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Grace Coddington stares up at me as I type. Her pale skin intricately lined with experience and a no-shit determination emphasises the piercing pin-point eyes. They stare up at me from my thumb while I deal with the praises and complaints of the nation.

it sounds a bit odd doesn’t it? I suppose it is really. To have an idol on your thumb. Let me explain.

Whilst wandering the open road of Regent Street, I was asked whether I would like the face of a woman of influence as a nail wrap. Was it free? The lady who answered had a 20s bob cut and bright pink lips. Yes. Great. Out of the images that were available, I chose Grace.

Artist Phoebe Davies has collaborated with women’s groups across the country in order to question the attitudes of women today and to explore the expectation of female figures in society. After accepting the portable art and walked off on my way, I began to wonder what this little figure on my thumb meant to me. Any woman (or man come to that) who have met their own expectations and who are able to say truthfully – I have done well for myself  – is someone who I hold with the highest respect.

Grace Coddington – “All I know is that if I continue in fashion, no matter what, my head will always remain firmly attached to my body.”

Bam. That’s it. She creates for fashion and for herself.

Dorothy Parker, an American  writer and poet I have recently discovered wrote prolifically about the life and the loves of people – real people. She sculpts her characters with such masterful fingers that the reader can hear the charge of the voices and see their faces – drunk, debauched, depressed but always animated – “But I shall stay the way I am, Because I do not give a damn”.

Delicious rebelity to remain truthful to yourself.

Words of wisdom from wise women.

What has this got to do with food? Can we eat words? No. Do we read food? No. But we consume both.

Creativity can come from all over the place and with both of these incredible women producing work that remains fresh and beautiful, there is the constant hope that food can be created with this continuous excitement.

Food of Fortune

Broad beans, Courgettes, Lemon, Godminster Black Pepper Brie, Parsley, Mint, Lettuce


Rosie x


I have tried writing this post so many times over the last 6 months.

I could try and pretend that it was due to early mornings and nine o’clock bedtimes. I could say that perhaps it was due to my new miniature bedroom not having a desk to speak of. I could say that I have had writer’s block and have been unable to find the words.

I could say all of these things and yet all of these would be excuses that mean little to you, the reader, or to my neglected Champagnewithrosie. So. I will tilt my nose to the sky and stride myself past these useless excuses, barging my way towards the second half of 2013 with eyes wide open. Please bear with me while I refocus my lens.

A New Start.


July has brought the Sun. Talk of the air feeling ‘humid’, ‘stuffy’ and my personal favourite ‘muggy’ has hit the streets of London with great gusto. My walk to work every morning takes me through a confusing sensory tunnel. Wild roses, exhaust fumes, new tomatoes, chlorine, baked bread and freshly applied deodorant, elbow and tussle each other, in the manner of the 8 o’clock commuters, towards my nostrils. Where the morning’s frame of mind decides whether the pleasant or unpleasant will succeed.

It is the British way to complain in whispers, with a slight pinch of the lips, or with just a carefully practiced look. Get them to voice that complaint and it is highly and phenomenally embarrassing. We just can’t handle it. For the last few months, I have been trying to distract myself from any such sour thoughts by surrounding myself with ‘things’ that at that time will make me happy.

Though I have purchased books, posters, treated myself to manicures, developed an unhealthy addiction to pitta bread and hummus, the only thing that has completely succeeded in making me obscenely happy are my tomato plants. Don’t say it! I know. It’s sad. My relationship (and I did just call it that) with my tomatoes has been lengthy and turbulent. They have been nursed from lanky sprigs of unpromise to the towering pillars of opulence that now stand so proudly in my South London courtyard garden. So much can be said for home-growing and I feel genuine pride at my accomplishment. (Please don’t laugh!)

However, I had to leave my budding tomatoes for 5 days while I went back to my parents. It was tough, and I worried almost obsessively for their welfare. But we got through it, and I arrived back to find them as cheery and happy as when I left them. This ‘weening’ from my tomato plants forced me to look again at the life that I have created for myself in London. Focussing on small sections of it in great detail has led to a huge neglect in other parts. A refocus is necessary and this is the beginning of it. How I shall do this is not quite certain at the moment. But it will be done! (And champagne with Rosie will become a reality!)

Rosie x


With the help of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, a mega-bowl of mincemeat is on the mingle…



I’m not going to mention the ‘C’ word as it’s way too early. But it’s feeling (and smelling) distinctly autumnal in here…


Rosie x

You are wrong Mr Gok Wan. No matter how many times you screech “It’s all about the confidence!” through the TV at me, I will not ever agree.

For me, daaaaaarlings, it’s all about the condiments!

On Thursday, I spent all day in the small but highly productive Rubies in the Rubble kitchen. As I stood in the middle of a car park in front of a huge warehouse, I feared that my early morning Hampshire to London fayre was going to be wasted on bad planning and my shocking sense of direction. This luckily was not the case, and I had in fact reached my final destination!

The brainchild of Jenny Dawson, Rubies in the Rubble is a business built on a ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ ethos. Sitting snuggly next to a wholesale mega-shed, Rubies seeks the unsellable. Torn toms, bumped about blueberries, maimed mangoes! Whatever is cheap and useable, Jenny and her lovely team magically turn into chutney, jam or smoothie that leaves the taste buds tingling and the stomach satifisfied.

Sick of staring at my laptop for days, I was so pleased to be part of a team. I chopped tomatoes, sliced onions, stirred mega-vats of bubbling chutney and got involved! As Radio One looped in the background, and Jenny, Rose and myself productively bustled around the kitchen, I got my first taste of Rubies ridiculously tasty red onion and chilli chutney. A deep and rich caramelised delight! The initial sweetness quickly developing to a firework of spice – phwoar!

It was not only the large jar of red onion chutney in my pocket and the spicy tomato smell that I left with that day. It was also the total inspiration of seeing someone who had followed what they wanted to do. Nothing airy fairy about dreams or aspirations or whatever. Jenny just seemed to believe in Rubies in the Rubble, believe in herself and what she could do with the community, and the phenomenal press that has followed has been a product of that.

After all…it is all about the condiments! (Pffftt!)

(Today I tried Jenny’s spectacular red onion and chilli chutney with Swaledale Cheese from Waitrose,
piled high on freshly made bread…)

Thanks so much to Jenny and Rose for letting me get under your feet. I had such a great time and hope I can pop back to see you at some time soon!

See the Guardian for another raving review and check Rubies in the Rubble out here…

Rosie x


Above pic


Brian Matthews’ growly tones on Sounds of the Sixties


A whole weekend stuffed with absolutely nussink


A very happy Rosie

Although I might be very much mistaken, I do believe I have just eaten a smoked salmon, cream cheese and chive sushi…

Monty ate it. I think he has less defined taste about what sushi should really taste like, because he enjoyed it immensely.

I don’t understand how ASDA could get it so wrong. The other weekend I was in London and bought some incredible sushi from Wasabi. A fiver instead of the cheaper £3.40 but…

Seaweed, salmon nigiri, edamame and green beans and a whole pot full of pickled ginger. I know nothing about traditional Japanese cuisine. But I’m sure this is 100x more traditional than ASDA’s weird excuse.

Ach! So rude!

This weekend I went to Brighton…or BroadwayMarket-on-Sea. I’ve only been there once before but it’s stuck in my mind as being a brilliant and bright place, overflowing with fantastic vintage finds, crazy people and now, (after a total culinary extravaganza yesterday), a foodie haven. One day I shall spend much time there and wander the Lanes knowing EXACTLY where I’m going.

After a ridiculous morning (all shall be told in the next month or so), my mum and I wound down the streets and found ourselves back to Aldo, where we ate 3 years ago.

In a similar situation as the last time, we were unwatered, unfed and looking for our stomachs to be easily satisfied. A funny little place plonked on the edge of Trafalgar Street, Aldo is an Italian restaurant selling traditional dishes. Used to chain Italians where tastes are good but prices are silly, the cost of 2 pasta dishes, a coffee and a fizzy water was beyond sensible and really quite tasty. I had…


an Al Tonno – tuna, prawns and olives in a tomatoey garlic sauce. Drunk on good food and gossipy chat with my mum we left Aldo fed, watered, and ever so slightly in food-induced love with the charm of our lovely waiter.

Find Aldo at Be charmed!

In other news, I have decided to leave my cushty office job in the depths of a Hampshire town in one months time. I will spend 2 weeks in London on 10 October trawling the streets, CV clenched in hand…


Rosie x

Yes. That Tom Parker Bowles is a mega food critter…

The time has come to sort out my laxativity. WordPressers and unsuspecting followers beware – you are about to be bombarded with hyperactive posts about End of the Road 2012, new canine members of the family and my renewed quest to find a job.
Motivation has hit an all time low lovely people, and I’d love it if this blog could help sort me out…

Meet Monty.
2 years old.
Rescue pup.
More lively than Jack’s beans.


Barks and cocks his leg like a trooper.
Rosemary bushes beware.

“overcooked” should only be used in association with cooking.