Monday, 28 March 2011

Romantic mystery tour


Since May last year I have worked non-stop to write Prepped. When I say non-stop I actually mean non-stop. Days, evenings, mornings, weekends, through the night and without sounding like I am complaining, it’s been hard work. Whist still doing the usual work for the our family computer business!

For anybody thinking of writing a cookery book I advise not to underestimate the amount of work it involves! In those moments when I haven’t been working the time has been consumed entirety by the needs of others. ( 3 children !)

It's been fun, and hugely rewarding for creating something but trust me when I say it's not been easy. Now Prepped is in its final stages of proof reading by Lea Harris, Alethea Hill, Fleur my sister and Cathinka one of my closest friends - as well as my editor Jamie Ambrose and publisher Nikki Read and I’ve seen the layout - it looks beautiful, and practical and I’m finally going to get some sleep!

The clocks went forward ( thank you Mozarts girl!) at the weekend and the sun came out. I feel that life is getting back to pre writing Prepped - back to being normal. The spring is here and there is the promises of picnics, parties, barbeques and time spent with friends and family – it's time to start living the reality of being Prepped again. I am so excited at what holds in the next few months.. has it been worth it ? I think so .. but we shall see what people make to Prepped soon enough !

Well, my husband has had the best and the worst of me writing recipes book for the past year and supported me throughout. He’s tasted all recipes, often twice over, and put up with late nights early mornings and me working every spare minute. With the demands of three children, keeping a house, meeting the deadlines for writing a recipe book, having a Radio show and a weekly newspaper column have been high. But I did I hit all my deadlines and I am out the other side.

So this weekend saw the beginning of British Summertime and I glimpsed the summer to come. My heart skitters along with the lambs thinking of what is to come, and it was time to spend alone time with my husband. - It's shocking to think that I haven’t been away for 9 years alone with my husband … yes, we’ve had family holidays and family weddings, but not actually been alone. So when a friend offered to have the children for a night we just jumped at the chance. Well jumped is a little slow… we pounced actually!

I was told to pack my things and get ready to have a foodie gourmet mystery tour. To have shoes packed for outside for the daytime and a dress to be in a posh restaurant in the evening. He would give me no further information. As we set off and I was practically coming out in a rash at not knowing where we were going.

It’s easier to share the day in photo’s so rather than write reams but it was perhaps the most romantic day I have had in 10 years. I felt young and free and in love. It’s amazing what 24 hours of alone time with your partner can do for your relationship.

I hgave another more in depth blog post to write about Bibury Trout Farm and Deddington Farmers market.. but here is a taste of my mystery foodie tour!

First stop Trout Fishing at Bibury.

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Second Stop TheAbbey at Malmesbury


Third Stop a picnic at the Royal Crescent in Bath


Fourth Stop Hotel The Bath Spa where we played about in the Thermal spa and and pool before having our evening meal



Home stopping at Deddington Market to buy the trout & Cheese, bread, cakes on the way home.

We’re not gong to wait another 9 years!




  1. That's so sweet! Glad you had such a good time!

  2. It all looks wonderful Vanessa! So glad you had some lovely romantic alone time makes the world of difference, I so agree! happy week to you xx R ps - pedantic I kbnow, but I'm hopinbg that in actual fact your clocks went forward with the rest of us!!!

  3. wow... lucky lady!... but you deserve it, they say writing is a lonely art, so good for you... and all that yummy stuff... very jealous!

  4. My partner and I went away together last October for the first time in 8 years. We were lucky enough to have my parents staying and we got away for 4 whole days. We went to the Piedmont. It was amazing. And we said the same thing - we're not waiting another 8 years before we do this again! Glad you had a fab time - it's amazing how even a short time away can be so refreshing.

  5. Looks lovely, I'm really looking forward to your book, how exciting that it's already being proof read. Jude

  6. Ahh, I love Bath! I don't think anywhere in this country can pull of such elegance like the history in that little place.

    Also, I wanted to say, I found your story very inspiring. Too often I find myself wishing someone would convince me to give up my day job.

    Blue Skies,
    Charlotte xo

    p.s. I am with you on the subject of Sophie Dahl, but I am very jealous of her kitchen full of copper pans and le creuset dishes

  7. What a lovely break! We live five minutes from the Bibury trout farm - such a pretty spot! We took my nephew there recently and he caught his first fish - much excitement all round.
    Bath is so lovely too - that breakfast looks pretty amazing!


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.