MR Todiwala's Spice Box

Nothing about Café Spice Namaste is conventional; occupying a former Victorian magistrate’s court the frontage is austere and slightly imposing, as you step through the doors into the dining room, adorned with swathes of brightly coloured cloths and painted furniture, formality drops away and a welcome that feels like a homecoming makes for a relaxed and highly enjoyable culinary experience. Owned and run by the loveliest couple in hospitality; Chef Cyrus Todiwala and his wife Pervin, the restaurant excels in Parsi cooking, the food is authentic and tasty– well worth a visit. On this particular evening however we were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Cyrus’ latest cookbook 'Mr Todiwala's Spice Box' published by Octopus Publishing Group. One of the many, many hats that Cyrus wears is TV host/demonstrator/teacher and the most frequent question he gets is ‘what are the essential spices to have in your cupboard?’ answering this question (repeatedly) inspired the chef to compile his Spice Box with 120 recipes revolving around just 10 spices. Beautifully illustrated, simple to follow and satisfying a broad palate, this is definitely a book to cook from, not just look at – highly recommended for your kitchen shelf.. (FB photos)


The Muse by Jessie Burton

Jessie Burton, bestselling author of The Miniaturist, gave attendees of Emerald Street Magazine’s Literary Festival (11th June 2016) a sneak peak of her latest novel; The Muse. Reading a passage onstage and participating in a Q&A hosted by editor and journalist Anna-Marie Crowhurst, Jessie gave readers present a little insight into her journey from actress to author, her inspirations and offered encouragement for would be writers. A charming and fun speaker, it was, for me, one of the most enjoyable talks of the event. Armed with my signed copy, hot off the press, I spent the train journey home reading, mesmerised I didn't put it down again until the early hours of Monday morning (sleep is over rated anyway). "On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever" The Muse is a beautifully written, suspenseful novel about love and obsession, identity and aspirations all interwoven with the journey of a painting rumoured to be the work of Isaac Robles – reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch – giving the novel a rich, vibrant and intriguing backdrop.

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