Tart or Pud? The Bakewell Conundrum

There are several mysteries to do with Bakewell, at least two of them down to its most famous sweet treat. Is the world-famous Bakewell Tart the authentic dish or should we be lauding the less well-known Bakewell Pudding? And why does virtually every bakery and tea shop in the town claim to be the first-ever…

Colston Bassett Stilton

The tiny English village of Colston Bassett boasts a ruined Norman church, a market cross, a picturesque country pub – and what some might call the Emperor of the kings of British cheese. Stilton is, perhaps, the most distinguished cheese of all, with its thick yellow crust, sumptuous web of blue veins, crumble-cream texture and rich, piquant…

Maids of Honour

Some say Hampton Court, some say Richmond Palace. You pays your ha’penny and you takes your choice when it comes to legends about Henry VIII’s eating habits, especially when it comes to melt-in-the-mouth pastries dainty enough for a nursery rhyme. The story goes that the king, visiting his queen du jour in her apartments at…

Bordeaux Patrol

Bordeaux is misunderstood. Like an older, mysterious brother, the region so familiar to us both from holidays and supermarket shelves somehow manages to lead an unexpected ‘other life’. We tend to think of its rich, red wines, yet the region’s been producing whites for a thousand years. Bordeaux itself has a reputation for dark, enigmatic…

Chocolate for Men

Damian Allsop’s ‘water ganache’, dispensing with the traditional butter and cream.  The extraordinary exploding chocolates of Gorvett and Stone. The understated elegance of William Curley. Chubby cherubs gallivanting around Rococo’s fabled blue and white cornucopia. In the past few years, a chocolate revolution has burst onto our tastebuds, relegating the old choice – between cheap…