Sipsmith, established in 2009 by Sam Galsworthy, Fairfax Hall and Master Distiller Jared Brown, is the first copper-pot distillery to open within London’s city limits in nearly two centuries. Their distillery in west London is dominated by a gigantic, hissing but beautiful copper still known as Prudence, the fourth member of the Sipsmith gang. Their spirits are produced in small batches and the water used to distill them is collected from one of the sources of the River Thames in the Cotswolds…


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by TOAST ( 04.04.13 )

Louis Eliot has been playing guitar, singing, writing songs, since his years could be measured in single figures. He was shown his way around a guitar by the Hawkwind guitarist; kept on course as a teenager when, walking home after a gig for which he’d had to battle nerves, a familiar voice came from the shadows: ‘nice singing, Lewis’. The voice was Joe Strummer’s.

Through the 90s he fronted top-20 album band Rialto; played bass for Evan Dando; played guitar with Skye from Morcheeba. He now lives with his family in Cornwall, his native county, and leads Louis Eliot and the Embers – though occasionally taking to the road to play guitar for Grace Jones. If you think his surname might reveal a connection to the Port Eliot festival – you might be right.

Joe Strummer was right about his voice – a clear, light tenor with just a hint of fallen angel about it. On stage with the Embers he disappears into his songs – and the band fly. Their album is called Kittow’s Moor, a blend of folk, country and rock’n'roll that can’t help itself from rocking. We recommend it – our current music of choice, Friday evenings, to remind us that the weekend nights are for dancing. Listen to it, buy it at louiseliot.com or iTunes or all the usual suspects.


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by TOAST ( 03.04.13 )

This August Toast will be travelling to Oxfordshire to curate the spa at Wilderness Festival for the third year running. We will be packing bags, boxes and vans with our favourite outdoor things - deckchairs, firebowls, storm lanterns, blankets and installing ourselves near the lakes of the Cornbury Park Estate. The spa is a place to relax and enjoy a few moments away from the noise and hubbub of the rest of the festival – a place to soak in cedar hot-tubs under the sun and stars, steam in saunas, sip champagne and allow the world to revolve slowly without any input for a few moments…


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by TOAST ( 30.03.13 )

The second dispatch from author, printer and dealer in ‘Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul’ John Andrews (a.k.a Andrews of Arcadia). John is one of the six working men photographed by Neil Gavin for our spring/summer menswear collection. The photos here are by Jim Eyre (@scribblebag).

In the month of March the first thing I notice is the difference in the hours as dawn gets earlier, it seems, by an hour a week, although it is only a quarter of this in reality. As I step out of the van after the 7 O’Clock News there is light in Hanbury Street and for the first time in five months I will be able to load the trolley in something akin to daylight. The feeling this brings on is slow realisation that days at the market will get slowly warmer and brighter. It is a hope that you do not realise gets buried by the winter months…


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by TOAST ( 28.03.13 )

It’s half past nine on an exceptionally dreary Friday morning and I’m racing southbound towards Fitzrovia aboard my bicycle – hands freezing, lights glowing, tyres squealing. I pass by the thunderous Euston Road, whiz around the corner and arrive, a minute later, in Warren Street. I disembark and chain up the bike, push open a door beneath cobalt blue awnings and suddenly the drab streets outside are forgotten. The room before me is softly glowing, warm and inviting. I’ve arrived at Honey & Co., a fairly new but perfectly formed café-bistro, owned and run by ex-Ottolenghi husband and wife Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer…


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by TOAST ( 27.03.13 )

Orlando Gough. 

OMG, it’s all going horribly wrong, we’re eating all the wrong stuff, and the Obesity Czar is banging on the door, demanding to see a detailed inventory of everything we’ve eaten in the last three months. We’re living a good two years less than those cunning health-conscious Japanese with their sophisticated restaurants that won’t accept foreigners.

We’re eating too much horse, and we’re not doing enough foraging. We’re bingeing on TV cookery programmes, and then we’re buying packs of Findus frozen lasagne. We’re ricocheting between dieting and cup cakes. There’s the Fast Diet, invented by Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson. There’s the alarming Milf Diet (1/3 pint of milf a day), and the Cambridge Diet, a diet of Aristotle and Beowulf. Some of these diets involve weird pouches of stuff you add water to. It’s like being an astronaut. (Actually, maybe if you’re an astronaut you don’t add water, because the water will just fly away……not sure about this…)…


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by TOAST ( 26.03.13 )

Thom Hunt is a fisherman, hunter, forager, scuba diver, teacher of all these things… and television presenter: two series of Channel 4′s Three Hungry Boys, in which he and two friends were challenged to survive in the Hebrides with nothing but a battered old VW camper van (and absolutely no money) by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Thom has since moved from the River Cottage hub in Devon to the far reaches of Cornwall, where he runs exciting residential courses in wild food foraging/cooking and general living hand-in-hand with nature from an isolated, rudimentary (and lovely) cottage on the banks of the River Fal. This year Thom also plans to climb Everest.

He’s a man of great zest, infectious enthusiasm and relish for life. He likes nothing better than spending time in the Great Outdoors, Having Adventures. People love his courses, for more about which, visit 7thrise.co.uk


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by TOAST ( 25.03.13 )

We celebrated the opening of our newest shop on London’s Marylebone High Street last night with a good party. The Flower Appreciation Society did a fabulous job of decking the shop with fresh flowers and partygoers were treated to bespoke floral headdresses and buttonholes. Gin & Tonics were served by Sipsmith and decorated with peppery edible flowers from Greens of Devon. If you weren’t able to pop by, make sure to pay a visit to the shop over the next few days – the flowers will be in bloom until Monday 25th March.


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by TOAST ( 22.03.13 )

Flowers by Andy Warhol. 1964.


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by TOAST ( 22.03.13 )

Lia Leendertz.

A crystallised primrose is not something you knock up in a hurry. The polar opposite of ‘bish bash bosh’ cooking this is delicate and painstaking, gentle and slightly prim. It is a task that requires a cup of Lady Grey tea, a calm mind and a Radio 4 afternoon play. Such crystallised flowers are a nonsense really, not there to fill you up and providing perhaps the tiniest trace of nutrients, but they do provide colour and a little magic, and link your food irrevocably to your garden.

Edible flowers are generally an easy bunch to grow…


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