Prue Coats was a new one on us, but any book that comes with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's approval has a head start. And what Prue's 'New Country Cooking' (Merlin Unwin, £15.99) lacks in fame and fancy photography it makes up for with a treasure trove of country knowledge, a love of seasonal food and engaging and original recipes. The author worked for the Free French during the war, and previously published 'The Poacher's Cookbook'. Try speedy sponge cake and ginger beer.
Giving guests granita is so much grander than ice-cream. Rosslyn Deli (56 Rosslyn Hill, London NW3, 020-7794 9210, www.delirosslyn.co.uk) has this gorgeous blood orange and bergamot flaky sorbet from southern Italy. Keep a litre carton (£2.95) in the cupboard, then stick it in the freezer a couple of hours before you need it.
The steaks are high
Jamie Oliver's tweed-clad mucker and meat supplier Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm is among the attractions at one of the stately homes of England, Tatton Park in Knutsford, Cheshire, where the North West Food Lovers Festival (www.foodloversfestival.co.uk) takes place this weekend. The merry band of 75 stallholders are selling some of the finest produce: hand-cured bacon, Hawkshead Relish, black puddings, apple juice, dressed geese and turkeys, pickled damsons and local beer.
Have your cake ...
There's pâtisserie you can't resist eating in the street, there and then, and there are confections that have to be taken home and served with full honours. The prodigiously talented pastry chef William Curley's redcurrant and fromage frais mousse in white chocolate caskets belong in the take-me-home category. Or, from £2 each, buy millefeuille of chocolate (pictured above) or savarin of raspberries made by the former chef pâtissier at The Savoy. These and other treats are available from the shop (William Curley, 10 Paved Court, Richmond, Surrey, 020-8332 3002) he opened last week with his Japanese wife Suzue, who is no slouch in the pastry department either - she used to be in charge of afternoon tea at Claridge's.