Wine Tasting and Cookery Demonstration at La Cucina Caldesi

9th September 6.30pm – 9.30pm

One thing about blogging that constantly surprises me is how sociable it is. I’ve met interesting people, been to great events and had some lively debates, both on and off line, about all sorts of topics. Which is one reason why I’m very excited about hosting another bloggers evening on Thursday 9th September.  It will be a great chance to catch up with old friends and meet people whose blogs I’ve read.

The second reason is because all the food and wine will be supplied by  ‘Discover the Origin‘. This is a campaign promoting ‘Products of Designated Origin’ or PDO. Like a lot of people I am very keen on knowing where my food comes from and that it is produced in an ethical way. The PDO system does just that.

Discover the Origin promotes five PDO products: Parmesan cheese, Parma Ham, Burgundy wines, Douro wines and Port. It would be fantastic if it did more, but these five are a great start.

The bloggers event will take place at La Cucina Caldesi. Katie Caldesi will demonstrate some Autumn recipes. I’ve seen Katie cook before and she is an inspiring and accomplished chef and her recipes are authentic and approachable.

I will talk through a selection of really delicious Burgundy and Douro wines, plus a few ports. Selecting wines and ports  from two of the greatest wine regions in the world means I am spoilt for choice!

Of course it will also be a great opportunity to chat with friends and meet other bloggers, after all who wants to sit in front of a computer all the time?

Bona fide bloggers are welcome, please send a link to your blog to

Places are limited and will be allocated on a strictly first come first served basis.

To whet your appetite here is the list of canapes:

Parma Ham, Toasted Parmesan Focaccia, Red pepper Jam and rocket Cress
Cornish crab, avocado puree, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese biscuit
Sautéed Artichoke, Parma Ham and truffle Frittata, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese cream.
Smashes pea and mint Tart with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shards
Seared Beef Sirloin, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and truffle oil polenta, Rocket Pesto, Tomato Confit
Raspberry Shortcake with vanilla cream

I have being spending a lot less time on my beloved Chocolate Chilli Cupcakes blog this year as I’ve been busy with  work, study, creative writing and love. BUT it is not forgotten and I hope to start blogging again one day…

However I am still organising bloggers events and I have some interesting wine and food dates coming up. I’ll let you know. In the meantime if you want to be added to my invitation list then send me an e-mail to

Three decades of serious cooking, eating, drinking and tasting wine have not only garnered me an impressive pair of hips, but the accolade of being a ‘food and wine expert’. It is a terrific pedestal to be placed on (the food is fantastic up here) and I get to make lofty pronouncements on the best wine to serve with toad-in-the-hole or sweet and sour crab claws etc etc (Côtes du Rhone, Australian Riesling respectively).

Sometimes it can get a little rocky up here on my judges bench especially when someone wants a binding promulgation on what goes with what, only to later discover that their palate is completely different to mine and my meat, if not their poison, is a yukkie, grimace inducing mouthful. The only thing I can say in my defence is that food and matching is not cast in stone, there’s no accounting for taste and there is really no reason for it all to degenerate into a food fight.

I’ve been wearing my ‘food and wine expert’ hat a lot recently as I have been working as an ambassador for Vive le Cheese, a PR campaign promoting French cheese. So far this job has been a cheesy delight and one of the best things was hosting an evening for food bloggers at London cheese mecca, also known as La Fromagerie.

One of my tasks was to pick a handful of French wines and present them at a workshop matched to recipes using French cheese. I wanted to show a real cross-section of French wines and as I had free reign I decided to opt for five of my own firm favourites:

Pouilly-Fumé AOC, de Ladoucette 2007,

100% Sauvignon Blanc

I’m a big fan of Loire wines, I love their crispness, their aroma and I really like the minerality of Sauvignon Blanc. I often find that Pouilly-Fumé are more floral than their more famous neighbours: Sancerre.

The Ladoucette Château is a fairytale affair with turrets and towers, there is also something ethereal about this wine. It is pretty and dances on the tongue.

Chablis AOC, William Fevre 2008

100% Chardonnay

I recently went to a Chablis tasting where 70 producers were all gathered showing off their wares. The event called alternatively been called variations on the theme of Chardonnay. After the event, once the hullabaloo had faded, one producer stuck in my mind: William Fèvre. Its clarity, purity and sheer deliciousness are a delight.

Crozes-Hermitage AOC, E. Guigal 2006

100% Syrah

I like this wine because it doesn’t overwhelm with pedigree as some wines, especially from a prestigious house like Guigal, can do. This wine doesn’t demand to be stored in a cellar where it can endlessly accrue value and finesse, instead it simply requests you to drink it and enjoy its fruity spicy flavours. Lip-smacking stuff.

Madiran AOC, Plénitude, Producteurs Plaimont 2006

Tannat 80%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%

I love Madiran’s individuality, it’s SW France Basque country quirkiness. The vineyard’s proximity to the Pyrenees and my spiritual path: The Way of Saint James.

The Tannat grape is a delicious, tarry and uncompromising dark. Great stuff.

I also, at the risk of sounding superficial, love this bottle’s wax seal and metal label. Sometimes it’s fair to judge a wine by its appearance!

Sauternes-Barsac AOC, Château Coutet 2004

Sémillon 80%, Sauvignon Blanc 18%, Muscadelle 2%

I’ve been aware of Château Coutet for a while but since my lunch with Aline Baly (see my previous post) it has become a firm favourite. I love its feminine elegance, its intensity and minerality.

2004 is not a great hoopla vintage, so this wine is flirtatiously sweet rather than beguilingly unctuous.

So there are my five wines. Which one went with which dish? (click on the links for the recipes)

Reblochon PDO Fritters and Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

The Chablis and Reblochon chatted away liked old friends while the spice in the Crozes Hermitage and the spice in the soup got frisky together.

French Emmental, Smoked Lardons and Roasted Cherry Tomato Quiche

The crisp Pouilly-Fumé sparred well with the big flavours of the dish, while the Madiran worked the lardons in the tart with the aplomb of a PR girl at a reception and made them shine.

French Camembert and Fig Tart with Hazelnut and Parsley Vinagrette

The Crozes Hermitage and the Camembert were like two on-line daters who have ticked all the same boxes and really are as compatible in real life as they are supposed to be. The Sauternes and the figs fell head over heels in love.

Roquefort and Walnut Soufflé with Spiced Pear Chutney.

Chardonnay and eggs are always a compatible match and this was no exception but the smouldering match of the evening was Roquefort and Sauternes-Barsac. Powerful chemistry as opposites attract.

A wine by any other name would still taste as sweet.

I hope the Shakespearian purists will forgive this misquote. Here’s why…

A couple of days ago I had a lovely ladies lunch at The Greenhouse Restaurant, London, with Aline Baly from Château Coutet in Bordeaux. We tried a couple of vintages of her wine: 2001 (truly luscious) and 2002 (fresher and more floral) along with the daily menu, (sweet onion tart followed by wood pigeon for me and sardines and coley fish for Aline).

Now those of you in the know will be aware that Château Coutet is a Sauternes, which means it is a sweet/dessert/pudding wine, undeterred by these suggestive monikers we drank it with our savoury courses. Our wild and maverick ways paid off because the wine complimented and flattered the food fantastically.

It was not the first time I’ve enjoyed pairings between Sauternes and savoury foods. Of course the two classic matches are a good salty, blue Roquefort cheese which makes a saline/sweet opposites attract pair and the unctuous combination with foie gras pâté which makes for an über-bling foodie experience. I’ve also had success marrying Sauternes with spicy foods and game.

‘I think a lot of people misunderstand Sauternes because it is called a dessert or sweet wines which suggests it can only be served with sweet things. As this lunch proves that simply isn’t the case’, said Aline. ‘We need to think of a new name which shows how versatile Sauternes can be.’

I took another long draft of the 2001 and thought about it for a moment, examining my glass, it was a perfect alchemist’s golden colour. Then it came to me.

‘Gold wines’, I said. ‘There are red wines, white wines and then there are gold wines. All the other wines are described by their appearance, so why shouldn’t Sauternes be as well?’

‘Perfect’, replied Aline with a laugh. ‘It’s a new category. Gold wines.’

We then discussed other wines which go into the gold wine sector, these include Hungarian Tokaji, German trockenbeerenauslese and beerenauslese and Loire Quarts de Chaume and Coteaux de Layon. The list goes on and they are very, very delicious.

Of course this doesn’t change the fact that these wines are sweet, most will have at least 45g of residual sugar per litre. But the best also have a lot of acidity which keeps them fresh and zingy and why calling them sweet wines is only half of the story, they could almost be described as sweet ‘n’ sour.

I hope the ‘gold’ wine tag catches on and that more people are prepared to try these wines with different foods and drink them outside the narrow dessert/pudding pairing. I am sure there are all sorts of food pairings that are great with gold wines. I would love to hear about them. In the meantime here’s my new recipe for Gold Chicken.

Gold Chicken

Four chicken thighs

Two generous glasses of gold wine (I used a Gaillac Doux Muscat from Domaine de Labarthe, 2004, keep the elegant likes of Château Coutet for the glass not the casserole dish!)

Marinade the chicken in the gold wine for at least four hours.

Brown the chicken in an oven proof dish, add the remaining wine marinade. Then bake in a moderate oven for twenty-thirty minutes.

I served it with pilau rice laced with walnuts, fresh pineapple and parsley and the rest of the bottle of Gaillac Doux Muscat. Delicious!

Does Bottle Aged or Wood Aged Port make the best festive match?

So there’s about a week to go before Christmas, which mean I, like a lot of us, am planning my menu and thinking about what wines to serve. Since my recent trip to the Douro Valley, Portugal, I am giving far more thought to which Port to buy than I have done in previous years.

Broadly speaking Ports fall into two categories: those that are aged in bottle, such as Vintage or Late Bottle Vintage (LBV). They are red/purple in colour and have a black/red fruit and chocolate flavour profile. Then there are those which are aged in wood barrels, such as Tawnies or Colheitas, which are more oxidised so are browner in colour and have a caramel, nut and saline flavour profile.

At Christmas I like to be a generous host which means at various points over the holiday: mince pies, Christmas cake, pudding, walnuts, stilton and my, some would say ubiquitous, Chocolate Chilli Cupcakes will all make an appearance. This means the food that I serve with my port (if I group together the dried fruit baking) will also have three very different flavour profiles. So the big question is: what foods go best with tawnies and which go best with bottle aged ports? Surely this is a question that is worth mulling over! So I decided to do a taste test and I invited two willing friends: Paul and Samantha to join me.

I opened a bottle of Ramos Pinto 30 year old Tawny, a gift from my charming host at the Quinta do Bom Retiro: Sr. João Nicolau de Almeida. It is a fantastic port with lots of caramel and toffee flavours off set with notes of almonds and seaweed. This is a top-notch Tawny.

The second, W&J Graham’s Late Bottle Vintage 2003, I had bought from my new favourite wine shop: The Good Wine Shop in Kew, London for a very reasonable £15.00. It was sweet and chocolaty with lots of plum and dark cherry fruit. It might not have had the quality of the Ramos Pinto, but then it is a mere 6 year-old colt. It is nevertheless a good example of a bottle-aged style.

For the food we had a festive spread of Stilton, Mince Pies, and a lovely light Christmas Pudding made by professional pudding maker Susan Gardner and this year’s new, traditional favourite, Chocolate Chilli Cupcakes. This is what we found:

W&J Graham’s LBV 2003 Ramos Pinto 30 year old Tawny
Stilton The contrast is too marked. A taste in two halves. A melodious match. The saltiness in the Tawny matches the saltiness in the cheese. The wines sweetness makes a good underlay for all the flavours.
Mince Pies Works wells. A good dark, fruity combination. Less good. The wine becomes over sweet.
Christmas Pudding A terrific match! Juicy and festive. Delicious. Interestingly this makes the pudding taste nuttier than when it is served with the LBV. A good match.
Chocolate Chilli Cupcakes Fabulous! The great marriage of chocolate flavours with a spank of chilli on the finish.

Not so good. The flavours of the two components are individually complex enough; together it is too complicated.

So our conclusions are: go for a bottle aged Port (LBV or splash out on Vintage) with the cake, pudding, mince pies and chocolate chilli cupcakes and a Tawny with the stilton and walnuts. So yes you will need two bottles: no matter it’s Christmas!

Here are a few other ports I particularly enjoyed on my trip to the Douro:


Quinta do Crasto, Vintage 2007

This port has an opaque, black colour which shows how young it is, plus the alcohol is still very obvious on the nose, further proof of its juvenility. But there are a myriad of flavours on the palate: plums, chocolate, raisins and spice and the texture is so thick, juicy and robust that this wine will definitely age and improve for years, perhaps decades, yet.

Quinta da Gricha, Vintage 2007, Churchill Graham Ltd

A sweet smelling nose with notes of dried flowers and hay. The palate has lots of fine damson notes and a touch of spice. An elegant and feminine port which I hope to re-visit when it has aged a little more and no doubt become even more graceful.

Porto Calem, Late Bottle Vintage 2004

A fresh young ruby colour. Rather than having a strong sweet /alcohol fortified wine smell, the nose is quite ‘winey’. The palate has herbaceous notes with a touch of chocolate.

Portal Vintage Port 2003

Far more elegant than an LBV, this port is very juicy with a complex range of flavours: plums and prunes, rosemary and mint, coffee and chocolate. The alcohol is still fairly obvious but will meld into the wine with time.


Quinta de la Rosa, Colheita 1997

A pretty Tawny colour with a nutty, woody nose. The palate is intense and very, very nutty with a long finish. Tasty!

Kopke Colheita 1978

The colour is like beeswax polished wood with a hint of green. The nose has an attractive vegetal/saline note which reminds me of seaweed salad in Japanese restaurants. The palate has notes of pepper, salt and almonds. A distinctive wine.

Burmester Colheita 1963

The colour is of a French polished antique table. The palate has flavours of barley sugar and linseed oil. It is very, very intense.

Portal 40 Year Old Aged Tawny Port

An attractive polished old oak colour with a greenish tinge, typical of older tawnies. The nose is very pungent and nutty with notes of linseed oil. Very rich.

Poet Carol Anne Duffy, was presented with a butt (720 bottles) of sherry at a recent ceremony in Jerez, Spain, to celebrate her appointment as Poet Laureate.

Carol Ann Duffy signs her butt of sherry.

The Sherry Institute of Spain revived the old tradition of paying The Poet Laureate a ‘butt of sack’ when Ted Hughes was appointed Laureate in 1984. Andrew Motion was also presented with more sherry than he could possibly drink when he took up the Laureate mantel in 1999.

The press release that the Sherry Institute sent me includes a rather banal quote from Duffy. ‘With your Third British Poet Laureate standing here, I think we can say that we have a tradition – and a lovely connection between two countries who value both poetry and great Sherry.’

I think Duffy is a fantastic poet – funny, insightful, original – so I was disappointed to read this bland sentence, especially as wine is one of my favourite topics and I love seeing it described in a way that is poetic and full of life. So I pulled my copy of Duffy’s poems The World’s Wife off the shelf and had a look to see if I could find anything about wine.

I did in the poem Mrs Midas. The poem is the story of Midas who is granted a wish by Dionysus, he asks for a special power so that everything he touches turns to gold. When he comes home to Mrs Midas she pours him a glass of wine ‘with a shaking hand, a fragrant bone dry white from Italy, then watched as he picked up the glass, goblet, golden chalice, drank.’

Here wine is a metaphor for the simple, everyday pleasures in life, something special that brightens up a quiet evening, something that has now been lost in a foolish pursuit of extreme wealth. It is the sort of witty and intelligent, feet on the ground, writing that has earned Duffy so many fans.

I hope Duffy enjoys her butt of sherry especially as I doubt that she would let such a generous accolade go to her head.

Here is Mrs Midas in full:

Mrs Midas by Carol Ann Duffy

It was late September. I’d just poured a glass of wine, begun

to unwind, while the vegetables cooked. The kitchen

filled with the smell of itself, relaxed, its steamy breath

gently blanching the windows. So I opened one,

then with my fingers wiped the other’s glass like a brow.

He was standing under the pear tree snapping a twig.

Now the garden was long and the visibility poor, the way

the dark of the ground seems to drink the light of the sky,

but that twig in his hand was gold. And then he plucked

a pear from a branch – we grew Fondante d’Automne –

and it sat in his palm like a light bulb. On.

I thought to myself, Is he putting fairy lights in the tree?

He came into the house. The doorknobs gleamed.

He drew the blinds. You know the mind; I thought of

the Field of the Cloth of Gold and of Miss Macready

He sat in that chair like a king on a burnished throne.

The look on his face was strange, wild, vain. I said,

What in the name of God is going on? He started to laugh.

I served up the meal. For starters, corn on the cob.

Within seconds he was spitting out the teeth of the rich.

He toyed with his spoon, then mine, then with the knives, the forks.

He asked where was the wine. I poured with shaking hand,

a fragrent, bone-dry white from Italy, then watched

as he picked up the glass, goblet, golden chalice, drank.

It was then that I started to scream. He sank to his knees.

After we had both calmed down, I finished the wine

on my own, hearing him out. I made him sit

on the other side of the room and keep his hands to himself.

I locked the cat in the cellar. I moved the phone.

The toilet I didn’t mind. I couldn’t believe my ears:

how he’d had a wish. Look, we all have wishes; granted.

But who has wishes granted? Him. Do you know about gold?

It feeds no one; aurum, soft, untarnishable; slakes

no thirst. He tried to light a cigarette; I gazed, entranced,

as the blue flame played on its luteous stem. At least,

I said, you’ll be able to give up smoking for good.

Seperate beds. In fact, I put a chair against my door,

near petrified. He was below, turning the spare room

into the tomb of Tutankhamun. You see, we were passionate then,

in those halcyon days; unwrapping each other, rapidly,

like presents, fast food. But now I feared his honeyed embrace,

the kiss that would turn my lips to a work of art.

And who, when it comes to the crunch, can live

with a heart of gold? That night, I dreamt I bore

his child, its perfect ore limbs, its little tongue

like a precious latch, its amber eyes

holding their pupils like flies. My dream-milk

burned in my breasts. I woke to the streaming sun.

So he had to move out. We’d a caravan

in the wilds, in a glade of its own. I drove him up

under cover of dark. He sat in the back.

And then I came home, the women who married the fool

who wished for gold. At first I visited, odd times,

parking the car a good way off, then walking.

You knew you were getting close. Golden trout

on the grass. One day, a hare hung from a larch,

a beautiful lemon mistake. And then his footprints,

glistening next to the river’s path. He was thin,

delirious; hearing, he said, the music of Pan

from the woods. Listen. That was the last straw.

What gets me now is not the idiocy or greed

but lack of thought for me. Pure selfishness. I sold

the contents of the house and came down here.

I think of him in certain lights, dawn, late afternoon,

and once a bowl of apples stopped me dead. I miss most,

even now, his hands, his warm hands on my skin, his touch.

Meat Loves Salt 1

When the old man looked ahead at his dwindling days he grew lonely and afraid.  So he called his three daughters to him.

‘Before I draw up my final will you must each give me a gift which shows how much you love me.’

The next day the eldest daughter presented him with a bejewelled crown.

‘My love for you is as rich and bright as this crown,’ she said.

The old man placed it on his head and was reassured by its heavy weight pressing down on him.

‘I will give you a third of my wealth,’ he replied.

‘The middle daughter presented the old man with an opulent fur coat.’

‘My love is as rare as this coat.’

Her father wrapped the fur about him and was reassured by its warmth even though it stifled his breathing.

‘I will give you a third of my wealth,’ he said.

Finally the youngest daughter approached. She handed him a small and simple paper bag.

The old man grabbed it, full of anticipation, sure that this gift from his favourite daughter would be the greatest of the three. He poured out the contents, then stood shocked, open mouthed, as a pile of white salt streamed into the palm of his hand.

‘What does this mean?’

‘I love you like meat loves salt,’ the youngest girl said.

The two elder girls sniggered and the old man grew angry.

‘Salt! How dare you! Get out of here you ungrateful wretch. Leave my house now if this is how much you love me then I care nothing for you.’


That evening the old men was bad tempered as he ate his dinner alone. He missed his youngest daughter, as she usually kept him company in the evening. His new crown was too heavy and the fur coat was itchy against his skin. He also had a sneaking feeling that he looked ridiculous.

He stabbed at the meat on his plate and started to chew. It was bland and unpalatable.

‘Salt,’ he cried. ‘I need salt.’

Then he fell silent and realised how very, very foolish he had been.

When he looked up there was somebody standing in front of him, it was his youngest daughter, she was holding a salt cellar out to him.

‘I love you like meat loves salt,’ she said.

‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘I love you like meat loves salt.’



Like Meat Loves Salt II


When the waitress offers the woman seated at a table in the corner of the restaurant a drink she just shakes her head. Ten minutes later she asks again but receives the same response. The woman doesn’t fidget and fiddle with the cutlery or glance at her watch or look up every time the door opens, she just sits, hands in lap, looking at the white cloth. Another ten minutes pass. The restaurant is busy now, the bustle of a Thursday night.

Then suddenly the door is flung open and a man rushes in. He is tall, middle aged, wearing an expensive wool coat, bejewelled with beads of rain. He doesn’t pause at the reception desk but rushes into the dining room and falls on one knee in front of the seated woman.

‘I’m so sorry. Something came up. I’m so sorry.’

The woman looks at him and gives him a small resigned and lifeless smile. The man stands up and shrugs off his coat and drapes it over the chair then calls to the waitress.

‘A bottle of Champagne please. Your best.’

‘You don’t have to,’ the woman said. ‘It doesn’t matter.’

‘Of course it matters, it’s our anniversary and it’s the first time you’ve been out since….’


The waitress brings the bottle of champagne. They clink glasses then silence falls between them. And now they both stare at the cloth. There is nothing to say. Then the man picked up the salt cellar and let the salt stream out and he draws the shape of a heart. The crystals are a glistening white against the matt starch of the cloth.

‘I love you like meat loves salt,’ he says.

The woman gasps.

‘You remember!’

‘Of course, I remember everything. I remember your face, so beautiful twenty-five years ago when I lifted up your veil and kissed you as my wife for the first time. I remember the first time I saw you dancing and I was too afraid to speak to you. I remember when you were lying in the hospital bed…’

The woman gasps again. But the man continues to speak.

‘Holding our children for the first time. I remember how you grew and changed from a girl to a woman. And I remember how just a few weeks ago again seeing you lying in a hospital bed, just waking up, and how I was still amazed at how beautiful you are.’

The woman puts a hand to her breast and slowly tears fall down her cheek. She cries silently and he leans over and kisses her face. Her tears taste salty. Then she picks up the salt cellar and draws a heart that intertwines with his.

‘I love you like meat loves salt,’ she says.

Then they both put their index finger into the salt and lick it off.

Then somehow, it was a stupid mistake, an accident, when the woman licks the salt she bites her lip and it starts to bleed. Blood flows out and run down her chin. She tries to check the flow with her napkin but it won’t stop.

‘Darling, are you alright?’

‘I should go to the bathroom’, she says, but she is unable to move.

‘Come, let me help you,’ her husband helps her out of her chair. The waitress watches them and is shocked to see such grief.


In the bathroom the woman washes her face. The man strokes her hair and then he holds her to him. She isn’t crying any more. He starts to kiss her tasting her blood and some grains of salt that still linger on her skin. Slowly she starts to kiss him back. It has been a long time. They rediscover the shape of the others mouth, teeth and tongue, once to familiar, so sweet to remember.

Then they start to kiss harder and the man runs his hands over her back. Then he unzips her dress.

‘Don’t I’m too…’

‘Sssh. I love you like meat loves salt.’

Now her sobbing comes from deep in her throat. And she holds the sides of his head and tips her own against the back of the wall.

‘No’, she cries as he undoes her bra. ‘No.’

‘Ssh’ he says again as the soft, liquid filled rubber that fills the left cup falls to the floor with a thud. ‘Ssh.’ Then he licks the scar where her left breast had been and she throws her body back against the wall as she feels his lips tingle against her. He cups her right breast and he slowly kisses the skin flat against her ribs just above her heart. She grips on to him tightly and wraps her legs around him. When he pushes inside her her body thuds against the wall.

‘I love you…’ she cries.

‘Like meat…’ he gasps in reply.

Her back thuds against the wall again.

‘Love salt’

‘Like meat,’ he says.

‘Loves salt,’ she whispers.








‘Salt. Salt. Salt.’


When they return to table the waitress looks at them. She had heard the thudding and drawn the obvious conclusion but she couldn’t believe that this respectable middle aged couple would do such a thing. Then she sees the woman’s face, gone is the grey pallor, the stillness, here is a person full of life. Full of hope.

‘Do you need anything?’ she asks the couple.

‘No thank you. We have everything we want,’ the woman smiles at the girl, the smile reaches her eyes, and then she turned to her husband.

‘Yes,’ replies the man, ‘we have everything we want.’

They reach out their hands to each other across the table.