This has been one long, busy summer! I have been lucky enough to celebrate my elder sister’s wedding, my own wedding as well as various friend’s weddings and birthdays. I have been on my honeymoon to Abruzzo, spent time on the French Riviera, enjoyed long weekends on the British coast and in the countryside. Along the way, I have discovered a whole host of songs, brands, books, food and drink. Here share a few highlights with you. Perhaps you will discover something that you will love too.
Little Sheep Love It Too!
While on my honeymoon in Abruzzo, Italy, I enjoyed learning more about grapes that never previously found their way into my fridge; Trebbiano, Nebbiolo, Glera. It was also a treat to discover so many delicious bottles of Montepulciano, the grape Abruzzo is best known for.
In the heat of the hills under our poolside awning, it was the Pecorino grape that was enjoyed the most.
Pecorino is a lesser-known indigenous Italian varietal. Typically it is a balance of fresh, tropical notes, lemon or apricot, with delicate florally and an enticing minerailty. Pecorino light and refreshing yet packed with flavour. The name means ‘little sheep’, since sheep in the area are known to eat the Pecorino grapes - how sweet! Usually the label will feature a lamb or sheep, making it easy to spot a shop shelf.
Enjoyed best with grilled peaches, ripped Burrata, basil, crushed breadsticks and toasted flaked almonds, see picture.
Back in London, I found a great bottle at Jeroboams, Portobello Road, Notting Hill last week: CLICK HERE TO ORDER
Get Nosey with Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries Volume. I
I discovered this book in the farmhouse I was staying in in Abruzzo. It is the first book ever I have finished in a single day. I find Nigel’s writing soothing, easy and honest. In this old and simple book, Nigel takes you through his food choices over one year, diarising in few words, what he chooses to eat that day and where he sources his ingredients.
Each recipe includes a handful of British ingredients that are readily available to all of us. They focus on the sourcing rather than the technique to bring flavour to the table. The book goes with the ebb and flow of the seasons. There are 300 recipes in total. 102 without meat or fish. It could be as simple as mushrooms on sourdough or as exciting as Chicken patties with Rosemary and Pancetta followed by Strawberry Mascarpone Tart and Hot Chocolate Puddings.
Nigel highly values his privacy and focuses his time on entertaining only a select few special people. Something I think we can all relate to.
A Brand That Was Made For Me?
As you know, I love British brands as much as I love the countryside. I also love my shoes. Cue, the extremely smart British bred, Fairfax and Favor. Marcus Fairfax Fountaine and Felix Favor Parker - the two boys behind the business, have seriously smartened up the countryside shoe game. Their ranges look as at home on the Kings Road as they do at Badminton Horse Trials. They are best knows for their elegant knee-high tassel boots, inspired by the Spanish Bota, and their classical range of loafers. Their Hembsy Driving Shoe in navy is at the top of my Christmas wish list! (HINT, family!)
Check this entertaining, high quality and quintessentially English brand out HERE.
The Background To My Summer
Winding down in Villefranche Sur Mer this August, rosé in hand, waves lapping, water glistening and boats bobbing (life is tough), there was no better voice to enjoy than Otis Reading.
Otis was one of the great soul stylists of the 1960s and his music is legendary. Whether cuddled up with a glass of red by the fire this Autumn or enjoying last rays of September sunshine, let Otis be your backing music to allow you to descend into uber relaxation mode.
Favourite song has to be Stand By Me, followed by My Girl. The height of nostalgia.
Pasta is KING
Following on with my seaside summer theme, and considering September in the UK is the final month to eat like you're lunching on the Italian coast. I’m sharing a recipe for Spaghetti Vongole - the dish that I have scoffed the most this summer! Pictured here in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat.
Enjoy this dish with a cold glass of Pecorino or a juicy Viognier with plenty of sourdough to mop up the juice.
Find the best recipe HERE, scrolling to the section titled ‘Perfect Spaghetti Alle Vongole’.
I hope that you find some fun in my September musings.
Rosie Florence x