Book Readings

Agnes Jekyll (1860-1937) was the supreme hostess: her house was described as "the apogee of opulent comfort and order without grandeur, smelling of pot-pouri, furniture polish and wood smoke". Lady Jekyll, as she became, first published Kitchen Essays in The Times, "in which she was persuaded to pass on some of the wit and wisdom of her rare gift for clever and imaginative housekeeping".  Helen Garlick reads a few of her favourite extracts...

Cover image of Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules

Olia Hercules has single-handedly put Ukrainian cuisine on the gastronomy list. She reads three extracts from her latest Book, Summer Kitchens: Recipes and Reminiscences from Every Corner of Ukraine.

Cladia Roden: Med … couscous image

Allegra McEvedy reads some of her favourite extracts from Claudia Roden’s latest book, Med.

My Place at the Table cover

When a friend told Alec Lobrano about an editorial job at “Women’s Wear Daily” in Paris, he went for it, even though he knew little about fashion. But it took him to Paris, where he had always wanted to live, and in Paris he began to learn about French food …

Old image of the Taj Mahal

While clearing out the attic of her mother’s house, Bryony Hill came across a box full of documents relating to her ancestors' lives in India from 1818 onwards. The result of the find was two books: Scotland to Shalimar – a Family’s Life in India, in which she recounts the aspects of their lives in India in the 19th Century; and An Indian Table concerning the foods that they ate.

Mediaeval dairy-maid milking cow

Ned Palmer reads three extracts from his A Cheesemonger's History of the British Isles.

Edward Trencom has bumbled through life, relying on his trusty nose to turn the family cheese shop into the most celebrated fromagerie in England. But his world is turned upside down when he stumbles across a crate of family papers. To his horror, Edward discovers that nine previous generations of his family have come to sticky ends because of their noses. Giles Milton, the author, has chosen two passages to read from this, his first novel.

Mrs Cromwell's Cookbook

Mrs Cromwell's Cookbook was published in 1664, long after the "Commonwealth" under Oliver Cromwell, with an intention to discredit the Cromwells as having been unsuited to run the country.