July 14th - le quatorze juillet - is an important public holiday in France. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the beginning of the French Revolution. Despite its bloodthirsty connotations, it’s now seen as a family day, an opportunity for a picnic or an out-of-doors lunch and provides a good excuse - as if we needed one - for Francophiles to celebrate.
One of the highlights of my trip to Australia a couple of years ago to celebrate the World’s 50 Best restaurant awards was lunch at one of their best known cookery writers Lyndey Milan’s in Sydney
Although the blossom is out it still feels a bit nippy at night so here's a light lunch to enjoy with a couple of friends that has a touch of spring about it but still includes a warming stew.
If you're planning ahead for Easter weekend and don't fancy doing the traditional big Easter Day lunch how about a brunch instead? Here's my menu for this time of year ...
It’s a tribute to the sheer joie-de-vivre of the Irish that we regard St Patrick’s Day with much more enthusiasm than St George’s, St Andrew’s or St David’s Days (the patron saints for England, Scotland and Wales for those of you who aren’t into your saints). So your friends are going to be more than pleased to be invited to celebrate it with you.
If you’re planning a Pancake Day celebration for Tuesday and haven’t yet decided what to drink here are few ideas.
Given the runaway success of Big Apple Hot Dogs and Bubbledogs - London’s smash hit champagne and hot dog restaurant, it can only be a matter of time before you can pick up a dog on your local high street. But in the meantime you can throw your own hot dog party in if you follow these tips from my book Sausage and Mash
Whatever you get up to on Valentine’s night (and truly, I’d rather not know) my guess is you’ve got better things to do than spend it slaving over a hot stove. So this is an unashamed cheat’s menu from the archives for you to romance your loved one with the absolute minimum of effort.
The Chinese New Year, which starts on February 1st, is one of those annual events that really captures the imagination. It is celebrated in such a colourful and joyous way and Chinese food is so delicious, quick and simple to make that I hope you won't be able to resist having a go at it, inauthentic though it absolutely is.
Haggis may be traditional fare for Burns' Night but let's face it, it's not everyone's cup of tea. So here's a Scottish inspired menu that I suspect you'll probably enjoy rather more (unless you're born and bred Scots, of course...)
Even if you don’t go out wassailing over the next couple of weeks there’s no reason why you can’t throw an impromptu wassail party at home if you have an apple tree in your garden. Or even if you don’t . . .
Advertising feature: If you or members of your family or friends don’t drink how does that affect the kind of food you serve at holiday get-togethers and parties? The answer, happily, is not at all if you opt for high quality alcohol-free spirits.
Mulled wine is a seasonal staple but although it's easy to make it's also easy to spoil. Here are my top tips for getting it right
If you’re planning a meal to celebrate Diwali this week here are two traditional drinks to accompany the feast.
With Hallowe'en just a few days away here's a sophisticated supper for those of you who don't have to go out trick or treating . . .
Advertising feature: What wine would you pair with a cheeseboard? Red, I’m guessing, or maybe a port? But stop for a minute and think because it’s not just one cheese we’re talking about but three or four at least, which may range from a delicate goats cheese to a pokey blue.
Advertising feature: Cava might not be the first bottle you’d think of taking to or serving at a barbecue but if you think of it simply as a meal cooked over fire rather than under the grill or in the oven why not? And being an exceptionally food-friendly wine it will sail through.
In most households men are in charge of the barbecue but there’s a small but influential band of women moving onto their territory and transforming the way we think about grilling