Here's me, standing next to the very lovely Claudia Winkleman (I know!). The occasion was the inaugural Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards and I was shortlisted in the Online Drinks Writer category. Anyway, thing is, I won. Yes, I did. And I'm holding a little F&M silver hamper with my name engraved on the inside. If you look closely you will see that I'm doing that slightly too familiar arm-round-waist thing but I did hold back tears for fear of streaking the you-know-what. I mumbled a few thank you's before heading back to the crowd and a rather large celebratory glass of Champagne, spotting so many familiar (as in off the telly) faces, my jaw was almost permanently on the floor - Mary Berry! Rachel Khoo! Monica Galetti! Yotam Ottolenghi! And there were some familiar voices too, including Nigel Barden, the lovely chap who cooks on Simon Mayo's R2 show, and Sheila Dillon from R4's The Food Programme. I was in awe and had to really concentrate on not invading too many peoples' personal space. But the real star was a lady called Jack Monroe. She was given a special award for her blog, A Girl Called Jack. It's an incredible source of nutritious and thrifty recipes, so good they are being handed out by food banks as examples of how to manage on next to nothing. Properly in awe.
|Instead of kittens. |
Current white in the fridge: Tesco Finest Albarino 2011, £7.99, Tesco
If you've been on holiday in Spain, chances are you will have seen wines by Martin Codax on the shelf of the local supermarket. He's very big over there. Luckily, he also makes stuff for us over here too, and this is really good value for what is essentially one of Spain's smarter white wines. Made from the Albarino grape in the Rias Baixas region in the north, this is peaches and pears in a glass (practically). Refreshingly different, and a great one to have on hand when your mother *looks at mother* turns up on the doorstep to 'help' at bedtime.
Current red in the rack: Renato Ratti Nebbiolo 2010, £13.99, M&S
Sent to me by M&S, this is considerably more than I would spend on a bottle under normal circumstances. But if you were feeding me, I'd go and buy another bottle and bring it round to yours to share. It is everything that I love about Italian red wines: a little bit rustic but with lots of dark cherry fruit. Intense and moody, like those slightly creepy dudes in the D&G ads. Made from the Nebbiolo grape, this is grown in the Langhe region, in Piedmont, the same area that the whopping great Barolo wines come from (also made from Nebbiolo). Baby Barolo, if you like. Make lasagne, and let me know what time you want me.
One more pic. Here's me below with Nigel, after that big glass of Champagne...
My beautiful black silk top and capri trousers were kindly gifted by Winser London. My shoes got cut off in the picture, but they are my best (40th Birthday) shoes. And now my lucky shoes.
Labels: 2010, 2011, albarino, FandM Awards, Italy, Langhe, Marks and Spencer, Nebbiolo, red wine, Rias Baixas, Spain, Tesco, white wine