Saturday, 5 March 2011

Sneak Peeks & Treats

Exhibition preparations continue...                                 ...and here's your first sneak peek...

                                            ssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!                     (There will also be
...and you will get your hands on more information in the next 5 weeks.
Portrait photos courtesy of Dr Nigel Wright, not to be reproduced without permission;
all the abovespotted portraits live at Hardwick Hall
and may be viewed in all their splendour during its opening hours.

Suffice to say: Unsealed - The Letters of Bess of Hardwick opens at Hardwick Hall on 8 April. Featuring the ladies and gentlemen above, life sized!

* * * * *

On a different note: Lent is waiting to pounce upon us next week. This time rather late in the calendar year, it does not carry the additional sting of February and all its greyness, but still: who is not in need of some cheering up these days? So, without further ado, here are a few treats which will make you stand on your hind legs and clap in rapture.

Leek and Lemon Soup
(courtesy of The Kitchn)
  • 2 large leeks
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested (not necessarily in that order)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine 
Sliced leeks and crushed garlic hit hot melted butter to be softened up for about 10 minutes. Add all the other ingredients and simmer until everything's nice and juicy (the recipe says an hour - I'd reckon 30 minutes would also do, but don't take my word). Puree, then season to your very own personal taste and gobble down with some crusty bread and white wine on the side.

No, this is not a typo - think chocolate and far-away islands (sweet escapes - what more could a girl want just before Lent snatches away all illicit pleasures?) and read more about it over at One Peppercorn.
Image from
Corduroy Mansions
The latest (I lose track, but I hadn't seen this before so let's say it is the latest and newest) series in Alexander McCall Smith's oeuvre is the perfect bedtime/teatime/oh God please beam me to a tropical island now-time reading: Corduroy Mansions brings stories from a London we'd all move to in a snip. And don't tell me it does not exist like that. I'm not listening. I'm reading.

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