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With the onset of ‘real’ winter over the last few days, and forecasts of snow coming soon, I’ve been feeling a little desk bound.  My travel wish list is more of a dream-list at the moment, so my imagination is wandering between ideal wintery landscapes and gorgeous sunny getaways.  I also seem to have been reading about (or armchair travelling to) some wonderful places…

White Pod



This eco camp high in the Swiss Alps looks and sounds amazing.  A private ski area, wood burning stoves in each pod, sauna, massage and the promise of a complete escape.  Who could resist!
White Pod

Gillam’s Tea Room


This vegetarian tea room in the Lake District (UK) is run by the great great grandson of J J Gillam who opened a grocers on Market Street, Ulverston in 1892.  This new café and deli promises a real log fire. mainly organic and local food and choices for vegans and gluten free diets.  It all sounds perfect after a day walking in some bright winter sunshine.

Restuarant Kastro Oia



Apparently, this is not only the perfect spot to watch a famous sunset on the Greek island of Santorini, but also a wonderful spot to dine on pomegranate and feta salad and walnut cake.  It seems you have to book well in advance to combine the two, but, you know, I am allowed to dream…
Restaurant Kastro

Don’t blame me, it’s the title of a rather wonderful little book that tells you all you need to know about baking, including, of course, how to avoid a soggy bottom (to your pies)!  And if you don’t know what to do with yourself now that The Great British Bake Off has finished, this is for you.

Written, rather brilliantly, by Gerard Baker, this book gives you a mini history of how cakes, bread and biscuits all evolved over time, as well as the scientific basis for how the ingredients work.  Thus you find out the difference between puff pastry and flaky pastry, how biscuits got their name and how to avoid some common baking problems.  Each section comes with a simple, well described recipe.

I love the histories in this book, but also that it manages to teach the basics without sounding condescending.  It’s beautifully written and designed and should absolutely have a place on the shelves of every baker, new or experienced.

How to Avoid a Soggy Bottom and Other Secrets to Achieving a Good Bake by Gerard Baker

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