We had a great tour with a lovely group in Vietnam and even though Vietnam is changing fast, it IS still what it was in lots of ways. The pho beef noodle soup bursting with fresh herbs and sprouts is still eaten everywhere in Hanoi – in the street, at home, in restaurants and it is still one of the best dishes in the world... heaven in a spoon, culture in a sip. We LOVED the wild night time honda street food tour in Hué – holding on for dear life as we raced from munching on the famous ‘banh khoai’ happy crepes to tasting the sweetest pork in Vietnam. Hoi An is still cute and groovy and historic but EVERYONE else thinks so too so it was adorable but busy. We finished up in my favourite city Saigon – developing at the speed of light – mad, pulsating, fabulous, stimulating and fun. The gastronomads voted the cooking class at Grain in Saigon as the best of the tour. Might have been the the wine we drank all the way through it. Tour dates for 2020 are 28 March – 7 April.
I have just finished the Marrkech tour and somehow didn't escape without finding a big bowl, a teapot & cups and approximately 3000 tiny Fes tiles for my Uzès bathroom – all very practical to stuff into my carry-on bag ...not. I was privilaged to have yet another tour full of exceptionally lovely guests who were interested in everything, never said no to a glass of 'gris' pink wine and never rolled their eyes when I said, 'chop that onion, de-leaf that bunch of coriander, throw some more cumin into that fishball tagine'. Family, food and friendship are the cornerstones of Moroccan life and I think it's their famous hospitality that makes visitors never ever forget the North African experience. At the end we danced with our arms around each other as basketfulls of rose petals rained down on us. Big thankyou to Adriano, Florence, Amine and everyone who made this trip so emotional. Join me next year ... 31 May - 7 June.
Now that I'm back in Uzès I'll be putting everything into place for my new Uzès-Marseille culinary week. The information will be up on my website in June, along with the schedule on request. Uzès is famed for its medieval beauty and grandeur, the best market in the South of France (4th best in France), great Languedoc wines and romantic lifestyle. The first half of the tour will be in Uzès and the second half is in Marseille. Uzès and Marseille couldn't be more different from each other – one is a calm, stylish and dignified country town and the other a wild, crazy, sexy, fish-obsessed port city. There will be the usual eclectic mix of cooking classes, vineyard and market visits, parties, streetfood walks, boat rides etc. Marseille has the best kitchenware shop in the world just saying.
I'm in Uzès until the end of September teaching cooking classes on the market days – Wednesdays and Saturdays. Drop me a line if you'd like to join a class. In my spare time I'm getting on with my new book about fashion, the sustainable kind, inspired by my Shed Couture social media posts.
Enjoy your winter, love you, mean it.