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Helen Hokin's Pick of the Week

Helen Hokin's Pick of the Week
Years of food and travel writing have brought their challenges: scaling the Andes for ripe avocados; gulping down insects impaled on sticks in Beijing; brewing coffee over the campfire in the Rocky Mountains with real cowboys for company. OK, maybe that last one wasn’t so tough.
For over-indulgence, though, nothing comes close to the time I judged the Best Bed & Breakfast Award for a regional UK Tourist Board. Scouring the region’s B&Bs checking for obligatory kettles in bedrooms, mandatory soap dishes and heated towel rails in bathrooms was one thing, but the day long sampling of countless afternoon teas - the pinnacle of the B&B experience -  in myriad front-rooms is something I’ll never forget. Back-to-back sugary, milky cuppas and endless plates of homemade jam and cream scones, good as they were, were like rocket fuel for the blood sugar. Days later, my heart was still pounding its way out of my chest while I was borderline delirious on some kind of cake-fuelled high. It all came rushing back this week when Foodtripper columnist Craig Butcher told me he wanted to go out and research the best spots for afternoon tea in the capital. I imagine he came home in running shoes not a taxi.

A lazy afternoon tea might easily transition into cocktail hour. Across the Irish Sea in Dublin’s Dylan Hotel Andrew Copestake spent a leisurely few hours in the bar with a signature Bloody Mary and a yearning to end a timeless debate: How to mix the perfect Bloody? A puzzle that raises as many questions as answers, of which my first is: After his third how could he really know?

For armchair foodie travellers our Books section includes a review of the recently published Dolce Vita Diaries; a hilarious account of two Brits’ attempt to ditch the rat race and set up an olive oil business on an Italian grove. It’s a timely book given our current love-affair with artisan food production, not to mention, in these uncertain times, the growing appeal of working closer to nature and getting back to life’s basics.
1 Comments | Add a comment


steve williams
I love your site! Getting back to nature is what life is all about -- please, more about the origins of food!


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