine, in Puglia, you name it, you get it!

Having a Mediterranean climate, little annual rainfall and the fertile soil, Puglia is heaven for farmers and wine growers and paradise for wine lovers. What’s better, the natural condition makes it easy for farmers to practice organic agriculture.

I visited a few wine estates in southern Puglia last year and was hugely impressed by the organic practices many have adopted and the modern interpretations of the local native grapes: Negroamaro, Primitivo, Susumaniello, Malvasia Nero, to name just a few. One of those traditional wineries with a modern twist is Masseria Li Veli  

Read more…


With the festive season approaching, our Wine Correspondent Leona De Pasquale explores why Gigondas wines can be something that spice up your Christmas dinner table.


“The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

before the Lord of all the earth.” (Psalm 97:5).

Welcome to Gigondas!  Perched on the foothills of the famous Dentelles de Montmirail, it is arguably one of the most pretty wine villages in France.  For long, Gigondas wines have been seen as an alternative to Châteauneuf-du-Pape with equally good quality but offering much better value for money.  But in fact, the two appellations are quite distinct in terms of terroir.

Read more…

Gigondas Village

I  am delighted to introduce the youngest member of our editorial team, Tasha Gartside, who will be writing a regular monthly ‘column’ about the joys and benefits of Vegetarian food, which will be of great interest for many of our readers who are long standing Vegetarians, and others who are more recent ‘converts’ to the Vegetarian life-style, but all of whom believe that a large part of our health and general well-being is determined by what we eat and how we obtain it, i.e. whether we grow it or buy it.

Whether you are a Vegetarian or not, one has to acknowledge that the agricultural practices of the western world are designed to produce meat in huge quantities using unsustainable methods. This is one of, if not the biggest challenge facing mankind, and one of the most difficult to address, but the vegetarians are already halfway there and the future of our beautiful, but fragile planet depends entirely on sustainability in farming and changing our eating habits.

Read more…


On Wednesday night, (27th August) nearly 100 locals turned out to support The Thomas Lord in West Meon as it celebrated the launch of Hampshire cookbook, Meats, Eats, Drinks and Leaves, and raised over £3,000 for Hampshire-based charity The Pelican Cancer Foundation.

The book, which features recipes from The Thomas Lord Head Chef, Fran Joyce celebrates the diversity and excellence of food and produce in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and the evening reflected this theme.

Read more…

Meats, Eats, Drinks & Leaves Cookbook

I had heard this many times: “In Basque country, you eat and drink very well.”  To put this to the test, I packed my bag in mid June and headed to San Sebastián in Northern Spain.

Before my departure, I did have my doubts.  Because of Vinexpo, which happens every two years in June in Bordeaux, I had been frequently travelling to this part of Europe during this period of time.  But I didn’t have any luck in visiting the coastal cities by the Atlantic Ocean without a rain jacket; it had always been very wet and windy.  However, it all changed this time; the weather was perfect when I arrived in San Sebastián. No rain, not even a drop during my entire stay!

Read more…


Located in the south-eastern part of Italy, Puglia (or Apulia) is an undiscovered gem for wine lovers. The name Puglia originates from the Roman “a-pluvia,” which means “lack of rain,” and this is a region with a very long history of civilisation dating back to the 8th century BC, when the Messapians arrived here.  Beautiful coastline, ever-presenting sunshine, clear blue sky and abundant wine, Puglia is ideal for wine lovers; no wonder in 2013, Wine Spectator nominated Puglia as one of the 10 best wine travel destinations in the world.

Read more…

It is possible to drive from Winchester to Chagford, on the edge of Dartmoor in two hours, but the final few miles to Gidleigh Park hotel can take another half an hour if you make the same mistake we did of relying on SatNav to take us to our destination!

Do not make the same mistake. Follow the instructions which the hotel give you, and you will avoid a veritable ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ of the ludicrously narrow lanes in this part of Devon, and the ire of your wife, or partner, and any passengers.

Read more…

Gidleigh park Chagford Devon

An introduction by Robert Jarman

I have known Sarah Willes, since before she started BLUES AGENCY in 1978, and can confirm that she has always taken her cooking very seriously, and takes a great personal pride in everything she does, so it is no surprise to me that her Agency is still thriving 36 years later, and her client list reads like a Who’s Who of the West End, and the City.

Read more…