Rosemary's Blog

The Advent of Antonio

I am not much given to hoarding but I am delighted to have kept an Advent calendar sent to Nick and I in 2003 by my friend Antonio Carluccio and his then wife Priscilla.  To have this with us for our first Advent in Orkney is a simple blessing, in an era when celebratory calendars for the season seem to have been completely taken over by present-stuffed indulgences. Grump over! This calendar is a lovely reminder of Antonio, who died suddenly In November. 

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Fighting the Flab - Salmon Style

"I've always wondered, is it gravlax? Or gravadlax? Let's just call it dilled salmon. So much simpler - and so perfect to have on hand for summer evenings. This is one of those recipes where farmed salmon works unusually well. How come? Farmed salmon is, let's face it, a bit on the flabby side. Who can blame it? If you were wallowing about in a big cage at the mouth of a sea loch rather than fighting your way up the river above that sea loch (having fought your way across the ocean to get there), you'd be flabby too."

Sue Style, a delightful and much respected food writing colleague, and a journalist on the Financial Times Weekend, recently opened an article on with these words. I recommend her food, wine and travel website to you all. But here is The Thing, the reason for me picking up on this when Sue shared the article on Facebook.

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A hi-fi approach to whisky drinking.

Did I mention that we are moving? Our current task is sorting out our CD's, of which there were hundreds, (the vinyl went long ago, warped from poor storage) and working out what sort of a sound system we shall want in our new home. Will we just be streaming through the SONOS or maybe a similar Naim system, or do we want to keep some of the CD's and therefore the hi-fi?

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From whisky to olive oil - the art of tasting

Judy Ridgway, co-author of The Olive Oil Diet and blogger at, has always been an inspiration to me. A food and drinks writer turned internationally respected olive oil expert, she is able to communicate the How of tasting and make it accessible to all, despite olive oil being quite a difficult subject. Judy is also very fond of whisky and you can listen to a podcast of us chatting together here. She can also be followed on Twitter @judyoliveoil. I am delighted that Judy has written this guest blog for me.

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Tomatin's Five Virtues - a great welcome to Glasgow

I seem to be in Glasgow once a year at the moment. During the week of International Women's Day in March I visit and catch up with Geraldine Murphy, founder of the UK's first women's whisky club which is based at her family's pub and whisky bar, The Pot Still on Hope Street. Her Women in Whisky fundraising lunch is the main driver for my visit, but this year I hit the ground running as my first stop was the launch of Tomatin's innovative Five Virtue's range of whiskies. The event, from a distillery that I had already earmarked as one to find out about in 2017, celebrated a partnership with Eva Ullrich, a contemporary abstract artist renowned for her landscape works. My own first foray into whisky events was at an exhibition by Scottish colourist JD Ferguson at our local gallery, and so this evening really appealed to me. 

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On the Town: a story for Hogmanay.

There are 64 whisk(e)y related references in this tale for the New Year. Some of them are achieved with a bit of licence, and you might like to click on either the audio file below or video link here before you read on to see how many you can catch before you look at the written word! Don't count any duplicates. Good luck - with this and in the coming year.

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