About me

The purpose of this blog is just to give a place to talk about food. We’ve recently returned from a year of travelling for which I kept a blog, and now I find that I enjoy blogging it’s something I want to keep up. So why food? Why salty plums?

Salty plums are a Chinese snack that you can find in Asian food shops. Apparently they’ve also become popular in Mexico. They are insanely salty and sweet: eating one makes my mouth go squee and my eyes curl up in horror. Which is somehow pleasant. In moderation. They’re not my favourite food, but the name also sounds a little rude and slightly intriguing. I’ve always wanted to be seen as a little rude and slightly intriguing, so there you have it.

The “we” in my blogs is Matthew and Maureen, both born in the early 70’s and a team now since we met at Southampton University. I enjoy cooking, and do all of it. In some ways I’m a food snob: I’ll never buy a ready-meal, I never use pre-prepared cooking sauces, I never eat in Pizza Hut or McDonalds. I love black pudding, jerusalem artichokes, real ale and flat-leaf parsley. But I’m not a “real foodie”; I don’t watch TV cookery programmes, I only have a half-dozen cookbooks that ever see use, and I don’t read food blogs. That’s one habit I ought to change or I shall feel hypocritical whenever I wish more people would read mine!

We both love eating out. Lots and lots of Michelin stars, lots of foams and emulsions, cunning patisserie and tender water-bath’d meat. Since returning from our year of travelling I’ve been thinking more carefully about the intersection of price and quality; finding a place to enjoy really good foor for a tenner is just as precious as finding exquisite food for a cool hundred. That’s because for now we’re jobless bums living off our savings.

So I’m writing as someone who enjoys finding, preparing and eating food but who has never gone that step further of being obsessed by it. I reckon there’s plenty like me.



  1. Fran Wilson says:


    I came across your blog via Tim Johnson on Twitter. I’ve really enjoyed your posts – recipes and food reviews. I write a similar blog – just an outlet for my foodie thoughts – and one on playing the piano/teaching piano (my main job!).

    I look forward to your next post. And btw, I don’t think a salad necessarily has to be “cold’ either!



    1. Matthew says:

      I love the pristine photos on your food blog! Just had a foodie weekend in Ludlow (where we live now) with Tim and Vanessa, so there will be some new blogs in the offing soon.

  2. Alessandra says:

    I’d like to invite you to join Radical Dining Society which is all about creating dining experiences and a radical and innovative way. So If you like good food in interesting ways, with great company, request your membership here! http://www.radicaldiningsociety.com/register adding manually (do not copy and paste) the following invitation code: RDSxx4x001 This will give you a 4 months free upgrade when you sign up! We’ll be starting events in the New Year and it would be great if you could spread the word!
    Let me know please if you’d like to post about it, I really love your blog so that would be amazing!
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Best Regards

  3. Nicole says:

    Just came across your blog, and can’t wait to read more of your posts! The food looks delicious!

    1. Matthew says:

      Thank you! I was just checking out your blog, and you do excellent work with your photography – it looks so visually appealing. I really just don’t have the time (and talent) to put that much detail into each post… or I would! ; )

  4. Liza Tong says:

    I’m a bit of a foodie myself, having found an excuse to travel the world looking for great street food and learning how to make it. Vietnam is absolutely brilliant.
    Anyway great blog. I wanted to let you know that a group of my international foodie friends from Asia and Africa have got together to do a global food event. OK so we are not restauranteurs, but we do have a passion for good food. Homecooked Singaporean, Vietnamese, Senegalese, Thai and Ghanian food. We will b at the Peacehaven music festival on the 22nd June, Piddinghoe sports ground peacehaven. If you fancy dropping by….


    1. Matthew says:

      Wow… that sounds like a great collection of different cuisines! I lived in Peacehaven for a while, many years ago. I’ve no idea whether I’d be near there at the end of June, but if so I’ll definitely drop by. By the way, I couldn’t make your website work!

  5. Irene says:

    Hi Mathew

    Good to find your food blog. I’m a very amateur but keen cook and am trying to set up the first (FREE) local food swop in the South, called… wait for it, Plum Pickings! No web site yet (it’s early days) but I’m on Facebook and Twitter. Love to hear from anyone interested.

    Best regards

    1. Matthew says:

      Hi Irene. Good luck with that! I’ll follow you on Twitter.

  6. Jane says:

    Hiya, Matt,

    I was just sitting here at work, reminiscing about my lovely visit with you last summer (more than a year ago now: how can that be?). Remember the gnocchi you encouraged me to try? I was just sitting here thinking how yummy that was (even eaten cold on the train with chopsticks the next day)!

    When you give me the chance to reciprocate a visit, I shall treat you to some fine Kentucky fare, most especially at The Greyhound Tavern on Dixie Highway. I just ate dinner there last night purely on impulse. It is a favorite.

    Anyway, I mostly just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you (both).


    1. Matthew says:

      Wow… really a year?

      I do look forward to trying more American food, we really haven’t had much chance to! The Green Cafe down by the river is still our favourite bite to eat in Ludlow, though we’re moving soon to Cheltenham so we’ll have a whole load of new places to eat to explore.

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