Two lovely little food encounters:

First – London. Lewis and I were at Spitalfields market, wandering and weaving between people and catching up on each other’s lives; we came across a food stall for a new food company called Zayti. On the table were large china dishes with moulded ivy woven around the rim – inside there were middle Eastern salads and spinach pastries, chocolate and Turkish delight brownies and a circle of gorgeous rosewater and pistachio cheesecake. We tried a bit of everything and took some home to eat under the sloping roof of my wee kitchen. The couple who ran Zayti were smiley and very friendly – the lady used to work as a lawyer and had left the profession to follow her passion. “I really admire people who do that” Lewis said to me as we walked away through the market. I wanted to share them with you… Zayti will be back at Spitalfields Market on Sunday 5th June and will be launching on Brick Lane soon – I can’t wait!

Second – Northumberland. I was back up north for a very quick visit this week and since I have left the village, the corner shop has seen a new lease of life: I receive regular phone updates from my parents who tell me they are having a pain au chocolat with their morning coffee, and how the village is full of people carrying brown paper bags under their arms. The shop used to be tired and dusty, closing early when there wasn’t enough customers coming in for their papers, chocolate bars and toasted teacakes. Kris and Dave have completely turned The Running Fox around: every morning the baker makes bread and rolls, cakes, scones and biscuits, the sandwiches have delicious fillings and there is local artwork on the walls. Mum took me down there and we sat outside in the chilly breeze overlooking the Coquet – she poured the tea, hot and milky, and we caught up with each other’s lives. Kerry came and sat with us and it was lovely to see her, talking about knitting, running and the White family around Europe. Afterwards, Mum and I walk over the bridge, throwing the crusts from the bags of stale bread into the water for the ducks. At home, she and I stand by the counter top and talk over slices of sunflower bread, warm and spread with butter.

Writing this I am now hungry!


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