Warning: This post contains pretty sparkly things which you might be tempted to buy. Sorry about that.
Last night I attended a cookery book salon with super-famous blogger Sasha Wilkins of LibertyLondonGirl, at the gorgeous Kate Spade shop in Covent Garden. It was a great chance to catch up with my old friend Jo and have a good gossip, spend too much money on things I really didn’t need but kind of had to have, try some delicious cocktails and canapés, and hear about some great cookery books.
Sasha has just published her own cookbook ‘Friends, Food, Family’ which is one of the few I’ve ever sat and read from cover to cover, outside on a lovely sunny October afternoon after a good session of gardening, with a freshly picked pear and a huge cup of tea. It’s not just recipes, it’s her life in food, with some lovely family anecdotes, many of which were reminiscent of my own childhood, to the point that we also have a random thing for lime jelly, but at Christmas, and nobody can quite remember why, but we think it was my Grandpa’s fault.
The event was a celebration of her book, but so much more. She talked us through a huge pile of her favourite cookbooks (preened from 400 or so in her collection!) and then members of the audience were invited to share their own. My contribution was the Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit, on which I have waxed lyrical before, which is very similar to ‘Friends, Food, Family’ in that it is not just about the food, but about the writer’s experiences with food, and makes for compelling reading. It is also fantastic for those who like to freestyle while cooking, as it contains over 900 inspiring flavour combinations. I recommend both as Christmas presents for any cooks in your life. Sasha will be publishing a list of the books she talked about on her blog over the weekend too – be sure to have a look.
The cocktails and canapés served at the event were made from recipes from Sasha’s book, artichoke purée (heaven for artichoke lovers) and fig and prosciutto both on sourdough were delicious, and the pink grapefruit and vodka cocktail is my new favourite drink, though is so drinkable as to be rather dangerous. I brought along my copy of Friends Food Family which Sasha dutifully signed, and agreed to a photo. I look insanely excited because I am – LibertyLondonGirl is the blog which inspired me to start my own, and I was a little starstruck!
I also got to meet Sasha’s lovely sister Holly, because Jo and I decided to commandeer one of the few spaces on a couch right next to her, because heels. We may have been encouraging of her purchase of an absolutely beautiful winter coat, with the most stunning bow on the back. Sorry about that Holly, but it looks wonderful on you!
Before the event started we had the opportunity to browse in the shop, and with a cheeky discount for the evening, I could not resist some pretty things. The champagne bucket bag below on the left is possibly the most hilarious handbag ever.
I was very good and denied myself a new handbag, even though I am completely in love with the Ivy Place Gabriella in mulled wine (and what better colour for the festive season?). I bought two pairs of earrings in emerald green and tortoiseshell, some lovely goldblocked thank you cards, and the much-coveted Odds and Ends trinket dish.
I’m afraid I was too distracted by cocktails and sparkle to take any good photos of the event, but suffice to say it was all you could possibly hope for on a rainy Thursday November evening in London. Thank you LLG and Kate Spade, and Jo for making it along despite everything conspiring against you!