The first thing to say is that this is a quite beautiful volume. The cover is lovely, the binding is lavish and the paper is thick and heavy. The design is wonderful and the photography is stylish.
So do the contents live up to this? Well yes, I think they do.
The recipes are organised by season, and each season has recipes for breakfast lunch and supper. And there are some lovely puddings with a chapter to themselves at the very end.
And each section is introduced with some of Sophie’s food memories. They are charming – warm, witty and self deprecating.
But at the end of the day this is a cookery book. So what about the recipes?
Well they definitely hit the spot. Each recipe takes a few good quality ingredients and with just some simple preparation and cooking a lovely dish emerges.
The recipes are in the main vegetarian, with just a few chicken and fish dishes.
There are no demands for special equipment or techniques. Just assemble your ingredients and, as long as you have a basic understanding of how a kitchen works, you’ll be fine.
And, just to give you a little taster, I have picked a day’s menu for each of the four seasons:
Breakfast: Indian sweet potato pancakes
Lunch: Chicken & halloumi kebabs with chanterelles
Supper: Aubergine Parmigiana
Breakfast: Kedgeree with brown rice
Lunch: Pasta puttanesca
Supper: Monkfish with saffron sauce
Breakfast: Lemon & ricotta spelt pancakes
Lunch: Crab & fennel salad
Supper: Hortense’s fish soup
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with watercress & smoked salmon
Lunch: Fish cakes
Supper: Wild rice risotto
I have taked Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights back to the library with great sadness, but I am sure that a copy of my own will be joining my cookery shelf very soon.