A winter’s day in San Gimignano

It’s a blustery, drizzly, foggy winter’s day. A day that might normally send you straight back to bed to take refuge under the covers, a cup of tea and a pile of good books close by. But we’ve got a lunch date. In San Gimignano. So, fuelled with coffee, we hop on a train from Florence to Poggibonsi where we meet my good friend, Sarah, a San Gimignano local. She runs her family farm, Poggio Alloro, 10 minutes drive from San Gimignano... Read More

The Venice List

There is nothing like Venice covered in fog. The cold, damp air and the threat (or excitement, at least for me) of the water-filled streets of acqua alta. It all makes for a good excuse to escape the cold damp air by popping into a warm bar for a hot chocolate (possibly rum-spiked or topped with whipped cream) or an ombre, a little glass of wine, only to emerge shortly after with flushed cheeks, ready to head to the next bar. It’s why Venice... Read More

Strawberry tree jam (Marmellata di corbezzoli)

I didn’t notice it at first, the skinny tree with dark leaves in our shared garden at our new home in Settignano, in the hills above Florence. I was too taken by the green vines hanging like a curtain over our entrance, keeping the house cool in the humid Florentine summer. But now that it’s autumn and the the leaves still left on the vines have turned a shade of rose champagne, that skinny green tree is sporting bright vermillion fruit,... Read More

A Tuscan Christmas Gathering

Last weekend Giulia and I hosted out first Tuscan Gathering, an excuse to cook and eat and drink for hours and wander the woods or fall asleep in front of the roaring fire, an excuse to get together with friends near and far (and to connect in person, as many ‘friends’ are those that we know only via social media, which happens so often these days). It was an idea inspired by the seasonal gatherings that I’ve seen friends, The... Read More

Hot chocolate you can eat with a spoon

There are perhaps many of you out there right now that aren’t yet in the hot chocolate mood, that are reading this sitting in short sleeves and sandals and thinking no, you’re not ready for hot chocolate. But here in Canberra we’ve just had the coldest August nights in twenty years and are well and truly in the middle of frosty winter. Although I always look forward to the warm weather, I have to admit I’m enjoying embracing... Read More

Little lemon polenta cakes

There’s a lot of baking going on around here these days, you may have noticed it if you’ve been following on instagram. Biscotti, breads, pastries and the like. Ever since talking about our family going wheat-free, I’ve had people ask if any of it is gluten-free and unfortunately the answer is not much, as I’m doing some rather specific recipe testing for a project that will be revealed all too soon! So I thought that I better... Read More

On the hunt: truffle pannacotta

We are smack bang in the middle of the black truffle season over here in Capital Country, where the Canberra Truffle Festival is currently taking place. Naturally, things have been busy over here, with truffle hunting and truffle eating while the short season permits — just look at the haul that was brought in that day! This week, I’m absolutely thrilled to point you over to one of my favourite blogs, Local is Lovely, by the lovely Sophie... Read More

Beans Cooked in a Tuscan Jar

“First you need good beans.” The good advice of Elizabeth David always goes straight to the heart of the matter. We arrived back in Tuscany a week ago for what should be a few good months of family time, visiting friends and research, all peppered with good doses of eating and drinking. No sooner had we arrived at my mother in law’s house, weary from traveling halfway across the globe, did the pantry and kitchen doors open wide in invitation... Read More

Lessons from a Florentine market & Fennel salad

“What are you going to do with those?” Asked an elderly woman eyeing the artichokes I held like a bunch of flowers towards the busy fruttivendolo, waiting my turn to pay. There are many reasons why I prefer shopping at the farmers’ market to shopping at the supermarket, and this is just one of them. Each and every visit to my local market in Florence has always been a learning experience. Particularly when this happens. Fellow market goers... Read More

The truffle hunt

It’s a gorgeous winter’s morning – too gorgeous really to be called winter – for a drive through New South Wales countryside towards Reidsdale, near Braidwood. We pass plenty of paddocks, dotted with resting sheep and cows, a blur of pale yellow ochre under a crisp, bright blue sky. It’s a day for truffle hunting. We’re greeted in Braidwood by Kate Marshall, a Sydney girl turned country. Instantly it feels as though we’re... Read More