The thirteenth year

Yesterday was our 13th anniversary. D and I have been together for 16 years, and married for 13. And right about now, you’re starting to get a little worried that this is going to be that kind of post. The kind were I look back, and tell you about all the wonderful times we’ve had together. Retrace our thirteen-year journey. Then end with the recipe of a heart-shaped cake with a rosebud border.

Stay, I promise won’t. I’ll take you on another walk instead. It started with D waking me up at 6.30am on Sunday morning with a ‘Happy anniversary!’. When that failed to wake me up completely, he said ‘Breakfast at Ottolenghi!’. And, that woke me up.

We took the train to the best breakfast in London. And the day that followed kind of sums up our marriage. It was Sunday, loose-limbed and relaxed. The sky was absurdly blue. We decided to pick tube stations on a whim, then get off the trains without a plan. Surprise ourselves. Do whatever took our fancy.

It was a day that we wouldn’t change an hour of.


8.30am. An early morning walk through Islington when the streets were as bare as the trees. When the flower shops were just waking up for business, and the bakers were baking their breads.

9.30am. Eating the breakfast that makes Guardian lose its calm. By the chef who is a little bit worshipped. Food by Yotam Ottolenghi. And that’s Plenty said.

11.30am. A few stations and a couple of miles later, we found ourselves walking by the river in Richmond, sitting at a Bavarian cafe, and stumbling into a little courtyard market cooking fresh Morroccan food.

2 o’clock. Tapas for the tired, vino for the thirsty. Grilled chorizo and rocket. Gambas, soaked and sizzling in roasted garlic and chilli olive oil. Wilted spinach with raisins and pine nuts. Bread that reminded me of my childhood – toasted directly on fire, and burnt around the edges. Eggs with artichokes and serrano ham. And of course, patatas bravas.

4pm. Coffee by the roadside. A walk to work off that patatas. A train home. And just in time for Sherlock in ‘The Reichenbach Fall’.

A day that we wouldn’t change an hour of.