Forgive me for sounding cocksure, but I am pretty confident that I would make a fantastic TV detective. Sure, I wouldn’t be much of an asset in a tower-block stair chase, or able to stare down a criminal with a gun pointed at my brain, slowly walking towards them with a withering confidence that caused them to gently hand me the weapon (like my hero Jack Frost). But I’m pretty sure I could make enough sweeping Poirot-esque judgements to spot the nutter on a cruse ship full of village idiots (Midsomer Murders and Miss Marple would totes be my level).
So I was beyond thrilled to be invited to the launch of the Museum of London’s Sherlock Holmes exhibition; ‘The man who never lived and will never die’. Not just because I have a huge lust for Benedict Cumberbatch and love the BBC’s Sherlock series, but also because it was super exciting to go to a launch party.
Before anyone freaks out -Benedict wasn’t there – but Sir Ian McKellen, who will star in next year’s film ‘Mr Holmes’ directed by Bill Condin – WAS. He gave a lovely speech on the portrayal of Sherlock over time and the central role of London in the stories. Later I got close enough to Ian to embarrass my friend and take this – admittedly, quite poor quality photo.
Sir Ian – stares straight ahead and hopes I’ll stop
The exhibition was very cool – bringing together original Conan Doyle manuscripts, along with costumes, books and other artifacts. There was a fine selection of art – which told a story about Sherlock Holmes and the London of his time. It was also really interactive to walk around.
Sherlock selfie – If only we’d got a shot of Ian doing this
Readers of this blog will know why I couldn’t resist including this shot.
Museum of London kept us well fed and watered
Deer stalkers – on sale at the gift shop and great stocking fillers
The Sherlock Holmes exhibition will be at the Museum of London until April 2015. It is definitely worth a visit, as is the rest of the museum, which is full of facts on London and provides a fascinating overview of the history of this great city.
You know when its Friday night and you’re supposed to be cooking a birthday dinner for your Mum? But you finish work late and then you have to make everything in half an hour and feel like having a mental breakdown?
Maybe you don’t, because you’re probably much better at life than me.
But if you do ever need to make a super-fast, super nice birthday dinner (or any dinner), this is what I would suggest making because I have SO BEEN THERE…and this kind of works.
First – whack parma and melon on a fancy plate…simple things.
Melon and parma ham
I love Jo Pratt’s ‘lazy tray baked chicken’. You just throw the ingredients in a large roasting pan – big pieces of chicken combined with panceta, baby potatoes, chopped red onion and carrots (or any veg you feel like really – peppers work well), along with a generous helping of lemon segments, rosemary and a good drizzle of honey. This needs about an 1.15 in the oven at 200 degrees.
Tray baked chicken
Desert is my take on another Jo Pratt classic – plums and peaches halved, de-stoned and filled with mascarpone (mix in the zest of an orange first) combined with amaretto biscuits. Pour over a good glunk of port with some flaked almonds sprinkled on top. This needs about 25 minutes in the oven on 200 degrees.
Mascarpone peaches and plums
And finally – if you are crazy like me – some part of you will have pre-empted your late finish from work and have got up at 6am to make cupcakes – because you can’t have a birthday dinner without cake. We accidentally bought golden icing, but I think this actually looks way fancier. And tastes amazing with chunks of Green and Blacks on top. Of course.