“Tea! thou soft, thou sober, sage and venerable liquid … thou female tongue-running, smile-toothing, heart opening, wink-tippling cordial, to whose glorious insipidity I owe the happiest moments of my life, let me fall prostrate … “ Colley Cibber, The Lady’s Last Stake, or The Wife’s Resentment: A Comedy, 1797.

Apple dumplings and a pure mind

“Coleridge holds that a man cannot have a pure mind who refuses apple dumplings. I am not certain but he is right.” (Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia, 1823) Englishman Charles Lamb was an essayist and poet of the early 19th century. His friend and fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was also a philosopher and theologian and…

On Paul Bocuse

” … a curious food man … With a chef’s hat full of wit, a sparkling eye, a light hand to lift his glass, he is a swashbuckler of the drip pans, a juggler of pots, and a poet of stews … He is a host of eternity, a kind of Medici of food. He…

In defence of the epicure

“The epicure is not a man who thinks of, and lives for, his belly alone; he is not a sensualist for whom dinner is merely an elaborate prelude to sexual passion; he is not a hedonist who sees life as a succession of pleasurable sensations obtained by hook, crook, or levitation … He is simply…

Happiness at the corner café

“No sir,” the 18th century poet Samuel Johnson once said, “there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness has been produced, as by a good tavern or inn.” I am not a man of pubs, and I am not sure Mr Johnson would recognise the taverns of today….