More from life

How to make elderflower cordial

15 June 2024 9:00 am

I have a complicated relationship with elderflower cordial. I love taking ingredients that have short seasons, preserving and squirrelling them…

The not-so-French roots of chicken cordon bleu

1 June 2024 9:00 am

We all have our quirks when it comes to cooking. I have clear mental blocks over what is and is…

Who will my wife marry next?

1 June 2024 9:00 am

Since I had a brush with death a couple of years ago, I have often wondered who my far younger…

‘Terribly chic’: how to make chouquettes

18 May 2024 9:00 am

I have become obsessed with the French idea of goûter, the time in the afternoon when French schoolchildren have a…

How a hitchhiker gave me a glimpse into my past

18 May 2024 9:00 am

On the mantel shelf of the cave there’s an invitation to my middle daughter’s wedding in August. This happy event…

The real reason I don’t drink

4 May 2024 9:00 am

It’s been 30 years this month since I last touched alcohol and I still can’t face the prospect of a…

How to make ham and parsley sauce

4 May 2024 9:00 am

Poor old parsley sauce. As someone who writes regularly about old-fashioned food, it often feels that we are living through…

How Linzer torte stood the test of time

20 April 2024 9:00 am

Linzer torte has quite the claim to fame: some assert that it’s the oldest cake in the world; others that…

My life of genteel poverty

13 April 2024 9:00 am

Every year at the beginning of April, I tell myself I must top up my Isa before the 5 April…

Tricky but delicious: how to make the perfect pretzels

6 April 2024 9:00 am

My husband is obsessed with pretzels. The joy that a slightly warm, soft baked pretzel brings him is disproportionate. And,…

Under the Italian sun, the insects are stirring

6 April 2024 9:00 am

The sun was setting on the first day of spring and I felt unusually happy as I fed the donkey.…

Confessions of a closeted bourgeois boy

9 March 2024 9:00 am

Recently, I got very stoned. I haven’t been that stoned since I was at Woodstock. Or was it the first…

How I ran away to Italy

2 March 2024 9:00 am

A quarter of a century ago I somehow managed to get out of Paris where I had haunted a cheap…

I’ve finally solved the mystery of the Mayerling Affair

17 February 2024 9:00 am

It was the mother of royal scandalabras, as Walt Winchell might have said, and remains one of the greatest historical…

The handmade suit I’ll never wear

3 February 2024 9:00 am

Someone somewhere must surely have calculated that Bangkok has more doctors and tailors per capita than anywhere on Earth. These…

The beauty – and tragedy – of our nesting swans

13 January 2024 9:00 am

There won’t be any cygnets this year. The cob was on the lake this morning on his own, occasionally slapping…

The wonder of Jon Pertwee and his frilly shirt

6 January 2024 9:00 am

When a friend asked if I wanted anything for Christmas I took a deep breath and replied: ‘Well, maybe I…