💭 Table Talk #56 - Ina Says Jump in the Pond 🌊


Another Wednesday, another Table Talk, everyone’s favourite newsletter that is jam-packed with the very best of dinner table conversation. This week, we’re taking a bit of advice from legendary food writer and chef, Ina Garten, whilst considering a new winter hobby… 
Let’s dive in.


Lucky Dip: fancy winning an original photograph of Princess Diana or Mick Jagger by famous artist David Bailey? It will only cost you £1,200 to enter. 
Buon Appetito: an incredible 30 min weeknight meal from Half Baked Harvest.
Christmas Calling: get on top of your gift wrapping at the UK’s best Christmas markets. 

Diving in head first.

Before she became the home-cooking queen of our hearts, Ina Garten worked in nuclear policy at The White House. Amazing, right. “I was writing the budget for enriched uranium programs, and thinking, life’s got to be more fun than this,” she recalls in an interview with Forbes magazine. After talking things over with her husband, Jeffery (a beloved regular to her cooking show), she decided to forego her successful career and put in an offer on a real estate listing in New York’s Westhampton Beach where she opened the first Barefoot Contessa store, selling specialty foods. 

But it was not, at the offset, the triumphant brand we now know it to be. She was 50 years old and thought the best years of her career were over. She sold her shop and rented the office space above it to just let herself be: “I had to let myself get good and bored,” she admits. “Cocooning is a really important part of changing and figuring out what to do next.” She decided to pass the time by writing a cookbook. And the rest is history, as they say.
Chef Ina Garten

It is great leaps of faith such as these that lies behind the ultimate advice from Ina: Jump in the pond. “I think we all stand on the side of the pond discussing the pond, instead of jumping in the pond…And I think it’s not a huge risk jumping in, as long as you know you can get out.”  It’s easy to be inspired by Ina’s bravery, to perhaps reflect on our own lives and feel tempted to jump out of situations that feel a bit stagnant and into ones that excite us. But the reality is not always that simple or available.

This is not to say, however, that we can’t take her advice in looser terms. Maybe it’s small changes to our schedules that make all the difference or a new hobby that wakes us up. Like literally jumping into the ponds in Hampstead Heath, or taking a holiday we have always dreamt of. Ina is a good example that our lives can be reinvented at any point. As she says, “when I thought my professional career was over, it hadn’t even started yet.” 

Wednesday's book club.
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan is a stunning collection of childhood memories, travel stories, hilarious anecdotes and, of course, an unabashed ode to the author’s obsession with surfing. Spanning from Hawaii to South Africa to California, Finnegan’s life is a joy to dive into and his prose is utterly intoxicating. 

In brief: a lyrical, moving tale of adventure and passion. For surfers and non-surfers alike.

Growing any business appears to be a balance of inching forwards week by week and keeping an eye on the bigger picture. This past week has encapsulated that beautifully, having joined our friends at Soho Works for the first time to do a member wine tasting and won new listings with the likes of The Grocery Post and Brindisa, whilst also having dedicated time to thinking about what the future of the non-alcoholic space could look like… We couldn’t be more excited to have you with us on that journey, so thank you for the continued love and support.Signing off with an additional amuse bouche: Ina’s cooking playlists.Enjoy. The Wednesday’s Domaine Team x