It’s been a long cold winter, but here we are at last in the blossom-laden, golden days of spring.

Text settings

It’s been a long cold winter, but here we are at last in the blossom-laden, golden days of spring.

It’s been a long cold winter, but here we are at last in the blossom-laden, golden days of spring. There’s plenty of seasonal produce for food and wine lovers to enjoy within our pages, much to excite and inspire, and maybe even one or two things to annoy — if you run a supermarket.

You may take sides with the inimitable Jason Yapp as he rails against the iniquities of the ways we are sold wine by our retailing giants, in which case Dave Waddell’s ‘How to… liven up the supermarket shop’ might come in handy. If Dave Broom doesn’t persuade you as to the many varied pleasures of cognac, Peter Grogan might succeed in sparking a love affair with serious, grown-up rum. And if racy affairs of the heart are your thing — and surely, in spring, they are? — be sure not to miss Imogen Lycett Green’s chat with Jilly Cooper.

We also seem to have a minor transport theme this issue: Dan Jellinek lifts the lid on the much-maligned world of airline food, and discovers some impressive logistics, and plenty of innovations on the way; while Penny Rance explains the pitfalls of cooking on a yacht, and how her own crew fuelled its way to winning a seven-month round-the-world race by eating out of dog bowls.

Back on terra firma — and the firmer, the less terror — we’ve a comparative tasting of British charcuterie, to gauge how our much newer breed of smokers and curers are measuring up to the continental masters; Hattie Ellis on the fragrant lemons of a Sicilian spring; Adrian Tierney-Jones on the home of pilsner beer; Margaret Kemp on the chic beehives of Parisian rooftops; and Jonny Goodall on the food shops of — well, Stockbridge, of course.

We’ve some cracking seasonal recipes: a spring vegetable tart from the great Alain Ducasse, tiger prawn and langoustine curry from Barrington Douglas and elderflower ice cream from James Ramsden, all accompanied by Jonathan Ray’s suggested wine matches.

We hope we’ve set your gastric juices running and look forward as always to any feedback. And please don’t forget that SpectatorScoff lovers can read an ever increasing amount of stories and blogs on our website, new.spectator.co.uk/scoff, as well as being able to follow us on Twitter, @SpectatorScoff

Bon appetit!

Jonathan Ray and Dan Jellinek, co-editors, SpectatorScoff



Sample these, our choicest on-line offerings of the season.

Bilberry Quest: Jane Carswell pays tribute to the wild berries of Jura — just don’t ask her to reveal their location:


Vive La France: Madeleine Roundell Greene welcomes a resurgence of French bistro fodder:


Experimental Eating: Patrick McGuigan relaxes into the gastronomic theatricals of an East London pop-up:


Aubergine Addiction: Tilly Culme-Seymour perfects the art of the aubergine with a little help from her friends:


Creole Bell: Casilda Grigg samples the best of Mauritian food: https://www.spectator.co.uk/scoff/blog/6555283/creole-belle.thtml

Pith and Peel: Naomi Langford-Wood shares her preserve-making expertise: https://www.spectator.co.uk/scoff/blog/6725648/pith-and-peel.thtml