Today was 16 degrees, so any thoughts of baking are out of the window.
The usual Sunday morning routine of exercise, dog walking, dog hairdressing and washing is all done, and I am outside on the trusty old rocking bench enjoying the sunshine and Earl Grey (that'll be the tea not the local squire)
We got planning permission for the greenhouse/conservatory and I have found one that works perfectly for the shape that it needs to fit.
Since the cottage is so tiny, we do not have any entertaining space, last Summer ended up being a bit of a scorcher, we bar b qued and entertained up to 12 people fairly easily, but I'm feeling a little guilty about the number of dinners that we 'owe' through the colder months as we haven't been able to entertain at home.
Keeping the temperature even is always difficult with t his much glass. The idea for a 'dining conservatory' came from one of my favourite restaurants in Oxford, it started as a fruitier and has seen many incarnations, some good (Raymond Blanc was patron for a while before opening Le Manoir) and some awful, last time we went, we had one cold dish, one 'off' dish and one 'raw' dish, among a table of only 6 diners. Probably the worst food I have ever eaten, but still one of the best locations. We may have to go back just to see how the heating/circulation works, I am loathe to eat anything since the last meal was so terrible, I wonder if I can get away with just going for coffee...
I'll look for inspiration for dishes to serve from a new eatery just outside of Oxford called 'The Milk Shed', perhaps the least auspicious of locations, it is in a pre fab unit on a working farm, the food is incredible. Think Ottelenghi meets good British cooking with farm fresh local produce and you have some idea, for any one visiting Bicester Village, seek it out, it is only minutes away and the difference between what they offer and the mass-produced 'chain' food offered at the shopping mecca is marked. Plus main courses are £7 at their most costly!
All this food is making me hungry, I am gaining pounds fast, no more lazy week days, it is up at 6am and to the gym before work, I have a surge of energy now that the sun is shining.
What are your favourite foodie haunts, do you go for haute cuisine or lowly burgers? I'm done with 'the middle', and erring more and more to simple, basic and fresh.