takings from T.S. Eliot’s, Little Gidding

chère douce Paris, je reviendrai un jour



We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.


What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make and end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.

For last words belong to last years language

And next years words await another voice.


But the passage now presents no hindrance

To the spirit unappeased and peregrine.

Between two worlds become much like each other.

So i find words i never thought to speak.

Slow roasted chicken with silky potatoes green beans and veloutè sauce


we ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other

Earnest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast


IMG_2962Restaurant Polidor 41 rue monsieur Le prince 75006 ParisIMG_2961Polidor restaurant featured in Woody Allen’s, Midnight in Paris 2011IMG_2876

We dined here three time during our four night stay, at this wonderfully humble restruant famous for Hemingway. I ordered the same meal twice not for any other reason than to simply indulge my senses once more in the simplicity of this succulent dish, suprême de poulet veloutè de morilles,purèe. ‘superbe’

IMG_5586 IMG_5575 IMG_5565 IMG_5566 IMG_5569 IMG_5563

 Slow roasted chicken with silky potatoes and green beans with veloutè sauce

Ingredients for the chicken: 4 large pieces of free-range Maryland chicken,1 litre chicken stock, 3 continental parsley stalks, 2 cloves of garlic, cracked pepper

Method: place all the chicken into a deep baking dish, they can rest on top of each other. lay the parsley over the chicken, add the garlic whole to the baking dish, lightly season with the cracked pepper and then pour in the stock. Cover tightly with foil the entire top of the baking dish to keep all the steam contained. Set the oven at 180°C and slow roast for 2 hours. Check the chicken after approximately an hour and ladle the stock over the chicken sitting out of the stock, recover with the foil and continue roasting. Meanwhile prepare the veloutè.


ingredients for the veloutè sauce: 100grams butter,100grams flour,1litre chicken stock

Method:In a saucepan gently melt the butter without letting it colour. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once and stir to combine. Place the pan back on the heat and cook over a gentle heat to a lightly fawn colour. Allow to cool. Bring the stock to the boil. Add the stock to the roux (flour mix) slowly over the heat, beating in well and allow to thicken before adding the next ladle. Bring to the boil, adjust heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

ingredients for the potatoes: 6 large desiree potatoes peeled and chopped,50grams butter, 250mls cream, salt to taste

method: In a pot of boiling water add the peeled and chopped potatos, boil on a rapid heat until cooked through then strain and return to the pot, mash well until there are no lumps . In another saucepan gently heat the butter until melted and add the cream cook until warmed through then add the mix to the potatoes. With a cake spatula and over a gentle heat work the cream through the potatoes until silky smooth.

Next, boil the string beans for a few minutes, ladle the veloutè into wide bowls add a large scoop of the potato and place a piece of the chicken on top finally drain the beans lightly drizzle in olive oil and season then place a few onto the chicken. Serve.

sacred spaces

Religion is, as I say, something universal and something human, and something impossible to eradicate, nor would I want to eradicate it. I am a religious person, although I am not a believer.

Philip Pullman



These pictures were taken from a few of the many breathtakingly beautiful churches around Italy.  I always love the feeling that becomes present when you first step through the doors into these places, and take the moment to really see, what it is that is surrounding you. Religious or not, believer  or non, really it doesn’t matter or is of concern. You are welcome into the divinity of these walls that have been standing for the test of time. They have heard and hold deep within the deepest of secrets, immeasurable stories and prayers to  ever be recounted. These places are sacred, not only by vertue of religious believers but by their very presence and the silence they keep on all that has ever been confided. It is here, that it is for ever memorable that I light a candle for the passing of my mum’s dearest friend, Ruth.