St Ives

The Tate. The Barbara Hepworth studio and garden.

Glorious and inspirational.

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Who knew there were rhododendron TREES?

Today, Lanhydrock gardens and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Just stunning.

 

It is SO COLD in Cornwall that I had to buy a coat today. Am finally warm. Hooray!

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Around and about in Cornwall

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In Cornwall

For a week with old friends. Started out in freezing, icy London. Now in sunny but cool Padstow.

We stopped for an excellent Sunday lunch at the lovely Coombeshead Farm.

The bread was extraordinary. I wish I had gotten a photo of the butter, which was a bright deep yellow. From Guernesey cows.

And there were roasted beets and chicken and a beautiful salad. Black currant and hazelnut tart with rhubarb sorbet to finish. Yum.

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Georgia, part 2

Of all the travels I have undertaken while living in Europe, Georgia felt most different, unusual and very far away–literally and metaphorically.

It took about 8 hours to get there, starting from Geneva and transferring in Warsaw. From Warsaw to Tbilisi the flight is about 4 hours. And all flights to and from begin or end in the middle of the night.

We arrived on Maundy Thursday (although it was not Holy Week in Orthodox Georgia!) around 5:30 am and checked into our very nice hotel.

The hotel is sumptuous, full of textiles, art, Georgian designs, pottery, old mismatched silver, and quite a few oddities, like a lifesize giraffe sculpture.

On the one hand, Tbilisi feels old and brooding, with the weight of the Soviet past still heavy. On the other, it’s full of the energy of renovation and refurbishment; gentrification–and Easyjet flights–cannot be far behind. See it NOW, before all that happens.

Lots of interesting architecture, from old and crumbling to new and WOW.

The wisteria and the lilacs were in bloom, with bunches of flowers being sold by babushkas who have clearly had a rough life and were begging for customers.

More to come!

 

 

 

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Pretty spectacular drive to work today

 

And yes, that’s fresh snow on the Jura, and more headed our way next week. Happy Spring?!

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Around the office today. #spring

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From Georgia. Yes, the other one.

Part 1 of who knows how many posts about our Easter trip to Georgia, the former Soviet republic.

First, the food! Did you see this excellent article in the New Yorker? Georgian cuisine is having a well-deserved moment.

Southerners, take note. My first meal in The Other Georgia included . . .

HUSHPUPPIES! aka Elargi balls, stuffed with a bit of cheese.

I admit, I never had a hushpuppy in the South served with walnut and chile sauce, but it’s delicious!

And the cornmeal didn’t stop there.

We also had, well, a bowl of grits!

Homemade, in a private apartment, where we joined a family for prepping dinner and then digging in (if you find yourself in Tbilisi, you must meet Mari and Levan!) This experience was just the best. Mari had to leave for an out-of-town tour, so we were hosted by Levan and Mari’s mother at Mari’s parents’ house. There is nothing like seeing where and how people really live, talking history, politics, and travel. Not to mention helping with the chopping, learning about the food and recipes, and then sitting down to a feast.

This grits dish (ghomi) is served with a big slab of the Georgian cheese known as Sulguni.

Levan noted that this is a pretty bland dish, so he slathers his with walnut sauce (NB: walnut sauce, aka, baje, features prominently here and elsewhere!).

We also had chashushuli, beef with homemade tomato sauce; adjapsandali, eggplant, red pepper, potato, onions, and coriander in tomato sauce; shkmeruli, chicken with garlic sauce; nadughi, one of my favorites, as it is a thin skin of cheese stuffed with more cheese (these people know how to live!) and mint; and kitri-pomiduris salata, tomato and cucumber salad. Washed down with Levan’s first vintage of his own wine and some very fine chacha (a homemade fruity vodka).

I feel full all over again, just writing this.

Our bounteous table below.

More on Georgia to come.

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Chose the filter called “lark” for this one. #the100dayproject #awalkandaline

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Finding wild hair a sketching asset. For the subjects, I mean. #the100dayproject #awalkandaline

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