December Already

With four mentees and one of our fabulous mentors, chef Naomi Lowry, at TAFE.


As you might imagine, I hit the ground running since my return from a long time away. I usually have a few days in Singapore on my way home but as my daughter and family were still in London, I flew straight through and the jet lag has hit me. It has been wonderful though, to catch up with family and friends, and get back to regular pilates, walking and gym workouts at the fabulous Avalon House ladies’ gym. And now it is December!

It is such a busy time of year, so only four of the mentees from the Tasting Success mentoring programme I co-founded in 2007 were able to make our end-of-year celebration at TAFE in Ultimo. Also, only one mentor was able to make it but it was inspiring to talk with these women, hear their enthusiasm for the programme and what a difference it has made to their development in hospitality. It made me very proud.

I have already shared some Christmas recipes, tips and tricks on social media so here are some links in case you missed it : my Mum’s famous Christmas cake, Memorable Entertaining without a Meltdown and Aperol & Red Grapefruit Cocktail. 
I’ll be sure to include some others in my newsletters running up to Christmas and I am happy to answer specific questions and requests if you have them.

It’s also worth mentioning that I have been posting a newish series of videos on Reels on Instagram entitled Fun with Wine. I hope to share with you my love, knowledge and experience and also make the process of buying and drinking wine a lot more enjoyable. There is really so much to know when it comes to wine and it can be overwhelming, so I will be focusing on specific topics and making the whole thing much more approachable. Hopefully, next time you’re at the bottle shop or in a restaurant, you can have the confidence to try something new. Remember you are your own expert and there is only the wine you like and the wine you don’t like – but understanding why you feel that way can make it more fun and easier to choose.? You can see the first one here.

My Mum’s ever-popular Christmas cake.

There’s a new issue of Selector Magazine out (November/December) in which I created a feature on chicken. It covers everything from cutting up a whole bird, to using it with flavours from different cuisines. If you have a smaller number for Christmas, you might want to try my Christmas Roast Chicken with Mustard Fruits. There’s also a story I wrote on beautiful Coffin Bay. It’s worth seeking out a copy at selected newsagents.

Christmas Roast Chicken with Mustard Fruits.

As Australia and the Southern Hemisphere welcomes summer and hopes for good weather, the Northern is going into winter but there are such joys in that. The Christmas lights in London are something to behold and I love being there at that time of year.

With my family on a very cold, wet but fun day in Covent Garden.

I’m sending this a day early, so let me know if you prefer Thursday or Friday to recieved this?

Remember you can keep up-to-date with me on Facebook and Instagram or email me with any requests or comments. 

Please eat and drink well, enjoy it all, and be happy and healthy – Lyndey x

The glorious twinkling Christmas lights of Regent Street, London.

Recipes of the week


An easy and delicious accompaniment
to brunch, lunch or dinner.


I love the simplicity of perfectly poached fruit. You can also turn the poaching liquid into an incredible granita.

In the kitchen with Lyndey


Chocolate Pretzel Marshmallow Slice – in 1 minute

The printed recipe is here. If you would like to see more of my videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

Comfort Food for Grief

Spiced Apple & Raspberry Slice.

Some months ago I met journalist Margaret Rice when she interviewed me for a piece about fitness for the over 50s. I liked her professionalism and there was immediately a strong connection when she told me about her helpful website Good Grief, which is aimed at facilitating conversation and providing resources for grief management and end-of-life discussion. It’s also a place to seek relief, comfort and wisdom from those who’ve experienced it.

Together we came up with the concept of ‘Comfort Food for Grief’ – wholesome ideas for special foods to comfort you or those you love, during difficult emotional times. When my son died unexpectedly after only three days, I clearly remember a friend bringing around some food for us. It was so appropriate and appreciated. Food speaks a language beyond words and also offers practical help. Sometimes we just don’t know what to say to someone who is suffering but offering food is one of the most powerful ways we can reach someone. Home-cooked food comes from the heart. It’s an offering from the cook to whomever they cook it for and when someone is bereaved, this goes to a whole other level and can speak a thousand words, without putting any pressure on the recipient to do anything other than receive, and be nourished by the thought.

Comfort food for grief needs to be nourishing and nurturing, like a hug when your loved one is no longer there to give it to you. It needs to be simple and uncomplicated. Easy to heat up, easy to eat and easy to understand when so much else in life is so baffling. Or it could be a simple cake or slice so there is something to offer to friends and family who drop in.

You can find our first two articles and recipes (including the Apple & Raspberry slice pictured above) from the series here.

Book Review

With holidays coming up and Christmas gifts to buy, here is a book worth considering. Ben Groundwater is a professional and prolific travel writer and a good bloke (if I am allowed to say that?). I’m grateful the book is softcover because it has so much information, otherwise, it would be too heavy to carry.

To say it is comprehensive is an understatement. 30 regions are covered in a clear, easy-to-read design. Perfect for flicking through or reading more deeply. Divided into states or territories and regions, there are perfect ‘at a glance’ days to spend in each for those short on time. Wineries are featured along with a list of festivals to assist with seasonal planning. It begins with advice on how to visit a winery, a glossary of terms, how to taste beer and a beginner’s guide to Australian spirits, all broken up with great images. It also has a good index. Great value at $45.

Wine of the Week

Regular readers know how loyal I am to Australian wine. However, it was great fun in Europe to drink European wines and I relished the change.  Most especially with red wines as I don’t enjoy heavy reds anymore. I drank some wonderful Italian, French and Spanish wines. I found myself often ordering barbera. On my return I was pleased to look at the latest releases of Longview, a winery which continues to evolve in both wine making and packaging and Longview Jupiter Barbera 2020 comes from the Adelaide Hills with flavours of raspberry, a black tea savouriness, supple tannins and a cleansing acidity. At $40 not cheap but a lovely wine.