There are women in this world I fall head over heels in love with and from the moment she tumbled down the catwalk, all cleavage and pale flesh, wide eyes and bambi-style bewilderment, Roald Dahl’s granddaughter was one of them.
Perhaps it’s because she looks so very like my Mum. Perhaps it’s because Playing With the Grown Up
s, her vivid,semi-autobiographical novel was jam-packed with the kind of terribly English, whimsical description we Vintage Housekeepers adore. Perhaps it’s because her perfume column in Vogue makes me want to drown in her scented words, or perhaps it’s because she manages to combine beauty, with intelligence and a gorgeous dose of the kind of authentic frippery that always inspires both envy and adoration in my all too willing soul.
Next Tuesday evening marks the first of six programmes, turning Sophie’s book, The Voluptuous Delights of Miss Dahl
, into the kind of scrumptious cookery programme that is more about lifestyle than it is about the food. While I suspect comparisons between Sophie Dahl and Nigella Lawson are inevitable, the recipes in Sophie’s book are lighter and somehow frillier than the delicious cream drowned stodge Nigela is prone to serving up, and each week is themed rather fabulously, around emotion and the kind of ritual I suspect we will all relate to, with episode one being dedicated to the art of enjoying a “Selfish Day”…
“Sophie Dahl revels in the joy of cooking for one on a purely selfish day. Shutting the world away and answering to no-one on a day that is indulgently independent means cruising the food boutiques and cooking simple dishes with the finest of ingredients.Her selfish day begins at breakfast with her take on an omelette Arnold Bennett and the preparation of peanut butter fudge.
After a sweep of the local cheese shop she’s assembling a buffalo mozzarella bruschetta with shaved fennel and courgette salad for lunch.
Finally, inspired by a picture of an old Hollywood screen siren and an art deco cocktail shaker picked up in a second-hand shop, it’s time for dirty martinis and a dinner of roasted halibut with spinach and watercress sauce, healthy sweet potato chips and wild mushrooms, followed by rich chocolate pots with brandy soaked cherries.
By the end of the day, Sophie feels ready to share again…maybe.”
Sounds wonderful mais non? Mais Oui! If for nothing else, watch it and weep over the gorgeous, bunting festooned garden tableaux to which Sophie delivers her rose petal sprinkled meringue…
I can’t wait!
The Delicious Miss Dahl, BBC 2, March 23rd, 8.30pm