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petersham nurseries, richmond

as many of you will know, i am a huge fan of skye gyngell’s book a year in my kitchen. she cooks at petersham nurseries in richmond but as the restaurant is only open at lunchtimes it has taken me a while to get there and try her cooking for myself.

the setting is wonderful – we walked along the river from richmond station and then explored the garden centre which is very like a secret walled garden with plants piled up on tables and tumbling into the earth pathways, before presenting ourselves at the greenhouse which houses the restaurant seating area.

the walls of the greenhouse’s old-fashioned structure is lined with carpets and rugs which help keep the heat in on cold wintery days. the floor is earthen, tables and furniture are simple and mismatched and the plants, fruit trees and flowers scattered around the place create a magical feeling (look at these lovely photos).

the menu is short – a choice of five dishes for each course – which is helpful as so many of them sound wonderful and we all struggled to make our choices.

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daring bakers: perfect party cake


it’s time for this month’s daring bakers challenge - dorie greenspan’s perfect party cake, as chosen by morven from food art and random thoughts.

this is a recipe for a white cake and a hot meringue buttercream which dorie (nope, i’ve no idea who she is either) claims is the perfect party cake, given it’s versatile and easy-going nature. we were given the option to customise our cake (check out the full list of daring bakers to see what people chose) but i decided to stick with a lemon flavoured cake and icing with a jam filling.

so, how did i get on?

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monthly mingle - spring fruit sensations - reminder


one week to go which is plenty of time to share your fruity recipes with me!

have a look at my previous post to get the full details. i look forward to seeing what you come up with!


tomato and goat’s cheese dipping sauce


so, if you’ve made skye gyngell’s roasted vegetables with goat’s cheese and smashed tomatoes you may have some of the wonderful tomatoey dressing left. hopefully you’ll also have some goat’s cheese left too. beat the two together and you’ll have a perfect dipping sauce for purple sprouting broccoli. or, some unseasonal imported asparagus - naughty, i know, but i couldn’t resist.


vanilla roasted rhubarb


rhubarb is an absolute favourite of mine. i love the tangy flavour and always get ridiculously excited when it is season.

however, rhubarb brings out a frugality in me, which i am always surprised by. the beautiful pale pink forced rhubarb is always priced at a level which makes me wince - £3 for a mere untrimmed 400g which, once it is cooked, is only just enough for 2 portions.

still, there are some things in life which are too beautiful to resist, and as it has been many a month since i bought pretty shoes or a gorgeous handbag, i think a bundle of rhubarb is deserved.

don't forget to share your favourite fruit recipes with me, for the spring fruit sensations monthly mingle!

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