A week on from the first edition of Table Talk, thank you so much for the sheer variety of brilliant ideas and experiences shared in response. This really is everyone’s newsletter and simply an attempt to capture the magic of the dinner table - whether it’s a Wednesday evening at home or Sunday lunch with friends and family - so please don’t be shy.
What do you want to see more of or less of? Which seemingly inane but important discussions (see below) hold weight in your house? In that vein, I want to introduce a conversation that unexpectedly flooded my inbox last week…
Combinations That Shouldn’t Work, But Just Do…
Growing up, one of the nicknames we had for my dad was “The Dustbin”. He would eat absolutely anything - a yoghurt that went out of date a week ago? No trouble. That spare sausage on your plate? Already gone. Alongside his voracious appetite for other people’s food, he also brought a fabled combination into our lives - peanut butter and ham sandwiches, often encased within a pillowy white baguette purchased from the supermarket that very morning.
It wasn’t until I got a little older, started going to friends’ houses and being asked what I’d like for lunch that I got wind of how odd this combination might seem to the outside world - had he misheard “jam” as “ham”, perhaps?! Despite the mocking and the mirth enjoyed at my expense, I stand by this combination and its unique beauty.
I’ve always suspected this combination was a quirk but not an anomaly, that I was surrounded by others, hiding in plain sight, carrying (but not burdened by) their untold culinary secrets. Turns out I wasn’t wrong and here are some of the utterly bizarre but potentially delicious combinations that have been shared with me this past week:
Mayonnaise with shepherd’s pie
Hummus and grapes
Marmite and bananas
Lettuce in a bacon sandwich
So what have you got hiding in your locker? Which combinations are outwardly mocked but inwardly make the heart sing?
Your Favourite Restaurant You’ve Never Been To
If last week’s shout, The Marksman, owed its position to the unpretentiousness of its approach, this week’s turns its back on that notion entirely.
Described by Condé Nast Traveler as a “full-throttle, flamboyantly cool Victorian coaching inn”, bettered only by The Telegraph’s summary of it as “wildly romantic, sublimely comfortable, uniquely fascinating”, The Fife Arms in Braemar seems to be onto something special.
The brainchild of artworld heavyweights, Manuela and Iwan Wirth, the sheer scale of their ambition appears staggering. Whilst technically a collection of restaurants and bars housed under one roof, where else can you enjoy a pint under a Pablo Picasso or your dinner with a Lucian Freud staring back at you?
Of course, these experiences only exist in my imagination to date, but I can confirm that their closer-to-home Somerset outpost houses the Roth Bar and Grill and serves up an incredible Sunday roast alongside its wonderful gallery.
Condiments - Where Should They Live?
Last week, one reader asked if I could help put something to bed for them. On the face of it, the question seemed simple - “should ketchup live in the fridge or the cupboard?” - but in reality, it’s anything but.
I genuinely have no idea - at our house, it lives in the cupboard, nestled amongst its condiment compadres, but I regularly see it in the fridge elsewhere and who am I to question that?
Heinz ketchup is as enmeshed in pop culture as it is our lives
Is it just ketchup or is the question much more nuanced than we first thought? Mustard in the fridge, ketchup in the cupboard?! What does that mean for pesto?
Recipes - Winter Warmers
This Sunday, the clocks go back and the days get shorter, heralding the chance to bed in, dust off those cookbooks and enjoy some time in the kitchen.
This Tuscan bean and pancetta soup is quite literally a hug in a bowl (vegan alternative here).
Max Halley is the undisputed king of sandwiches. You should heed his words when he says: “hot, cold, sweet, sour, crunchy, soft…If you’ve got those six things, you can’t f*** it up.”
Hospitality Action’s Chefs At Home cookbook is an absolute must, with Tom Brown’s hake kievs a standout contribution.
So what are you planning to cook up this weekend? Where do you find the best recipes to share with friends and family?
Until next time, thank you.
PS. Don’t want to wait a whole week for our next edition? Check us out on Instagram (@wednesdaysdomaine) for your daily tipple.