Fish and flowers were the order of the day I turned sixty! Left and right eye of salmon paintings by Nils Benson who sent these over from his home in LA, cleverly they arrived on the day. These gorgeous flowers were from me, a celebration of my love of the firewheel tree and the Japanese knife, my gift from India.
It felt momentous, to be turning sixty! 60!!! However this birthday will count as one of the best ever. April was busy, lots of work on, lots to work on, a rather significant birthday and my very dear friends Yolande Gray and Martin Teplitzky’s wedding. The wedding date was chosen not to coincide with my birthday and not so that I could cook for it. As a caterer it can be tricky, the desire to feed those you adore and the wish to be witness and not miss a moment do not correlate but Yolande being who she is, made everything possible. I shared my birth day with her and a few close friends, we ate together at Fred’s in Paddington. A beautiful meal and a warm and very memorable event. A few days later my daughter flew in from London, to celebrate with me and be here for the wedding. We spent the days prior preparing together and shared the joy that is love for another I made a large batch of Sea Salty Crackers from my book Ferment, which Yolande art directed and designed and the Maple Cured Sirloin, to join the long list of canapés that were expertly served by Friederike Stottolle and her crew. Mr and Mrs TeplitzkyYolande and her much loved aunt Steph India with Mooey’s bouquet Saskia’s artistry with blooms galore above and India’s blue nails with roses below.Yolande and Saskia Havekes are old friends, Yolande designed Saskia’s first book, at the same time that she was designing my first book Nourish. Saskia is the worlds most exquisite florist ‘Grandiflora’ I have made it a link, because if you don’t yet know of their work I am certain you will want to. If you have a need for spectacular head straight there. Saskia spent the wedding day transforming the space with divine blooms and then she tasked India with their care for the two days, which is why you see her above with Yolande’s daughter Margot’s bouquet, Margot was busy doing Yolande’s make up, very beautifully. A wedding inevitably reminds one of the joy that love brings and the focus of course is on the love between those who are marrying but what was clear here, was that love was present and expressed by all involved, for days. It was an uplifting, stupendous event, an evening wedding with 100 guests in a not so large terraced house in Bronte. We danced into the small hours and then, somehow, we cleaned up and transformed the space to provide lunch. Paella for 58, cooked by chef Martin! – with a little help from his friend (me) and newly acquired brother in law Evan and then CAKE by the fabulous Nadine Ingram’s team at Flour and Stone, also THE place to go if real, irresistible cake is your requirement. All the while, as the entire contents of the ground floor were schlepped in and out of vans and the garage was filled fit to bursting there was laughter, love and continuous support. A tribute to community, caring and what friendship can engender. One should of course not wish it, but could we do that again, it took a lot to make happen but it went so quickly? Many blooms came home with me, as the couple went honeymooning, I was not sad but days later I found it hard to let go of the beauteous roses.