Sunday, October 31, 2010

Willie's Tartufo

Saturday morning visitors to Bentalls basement food hall, in Kingston-upon-Thames, were in for an indulgent treat, yesterday.  Charming chocolate hero, Willie Harcourt-Cooze, popped-in to sign his latest tome. Before the signing, he enticingly created a surprisingly simple but deliciously rich and  impressive dessert (in the space of ten brief minutes).  Using his Columbian Black Santander Superior 100% cacao block - along with water, sugar and lashings of cream - he speedily produced an elegant 'loaf' of divinely silken tartufo.

Even though I'm not a fan of cream, I was fortunate to taste a generous tartufo sliver and found it to be absolutely gorgeous - if a curious item for Saturday morning brunch-time! I also experienced a few shavings of Willie's brilliant Javan Light Breaking 70% cacao bar - with its discernible caramel notes - mmm-mmm - highly recommended...

Photo credit: - Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Views from the Bridge

It's been a blissfully bright weekend in London (most of the time), although with a very chill wind, today.  That didn't stop me from getting out and enjoying the river.  Waterloo Bridge has a new place in my affections - the views are magnificent - it's become my bridge of choice, when venturing out of Waterloo (instead of my old favourite - Hungerford).  The views are breathtakingly bewitching.  Can you spot the dome of St Paul's, top left?  That was on Saturday afternoon...
Today, was closer to home, towards Kingston Bridge.  I was intrigued by the pristine white, cute cloud shape, poking-out, (top centre) and by the beautiful light.  You probably had to be there to appreciate its curious 'teddy-bear-head' formation...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gambon in Krapp's Last Tape

Covent Garden's diminutive Duchess Theatre is currently home to the Gate Theatre (Dublin) production of Beckett's 1958 one-man piece.  Written as a vehicle for Patrick Macnee, the 50-minute performance opens in protracted silence - with Krapp seated, head-in-hands, bent over his desk, in the dark.  Minutes ensue, until eventually, he stirs and we begin to learn a little about him, by way of his penchant for bananas - with some hilarity. 

Appetite satisfied, Krapp starts to reflect on his life - largely via his recorded voice - on tapes he made thirty years back, as a 39-year-old.  Poignancy predominates, suffused with humour, as he toys, not just with bananas, but with the resonance of words: spoooool...

Shortly, Krapp dips into his baser cravings; despite saying that he wouldn't want those years back, he returns - repeatedly - to a significant encounter: "my face in her breasts, my hands on her" and dwells on "the beauty of her eyes".  Although, as an audience, we don't uncover the finer detail as to why it didn't endure, we understand that his dalliances took on a less than wholesome and happy turn when he refers to his later entanglements with "Fanny, bony old ghost of a whore".

Sir Michael Gambon is completely captivating, totally involving as sadly reflective, limping Krapp in his lonely birthday reflections.  The piece remained with me, and my companion, for many thought-provoking moments and hours.  Brilliant Beckett, stellar Gambon, great production.

It runs at the Duchess Theatre, Catherine Street, WC2, until November 20th.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Colours of Autumn

Back from my brief(-ish) absence - yay - to celebrate some of the glorious autumnal colours, in spite of the fact that I'm a fan of an extended summer!  The first pic shows the beautiful amelanchier, displaying its warm seasonal hues, at the back of my garden.
I relished a glorious ten-mile - mostly blue-skied - walk to Richmond (and back), today, delighting-in the entrancing, almost-impressionistic, early sunset - from the river bank.
As I set-out - close-to-home - I couldn't resist capturing (photographically) this mesmerisingly lovely tree, in all her seasonal glory.

What are your autumnal highlights?