Spring resolutions

LONDON, UK – I resolve to cook and bake more this year. Since living in London I’ve bought a number of cookbooks and yet I still buy ready meals. I used to spend a lot more time in the kitchen, but I guess I just got lazy.

Cook book collage1

Now, instead of just page turning and admiring the photos, I’m going to focus on three books that I plan to use to sharpen my kitchen skills:

Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth by Gizzi Erskine (she owns the fabulous cafe by Columbia Road)

Jamie’s Great Britain by Jamie Oliver and

Taco’s, Quesadillas and Burritos by Laura Washburn.

WARNING: I bought Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth from Anthropologie for ¬£20. BIG mistake. It’s available on Amazon for ¬£8.

I want to bake a cake first…I’ve already bought the 9″ cake pans. So I’m getting excited. Can you recommend any cook books?


LONDON – It’s true. Bookshops are on the decline and there’s not much we can really do about it as modern technology takes over our lives. It sort of makes me sad, but to tell you the truth, I am thisclose to purchasing a kindle because it’s a much better fit in your handbag and lighter to carry around. I’ll succumb soon enough.

But before I do, I still love to wander into bookshops and I have a few that I want to recommend. But today I’ll just highlight this one on Cheapside called Daunt books. It’s actually a small franchise here in London but I head over to the one in Cheapside as it’s nearest to me.

For me a good bookshop needs to have interesting variety and knowledgeable sales staff. I’ve often wandered into this book shop with a query and had it resolved quickly. So they always get return business from me.

I find that their windows are filled with pop culture books that are more plot driven (Think the Hunger Games) than character-driven stories, which sell less well. But if you’re a book snob, like me, just head downstairs.

Here you’ll find a lot of the classics, old and modern, and more quality-written literature. I’ve purchased several books after spending a lot of time here and although it’s underground, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic¬†in the least. Now I don’t personally like the ‘so-quiet-you-can-hear-a-pin-drop silence’ of libraries, but then I don’t like a book shop to be so loud that you can’t think. Daunt seems to get it right. There are a few low-key conversations taking place here and there, but you can also find a small corner to just think a bit deeper as you turn the pages of an interesting book.

Although I’ve never purchased travel books, they do seem to have a lot of variety here, and they also have a lot of cookery books too. I still want to get Jamie Oliver’s USA cookery book as well as a British baking book. Maybe something like the ‘Bake for Britain’ book below, or the Hummingbird Cafe baking book would be good choices.

If you do have the chance, do stop by this book shop. You’ll be glad you did.

What’s the next book you want to buy?