I feel like I’ve spent the six weeks since my last column writing menus – and it’s been fascinating.
There is so much good food coming into the kitchen right now – our forager has been picking girolles by the basketful, tomatoes are finely coming through in Northumberland, sea bream is at its best right now, and courgette flowers, fennel and every kind of bean imaginable are all featuring heavily.
We’ve also been working with some meadowsweet for the first time. It’s an amazing herb which has this sweet, almost medicinal, taste. So far we’ve used it with salmon which is superb and it’s great with chocolate too.
The excitement in the kitchen is being matched at home too – I have built my own beer garden!
It’s inspired by The Vic in Low Fell, just round the corner from our house, and is complete with astroturf, some expertly spray painted furniture which Laura and I upcycled, a grill and chiminea, and Thomas’ play kitchen. It’s an awesome little spot and I’ll hopefully get a few more afternoons out there before winter sets in properly.
Apart from that, there hasn’t been much time for a lot.
We’re off to see The Rolling Stones in Amsterdam in September – the final band on my ultimate gigs bucket list and a biggie. We’ll also be heading off to Rhodes for a family holiday, which I can’t wait for. It’s been a long time since I lay on a beach and didn’t have my phone switched on!
After that, I’m going to get training for the 2018 Great North Run (I’ve committed to it now it’s in print!). It shouldn’t take too long to get into shape and I’ll be raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance, a cause really close to us, so I need to put the training in. Wish me luck.