Tales from the Kitchen Table

Good news, bad news, secrets and surprises. Break-ups and make-ups, endless tea cups, homework, paid work, mending, playing, making, baking, laughing and crying. Every kitchen table has many stories to tell.

Including the Inglis Hall kitchen table.


This month, the Inglis Hall table is in the garden of sustainable beekeeper, Jennifer Moore.

Bees are some our most familiar and well-loved insects, be they fuzzy bumblebees or producers of that Winnie-the Pooh favourite: honey. My interest in beekeeping, or more specifically, sustainable beekeeping, stems from a background in farming and earth sciences rather than the sweet stuff.

Sustainable beekeeping is not only about how we keep bees, but also how we ensure there is a balance between their livelihood and that of other wildlife habitats and species. A honeybee colony is a large organism, a highly efficient pollination machine that will swiftly hoover up local pollen and nectar, potentially depriving other species.

Happily, we can all do our bit in supporting bees and other pollinators by providing food and habitat. In the same way we feed our garden birds, provide water for drinking and bathing, and nest boxes of all shapes and sizes to accommodate their different needs, so we should be doing the same for our insects. Planting a wide variety of nectar and/or pollen-rich flowers, from herbs such as rosemary, marjoram and sage, all the way up to fruit trees, is a great way to start. Think of weeds, even dandelions, as wild flowers (which they are!) and leave them be, as they are brilliant pollination plants. Putting up bee hotels, and reducing any pesticide, fungicide or herbicide use to zero is another great way to help. We can all do this, irrespective of whether we want to keep bees, supporting and being more aware of our essential insect population alongside our more charismatic garden wildlife.

Jennifer Moore

For information on sustainable beekeeping courses and raw honey,
visit and @wayward__bee

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Sometimes children’s parties go to plan. More often, somebody falls over, something gets broken, somebody wants to go home, and one little boy in wellies climbs up on to the table and puts his foot in the cake.

In this instance, it was five year old Remy, who quickly recovered from his initial incredulity at what was being suggested, to rise to the task with enthusiasm, his only slight concern being that his head teacher might not like this as he is a big fan of cake.

And on to the cake - a towering confection of light sponge, cream and fresh fruit, made for us by the team at Caccia & Tails. Stepping away from their usual Italian/New York fare to embrace our proposal, they created a six stack naked cake, all the while knowing it probably wasn’t going to end well. If you’re in need of a cake, any sort of cake, they will happily oblige. Just contact them on their website or Instagram.

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Originally, I made this fluorescent pink paint for a very particular client. Hence the name. Then, about six years ago, I was approached by the River Café to create something very similar for their wood fired oven – this fluorescent pink that stands up to the heat of the oven. Every year I make up a new batch and take it up for them to repaint it.

Part alchemist, part philosopher, part hurtling train, Simon March’s life in paint has followed a rich and varied painterly path. He has owned paint shops in London (still does) and now Lewes, had a paint concession in and created paints for Liberty, including the brand’s iconic purple (YOU ARE TAKING THE LIBERTY), crafted colour for Matthew Williamson and decorated many a restaurant, bar and showroom across London.

His unconventional hand painted paint charts are themselves worthy of a place on a wall, each disc of colour with a story to tell. One of Simon's favourites is THAT SHIP HAS SAILED - the narrator on Come Dine with Me commenting on a contestant’s attempt to make amends with another contestant. IS THIS THE TRAIN TO GUILDFORD YES ROGER was when his friend Carla was on a station platform and Roger Taylor leant out of the window and asked her that very question, IN THE INTEREST OF MOLLYCODDLING CLEMENCY I’LL GIVE YOU THAT is Jeremy Paxman at his finest on University Challenge. You get the idea. Go visit, order some paint, find out the origins of this one: MANY A MAN IN LOVE WITH A DIMPLE MAKES THE MISTAKE OF MARRYING THE WHOLE GIRL.

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The purity of the material, the quality of the ride

I would cycle to Cycles Dauphin on Box Hill, a cycling mecca at the time, and a popular Sunday ride out from London. The shop sold all the best Italian brands and I would often go in and wander round with no cash in my pocket, lusting after all these beautiful bikes. The one I really wanted was a Pinarello because my favourite rider, Pedro Delgado, rode one.

Eventually I saved enough (£400 - equivalent to a couple of months' salary in 1984) to buy the frame – a blue Montello – which was Pinarello's best model. I had an older bike that would provide some donor parts to begin with, and then I slowly upgraded it with a wish list of components.

Damon Fisher has been riding bikes since he was tiny, one of his earliest memories is of pootling along on his little bike behind his Dad. His parents had met at a cycling club (Norwood Paragon – still going strong) and there were always bikes and parts around the house.

After a career as a graphic designer, in 2013, Damon and Mark Reilly opened Reilly Cycleworks in Brighton. What started as a pitch to redesign Mark’s existing brand turned into a working partnership and a new project and business, which has evolved into a workshop and manufacturing company, specialising in titanium frames.

A lot of graphic designers and photographers are attracted to cycling – the visuals of the sport, the spectacle, location, clothing, branding – everything about it has such a powerful aesthetic.

I do still ride the Pinarello occasionally, in fact I’m planning on doing the Eroica Montalcino in Italy in May, which is why it’s currently in pieces. I tend to take it out for a spin at the beginning of the season – after more than 30 years, it’s become a familiar old friend.

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