23 Nov

Astley Castle

 Nestled in the Warwickshire countryside, Astley Castle is a simply stunning place. Winner of the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture, it is imposing, yet charming; sombre, yet utterly comfortable; and most of all, romantic beyond belief. I have been lucky enough to stay there last year with a group of friends and even luckier to be going back later this year. I doubt that we will have the chance to visit again next year.

So I have decided to make the most of it again this year. I am lucky to be only one of the several cooks coming to the gathering, and we always share the pleasures of feeding the group. I will of course be bringing a couple of cakes to make sure that we can have a proper tea upon arrival on the Friday afternoon. After that, I am not sure which meal I will be cooking. I think I may be in charge of breakfast on both days.

Others will provide us with grand meals, keeping us all fuelled for the walks, visits to antiques market and endless (and very competitive) games of croquet. I hope that my friend Dan brings Hector the dog, a wonderfully placid English setter who loves long walks and the wood burner stove, just like me.

I will be sure to update you after breakfast…