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Tim Key: ‘I had bought provisions for my stay in the Lakes. Sausages

This week I went to a little cottage in the Lake District. I went there on my own, partly to write, partly to breathe in air from the mountains and waterfalls and partly to see whether I could spend five days in complete isolation. No internet. No phone reception. No make-up. No nothing. Would I flourish? Or would I fold, destroy the cottage and then have a difficult conversation with my mum’s friend Barbara, who owns it?

My Life in Food: Nik Fordham, master distiller, Bombay Sapphire

Born in Wokingham, Fordham started out as a chemist, studying the subject with biology at Plymouth University, a discipline that helped him when he joined Beefeater Gin as distillery manager in 2008. He went on to receive a diploma in distilling and the picked up the Worshipful Company of Distillers scholarship award for excellence in 2011. Since March this year he has been master distiller at Bombay Sapphire. He will also be leading the Bombay Sapphire Ultimate G&T Studio Workshops at The Hoxton Hotel (Tuesday 18 and Tuesday 25 June 7pm – 8.30pm)

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My Life in Food: Gizzi Erskine

Until the age of 23, Gizzi Erskine was a professional body-piercer in Camden, north London. Now a food writer, chef and television presenter, she is best known as the host of the Channel 4 show Cook Yourself Thin and for the bestselling book of the same name. Her latest book, Skinny Weeks & Weekend Feasts, is due to be released on 28 March. She is working with Total Greek Yoghurt (totalgreekyoghurt.com) to create two new recipes.