“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
I adore winter. I love the cold, grey mornings, brisk afternoon walks as the sun slips over the horizon, the sight of my breath misting on the air in front of me. My childhood was spent in a city whose winter seemed to be gone almost as soon as it had begun. The short month or so that demanded bed socks and dressing gowns was followed quickly by spring, arriving with a burst of jacaranda flowers, before turning far too soon into an unbearably hot summer. Here in England, it is the cold that tends to outstay its welcome. By early February, despite my love for the season, I am longing for the sight of daffodils, pushing their sunny heads through the ground.
Whether you welcome winter, or spend it longing for the long, luxurious evenings of spring, I'm hosting just the event for you. This winter, on Saturday 16 December, I'm excited to be working with Emma Mitchell, whose beautiful book Making Winter was released on the same day as The Little Library Cookbook. Together, we're hosting a day of workshops and gorgeous winter food. Come along and learn how to make crystallised ginger, a perfect Christmas gift (from Agatha Christie's The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding), make woodland wreaths with Emma (ideal for your door in the last weeks before Christmas), cook my beloved mince pies with me (from Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum) and finally - I'm so looking forward to this bit - Emma will make silver fossil pendants with you. I defy you to find anything more pleasingly magical than imprinting seasonal botanical finds into silver clay.
You will drink hedgerow cocktails, share in a two-course lunch, enjoy snacks throughout the day, and farewell each other over cocktails and sausage rolls (my favourites - from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) in the evening. Our workshop will be hosted at the glorious Papermill Studios, between Old St and Angel tube stations in London. This bright, welcoming, beautifully designed kitchen is a dream of a place - I can't wait to be cooking in it.
As the clocks go back, and we enter the winter months, we have an offer for you. Tickets to the retreat are currently 15% off for our readers, with the offer code Retreat15. Snap up one of the last few tickets here. The price includes four workshops (the products of which you will take home with you), a two-course seasonal lunch, cocktails, drinks, snacks, and a goody bag. We'd love to see you there.