A Very Bombay Lunchbox

Bombay Lunchbox is a compact cookbook, filled to the brim with sweet and savoury tiffin recipes and the sort of photography that makes the reader’s tummy rumble and feet itch. When I received it for review, I was unprepared for how this little book would make me feel once I turned the first few pages. The illustrations…

Where Epic finds that Starbucks is about more than just coffee.

In recent years, I’ve found one of the most efficient conversation starters to be “what do you think of Starbucks?” The opinions fly about as fast as Roadrunner on his sixth triple espresso, and there’s often the feeling that it’s a bit uncool to admit to liking Starbucks, just like when it wasn’t cool to like…

Week In, Week Out by Simon Hopkinson

Simon Hopkinson does not like chestnuts. He avoids honey, and his views on New Zealand’s green-lipped mussels are clear, if harsh: “they are as tasteless as they are unwelcome,” he writes in Week In, Week Out, a collection of his weekly food columns for the Independent, released in paperback this past July. Quirks of the palate…

Don Epicurienne

It’s always a relief to me when Christmas is over. Following all the over-eating, excitable families, pressure to spend, emotional blackmail to eat more, stay longer and be energetic, happy beings, in spite of any work-related year-end exhaustion, I find myself in desperate need of escape. Forget peace on earth and goodwill to men. Few…

Donna Leon at Daunt

It’s no secret that I’m a Venetophile or that I have a mild addiction to all things Venice. Therefore it should come as no surprise that I trooped along to Daunt Books when I heard that bestselling crime writer, Donna Leon would be speaking there as part of their evening talks programme. So what if…

A Package for The Planet (a.k.a. The Monkey’s Uncle)

Some while back, My Friend, The Planet (otherwise known as Planet Ross) sent me his blue monkey. He’s a funny little figurine with a pointy hat that probably has some sort of spiritual significance, but the only spiritual influence he’s had so far in London has been scaring one of my colleagues so much just…

Do not stand at my grave and weep

This is for the people I know who’ve lost close ones in recent weeks, and for all those who know what it feels like to lose someone. WARNING: do not read without kleenex to hand. Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am in a…

1000 Journals

‘The project officially launched in August of 2000, with the release of the first 100 journals in San Francisco. I gave them to friends, and left them at bars, cafes, and on park benches. Shortly thereafter, people began emailing me, asking if they could participate. So I started sending journals to folks, allowing them to…

Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson

This is one of the most unusual travel books I’ve ever come across, written by a Canadian teacher of English as a second language, who decides to follow the appearance of the cherry blossom by hitchhiking from one end of Japan to the other. I haven’t yet finished, but can’t resist sharing a couple of…

La Vie en Rose by Jamie Ivey

Having thoroughly enjoyed Extremely Pale Rosé by Jamie Ivey, I was thrilled to find a sequel to quench my thirst for rosé wine in London’s ever-grey winter. La Vie en Rosé does not disappoint. On this occasion, Jamie and Tanya are trying to forge a French life for themselves by test-driving the concept of a rosé wine…

A Year in the Scheisse by Roger Boyes

Anyone who reads travel literature as often as I do will know that there aren’t that many books written in the English language about the daily life of ex-pats in Germany. Roger Boyes has changed that, although it’s hard to tell whether this is autobiographical, semi-biographical or 100 per cent genuine fiction and Googling the issue hasn’t…