The nights are drawing in and although the weather is mild it’s a good excuse to tuck into some autumnal dishes. The earthy sweet flavour of beetroot makes a lovely dip when pureed with yoghurt and garnished with hazelnuts. It looks pretty incredible too and is lovely served with warm flatbread and a glass of slightly oxidative white such as Domaine Ferrer-Ribière's Catalonian Grenache Blanc.

Recently we had the good fortune of eating at the Talbot Inn in Mells for a friend's birthday treat. We pushed the boat out with the sharing platter of meat - it was fantastic! Delicious steak, venison, chicken and the most amazing wild boar sausages. Everything cooked simply because it didn’t need any fuss. We drank Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Petit Caboche and felt a bit like Henry the VIIIth in the magnificent Coach House Grill Room.

It's been a bumper year for pears, the king of fruits. Pear hold their shape brilliantly which makes for good baking. My friend Sue made this beautiful pear & ginger cake which is a work of art and would go well with a small glass of Monbazillac or Sauternes.