Winter is my time to hibernate – I stock up on red wine, do lots of slow cooking, spend my evenings drawing, reading and painting, and I avoid going out wherever I can. It’s a fantastic excuse to stay home and immerse myself in some serious self-indulgence, like buying new art materials online and cooking a hearty pot of delicious soup!
One of my favourites is Jamie Oliver’s real mushroom soup. It’s dead easy to make and totally delicious to eat. This is one pot, comfort food cooking at its best, and being a JO recipe, it’s just a glug of this and a knob of that and Robert’s your mother’s brother.
When 2015 rolled around I hit the ground running. Work was crazy with a lot of time spent on the road. I’d barely caught my breath when March arrived, and with it, an art holiday I’d booked last year with Ajay’s Art. I wasn’t in the mood for spending yet more time away from the office, my home or my comfortable routine, but I’d paid and there really was no way out of it. Reluctantly, I packed my bags and set off for Paternoster.
From the moment I met hosts Andre (Ajay) Jacobs and his partner, Hesther, I started to relax. Their attitude was casual and laid back, yet everything had been organised well in advance – from the accommodation and restaurant bookings, to art supplies and schedules. I soon realised that all that was expected of me for the next seven days was to show up, relax and learn, which is exactly what I did.