Riding a camel near La Pause, some way out of Marrakech, Morocco.
Hello and an apology,
I am so sorry it has been so long since I have written a newsletter but I have been kept very busy with my travels and only arrived back in Australia, direct from London, early on Thursday morning. Now that I’m back, I thought I’d send you a quick update, though I will focus more on my travels and experiences in the coming weeks.
Since I wrote my last newsletter (after I returned from Greece), I am happy to report I spent a fascinating time with a great group in Morocco. The colours, the sights, the flavours and the aromas were extraordinary. Having twice ridden a camel when filming, I always swore I wouldn’t do it again, but, as you can see, I did! I have lots more to share following this great trip… stay tuned.
Riding in single file, each camel tethered to the one in front and each with a cameleer.
International travel is more difficult than it used to be with increased recommended arrival times at airports etc so I built in an additional night ‘just in case’ everywhere I went. Just as well as I arrived in Rabat but my luggage didn’t until the next day as there was a tight flight change in Paris. All good. Also, when I flew out of Casablanca I stayed a night in Rome. This time my luggage arrived with me and I met my friend who was staying in a nunnery near the Vatican. That was a bit of fun, very reasonably priced, with an 11pm curfew. We found a fabulous restaurant not too far away and I ate the Roman classic cacio e pepe (literally cheese and pepper pasta) washed down with excellent Frascati. We then caught a train across Italy to the seaport of Trani in Puglia for three glorious days. It is the most beautiful, unspoiled place and we ate the raw seafood, fresh from the sea washed down with local rose for lunch and had drinks on top of a hotel as the sun set. We were fascinated to find both a Typewriter Museum and a Jewish Museum, both fascinating. then it was only a 40 minute train ride to Bari to the beginning of my Culinary tour in Puglia and Basilicata.
This was another sensational tour with outstanding food and fabulous wine. Another great group including three Canadians, three who live between the UK and Australia and the rest Australian. There is so much more to tell but that will also have to wait for a future newsletter.
Both UNESCO heritage sites. L in Matera and R a happy group in Alberobello.
I took the precaution of over-nighting in Bordeaux (and beware of cab drivers who go by the name of the hotel and NOT the address you give them as there were three hotels of the same name in Bordeaux!) but my luggage had arrived with me which was a blessing. I was also recommended to try a sensational local restaurant, the highly regarded La Tupina where I had excellent food and superb wine by the glass. Next morning I caught a train again, to Lalinde in the Dordogne where I stayed with friends and had a wonderful time revisiting places we had enjoyed so many times before. My first trip to Mallorca did not disappoint, attending Parabere which had a theme of Redefining Leadership. There was an incredible line-up of speakers, the highlight for me being an interview with Michel Bras by Alice Quilett from Ten Belles Bakery in Paris. He is a chef I have followed for a long time and he spoke movingly about the importance of good food and his experience raising the standards in nursing homes in France (like Maggie Beer does here). There was a good contingent from Australia with whom I shared several extra days, and it was wonderful to be in such an environment as Parabere with so many inspiring people from many different countries.
Sorry to be so short but you will find some of the regular items below. You can keep up-to-date with me onFacebookand Instagramor email me with any requests or comments.
Please eat and drink well, travel with your tastebuds if not in person, and be happy and healthy – Lyndey x
On the final day of Parabere with Alice Quillet from Tennes Belles with an enormous celebratory ensaimada, a traditional Mallorcan pastry.
Recipes of the week
PORK STEAKS, QUICK PICKLE, ASPARAGUS & BROAD BEAN SALAD I love asparagus in season so try this. GET MY RECIPE HERE
SUMMER FRUIT GALETTE I am thrilled to return to find mangoes in the shops, so try this wonderfully easy and adaptable dessert. GET MY RECIPE HERE
In the kitchen with Lyndey
Prawns in Cartoccio with Smashed Potatoes – in 1 minute
The printed recipe is here.If you would like to see more of my videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.
Back in London
With wine scribes and communicators Jane Parkinson and Matthew Jukes in Australia House, London. Both were previous International guest judges for the Sydney Royal Wine Show.
It was bittersweet being back in London without John after 2 1/2 years away but it was wonderful to reconnect with friends and family and get back into the swing of London life. One event which hadn’t been held since last time I was in London was the fabulous tasting put on by Matthew Jukes of the 100 Best Australian Wines (available in the UK) at Australia House. This is something he pioneered in 2004. Matthew aims to present a balanced, modern collection of all styles of wine at all price points, representing as many regions as possible. All wines must score well in his tasting and have good availability. Not only does he launch at Australia House (later this year than usual, the first event post-Covid), he then takes a large selection on a global roadshow around the UK as well as China and Australia.
There were wines from big companies and small and some I was particularly pleased to see included were the 2016 Peter Lehman, Masters Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz (£30), Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillon (£51), 2015 Brokenwood ILR Semillon (£58) and a really good showing of riesling, including the well-priced 2021 Dandelion Vineyards, Enchanted Garden of the Eden Valley Riesling (£15), 2022 Henschke, Peggy’s Hill Riesling (£23), 2022 Mount Horrocks, Watervale Riesling (£28), 2019 Jim Barry, The Florita Riesling (£35) and, of course, 2022 Grosset, Polish Hill Riesling (£49). Great to see the value in 2021 Berton Vineyard, Winemakers Reserve Vermentino (£12). Chardonnays were strong too as were some cool-climate pinot noir – from Mornington 2021 Scorpo, Noirein (£25) and 2018 Paringa Estate (£56) and from the Adelaide Hills 2021 Ashton (£28) and 2021 Murdoch Hill (£28). Other value wines included 2019 Chapel Hill, Cabernet Sauvignon (£18), Wirra Wirra, Church Block (£14) and 2020 Teusner, Avatar (£23). The great Australian wines were there too – Arras Blanc de Blancs (£24), 2020 Cullen, Diana Madeline Cabernet blend (£105), Penfold’s St Henri Shiraz (£95) and some wonderful fortified wines. Torbreck was Winery of the Year with tribute being paid to chief Winemaker, Ian Hongell.
I did find London expensive, but it is best to forget exchange rates and just think in pounds. I had some wonderful meals at an old favouriteCora Pearl, named after a 19th Century courtesan who started her career in Covent Garden and ended up as the Queen of Parisian nightlife. Cora Pearl now serves complex comfort food, wine and gorgeous cocktails in an historic Covent Garden townhouse. It is the sister restaurant to Kitty Fisher’s, which I went to soon after it opened several years ago with a food writer friend. It was named after an equally infamous 18th Century courtesan who lived nearby in Shepherd’s Market.
L At Cora Pearl – Brixham Crab Bun, Ham and Cheese Toastie and Devilled Whitebait & Dill Mayo.
R at Bancone, Smoked Potato Ravioli with Burfurd Brown Autumn truffle.
I had my Asian food fix atThe Ivy Asia, St Paul’s, complete with a wonderful view of St Paul’s Cathedral. A new discovery for me (though it has been around for several years) was Banconewhich serves the most amazing fresh pasta, made daily.
Another wonderful evening I was taken by my friend Xanthe Clay, highly regarded Telegraph columnist to the opening of the Velvet BarinCorinthiafollowed by the most amazing degustation atAkoko, complemented by matching wines. I never thought West African cuisine could be so delicate and light yet packing a punch with flavour. It draws inspiration from founder Aji Akokomi’s West African heritage, skifully reinventing family recipes and innovative dishes
There was so much more to enjoy but I have run out of time. I hope this is helpful for those who have contacted me asking for current London recommendations. London is home to some wonderful Indian food and Trishna London did not disappoint, especially as one of out number was vegetarian.
Other memorable experiences included visiting the Hieroglyphics exhibitionat theBritish Museum(book your time slot in advance), then with the Australian Women’s Club a 9 1/2 kilometre ramble around Banstead, Surrey, guided tour of St Paul’s Triforium (528 steps to the ‘attic’ of the cathedral) and a fascinating speaker’s morning with author Robert Wainwright ‘Aussie Sheilas and one Fella’ on books about Dame Nellie Melba, Enid Lindeman, Wheila Chisholm, Muriel Matters and George Ingle finch (father of actor Peter Finch). So much more, but time to close this week ……. the jetlag has kicked in.
L: At Akoko, Smoked Goat, Curd, Cucumber & Yassa Cream, Chicken Mousse WAINA & R: At Trishna front Coconut & Corn Tiki (sweet corn, curry leave, mint & mango murabba, baby corn bhaji & back Paneer Tikka Anardana (cottage cheese, raw mango, mint, corn & pomegranate chaat)