What’s New plus… five of the best dinner party menus from How To Eat by Nigella Lawson

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Bee Happy

It’s 10 years since Fortnums put beehives on their Piccadilly rooftop. As you might expect, this is no run of the mill bee-keeping operation. The Welsh Black bees (calm by nature and therefore less likely to mount an attack on unwary shoppers) harvest pollen from the Royal parks and gardens of  Green Park, Clarence House and Buckingham Palace, and live in impressive hives built in four different architectural styles – Roman, Mughal, Chinese and Gothic. Fortnums harvest the soft, toffee-coloured honey once a year (in September) and have a waiting list for the results.

Piccadilly Honey,  £20/227g, available 12 October,  fortnumandmason.com

Chocolate artists

Coco, the Edinburgh-based chocolatiers, have commissioned four artists (Stephen Smith, Palefroi, Rachael Hood and Mari Campestron) to decorate the wrappers of their new chocolate collection. Autumn flavours include rhubarb and ginger milk chocolate, lavender milk chocolate, cold brew coffee dark and Isle of Skye sea salt dark.

Coco Chocolates, £4.50/80g, cocochocolatier.com

Gunmetal grey fridge

Caple’s new stainless steel fridge freezer comes in sleek modern-kitchen grey. Features include French doors, four compartments one of which can be used as an additional fridge or freezer, LED display, multi-airflow design with 362litre fridge and 164litre freezer capacity

Caple CAFF45GM fridge freezer, 910mmW by 750mmD by 1850mmH, from £1,758, caple.co.uk

Five of the best… dinner party menus from How to Eat by Nigella Lawson

How To Eat was Nigella Lawson’s first book. It was published in 1998 and introduced the country, indeed the world, to a whole new realm of culinary writing  – recipes that came as stories, written in Nigella’s inimical style, describing terrific food that had been created in a domestic context of  ‘failures, flaws, greed, indulgence, accidents, good and bad…’. Voyages of discovery in other words, or as Nigella herself puts it, ‘a reminder of possibilities…’.  How to Eat is now a classic celebrating its 20th anniversary. In recognition of its status, it’s reissued this autumn  in a large fat paperback with an Introduction by Jeanette Winterson 

Extravagant but Still Elegant Dinner for 8

Hot sausages with ice-cold oysters , the tenderest chicken with green salad and garlic potatoes plus a chocolate raspberry pudding cake. ‘The sort of dinner I dream of’ writes Nigella

Camp But Only Slightly Dinner for 6

Little gems with green goddess dressing, pheasant with gin and It, mashed potato and sweet and sour cabbage and passion fruit Pavlova for pudding.  It may ‘sound like a a comic turn, a culinary joke made by someone with  an overdeveloped sense of kitsch. ‘ notes NL. ‘I admit I am that person.’

Indian Summer Dinner for 6

Pea and lettuce soup, with lamb, chickpeas, couscous salad and Turkish Delight figs. ‘Two figs a head should do it – they are very intense…imbued with Middle Eastern sugariness.’ (NL)

Mildly Wintry Dinner for 8

Onion tart with bitter leaves,  roast monkfish,  pumpkin puree, mixed mushrooms, and an almond and orange blossom cake.  ‘A very calm menu’ (NL)

Relaxed Kitchen Supper for 4

Blakean Fish Pie ‘so-called because the intense yellow of the saffron-tinted sauce reminds me of one of those beautiful Blakean sunbursts…’ (NL). Have a tub of good, shop-bought ice cream for pudding

How to Eat by Nigella Lawson, Vintage £14.99, nigella.com

To celebrate the anniversary of How to Eat, Nigella Lawson will be touring the country talking about her life in food and what she’s cooking right now. She will be interviewed by a range of authors, journalists and foodies. Tour dates and interviewers below…

14th October – Queen’s Hall Edinburgh – Sue Lawrence
15th October – Sage Gateshead – Viv Groskop
22nd October – Dublin – Niamh Shields
4th November – Bridge Theatre, London MATINEE – Debora Robertson
4th November – Bridge Theatre, London – Dolly Alderton
6th November – GLIVE Guildford  – Charlotte Mendelson
7th November – Cambridge Corn Exchange – Nicola Miller
8th November – Birmingham Symphony Hall – Felicity Cloake
10th November – Storyhouse, Chester – Bryony Gordon
11th November – The Lowry, Salford Quays matinee – Bee Wilson
12th November – Cheltenham Town Hall – Diana Henry
13th November – The New Theatre, Oxford – Hannah Beckerman

Running time: 110 minutes, including interval. There will be a 1 hour book signing after the show