My first weekend in Venice was back in 2001, when I was studying abroad in Italy. I had caught a train from Florence and travelled up to explore the city mid-winter. It was freezing cold. There were no tourists sipping Aperol Spritz from fishbowls sized glasses, no crowds of people clogging up the bridges in hopes of scoring the perfect gondola picture and no sign of the sun anywhere. The weather itself couldn’t have been more drab and had I been anywhere else I can assure you I would have found it hard to stay positive about this adventure. But Venice, well, she’s different. In this city, “drab” doesn’t exist, only magic. My love affair with Venice has been going strong for 17 years and I can talk endlessly about its charm, beauty and uniqueness. I do believe there are certain souls who will always find happiness in this beautiful corner of the world, and somehow those souls will always be drawn to one another. Years ago now I started following Skye McAlpine on Instagram because of her very obvious adoration of her split life between London and Venice. For me, she seemed to be living the ultimate dream. I won’t lie. I was envious. Every picture was perfect, every dish she shared looked like something out of the dream Italian kitchen and her dinner parties became a thing of legend in my mind. Then, I met Skye McAlpine. You know they tell you never to meet people you idolise from afar as you’ll find yourself disappointed? Don’t listen to “them.” If I wasn’t in love with Skye enough already before meeting her, I certainly fell head over heels after a breakfast encounter and today I’m pleased to call her a friend. But, the time has come where I need to share her with the world. Yesterday, Skye held a breakfast at Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden to introduce friends to her new cookbook – A Table in Venice.
Now, in full disclosure, I already had my hands on the book as I ordered it when it was published in America last month. I had pre-ordered it, actually, and had every intention of getting stuck into the recipes with my kitchen in South Carolina, but life got in the way. Now that I’m back in London and I have a UK version of the cookbook for my London kitchen, the game is on! But, this is clearly a book that is not only for the budding Martha Stewart in us all, it’s also a book for the lovers of Venetian lifestyle. Every turn of the page is another presentation of life in Venice that will have you booking a ticket out faster than your cake will come out of the oven. The only way to describe it all is decadently delicious. I will simply say this is a must to purchase, so get involved now. There’s a reason it’s already topping most of the Amazon cook book charts. And watch this space as I’ll be attempting a few recipes! Wish me luck. I think my oven sees more storage time than cooking/baking moments!
Before we go, I’ll leave you with a look at our breakfast to celebrate Skye and her launch, as well as a few pics from my favourite pages of the actual book. Enjoy and buy!!!