The Diary: Anton Edelmann; Kenwood House; Joana Vasconcelos; Neil Gaiman; Alexei Sayle

A delicate matter

Anton Edelmann, the former Savoy chef whose protégés include the young Giorgio Locatelli, was at Sotheby's in London this week, serving guests and fellow gourmands including Locatelli, Brian Mosimann, Mark Hix and John Williams, a 16th-century recipe for cooking dor-mice. Edelmann tells me he selected a menu based around ancient recipes including one for that Roman delicacy, the humble dormouse. While he did not stay completely true to the original – he used rabbit – he thinks 16th- century recipes can be adapted for contemporary palates. "Dormouse was a delicacy, it wasn't because they could find nothing else to eat. The only reason I stuck it on the menu is because it tickled me. The guests liked it, it tickled them, too." His feast was made to celebrate the sale, Books for Cooks, of a private collection of culinary literature from the 16th century to the present day, compiled by Stanley J Seeger. As well as Apicius Coelieus's mock dormouse dish on Edelmann's menu were canapés from Athenaeus, peaches à la Verenne, and chocolates from a 1644 text.

Always a woman

The most surprising thing for anyone who turned out to see Ray Davies at Kenwood House last year was that it didn't rain constantly this time round, for Blondie's sell out concert at the open-air north London venue. An even greater surprise lies in wait for those who have booked to see Rufus Wainwright there tomorrow. Although it is not yet announced, a reliable source tells me that he has asked Fyfe Dangerfield from the Mercury prize-nominated indie rock band, Guillimots, to perform with him in a "surprise" appearance. For anyone racking their brains to remind themselves of who Dangerfield is, think of the voice behind the insanely popular cover of Billy Joel's She's Always A Woman, in the John Lewis television advert, that became a YouTube phenomenon earlier this year.

Shedding light on a female foible

Fans of the artist Joana Vasconcelos are hoping she will bring her famous "tampon chandelier" to London when she stages her solo show at the Haunch of Venison, in London, on 21 July. Vasconcelos, who makes large-scale sculptures, is considered by some to be the Louise Bourgeois of Portugal – she lives in Lisbon – and her pièce de résistance of recent shows, including one in Portugal that became the most highly attended exhibition for years – is a piece called A Noiva (The Bride), which, from a distance looks like a large, pendulous chandelier. Only up close does the viewer observe that it is made of thousands of tampons, strung together by a cotton thread and hung from steel cables. Another cracker is a big, circular crocheted work called "Big Booby". The show is called I Will Survive, inspired by Gloria Gaynor's disco classic.

Ghost of a chance

Neil Gaiman tells me he is writing a script for a First World War feature film that David Lean once optioned in the 1950s. It is an adaptation of Elias Henry Jones's book, The Road to Endor, written in 1920, that tells the true story of two prisoners who trick their guards into believing they are in touch with the spirit world in order to escape from a Turkish prison camp. The story is an extraordinary one, says Gaiman. "I fell in love with the book. What happened was bizarre and magical. Their escape plan involved telepathy, mentalism and convincing the Turkish commandant that they were able to talk to ghosts. They got out, but they had an awful fallback plan to fake madness and so they wound up in a mental institution in Constantinople."

Sayle's well-versed

A football match kicked off the London Literature Festival near Jubilee Gardens, along London's Southbank this week, for which the comedian Alexei Sayle turned up to referee on his bike, arguably a more reliable method than one employed by his professional counterparts in South Africa. The one-off match pitting writers against scientists had, observers tell me, far more poetry than England's lacklustre performance this week.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice