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T&T 39 | A Chat With Min Kym

Listen to the latest Tea & Tattle Podcast here or on iTunes.

I’m so delighted to share today’s Tea and Tattle episode, where I’m in conversation with the violinist and writer, Min Kym, about her heart-wrenching memoir, Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung.

I was sent a pre-release copy of Gone earlier in the year by Penguin, and I was intrigued by its beautiful cover and interesting premise. In Gone, Min describes the agonising loss of her Stradivarius violin, which was stolen from her at a cafe in Euston Train Station in London, and how she found her way back to music and rediscovered her sense of self after it was taken.

Once I’d started the first page, I was instantly caught up in Min’s extraordinary story and read for hours and hours one night so I could finish the book. Min’s raw, incredibly honest prose sends you hurtling through the pages, eager and yet anxious (for you know there is no fairytale happy ending) to know what comes next.

Ultimately, Min describes her book as being about love: for a person, for an instrument, for music, for oneself. Despite the deep loss that lies at the heart of the book, Gone is nevertheless a story full of inspiration and joy. As Min says at the end of our conversation, ‘I feel very hopeful,’ and so does the reader on reaching the end of her memoir. Min shows that even in the darkest hour, she found herself – and her voice – altered, perhaps, but far from diminished by her experiences.

Min Kym. Image by Orli Rose

I was so caught up in my conversation with Min that the time simply flew by, and we both said afterwards that we could have chatted all morning. This episode, then, is longer than usual, but I think when you listen, you’ll understand why.

Listen to hear Min Kym’s fascinating story about her life growing up as a child musical prodigy and the incredible relationship between a violinist and their instrument

T&T 24 | Brontë Aurell and Scandi Kitchen

Bronte Aurell and Scandi Kitchen

Listen to the latest Tea & Tattle Episode here or on iTunes.

There’s a change to the Tea & Tattle routine today, as because Sophie and I have had conflicting schedules lately (she’s been in the States and travelling around the UK, and I’ve been juggling a lot on my plate lately too), we couldn’t quite make a date work for recording. Happily, though, Sophie will be back on the podcast for our first episode in May, and I’ve got a brilliant guest for you today: Brontë Aurell of Scandi Kitchen.

Originally from Denmark, Brontë now lives in London, and she founded Scandi Kitchen, a charming cafe on Great Titchfield street, with her husband several years ago. Since then Scandi Kitchen has gone from strength to strength, garnering a large base of devoted customers. I love to drop by for a cheeky post-gym serving of meatballs, or one of Brontë’s delicious cinnamon buns.

Brontë has also written some brilliant cookbooks – The Scandi Kitchen and Fika and Hygge – as well as the recently published, The Essence of Hygge, which I have yet to read, but I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! I own both of Brontë’s cookbooks and am a huge fan of her tasty recipes. In fact, as a little thanks for all the support we have had for Tea & Tattle so far (we’re coming up to our 6 month anniversary in May!), I’ve decided to give away a signed copy of Fika and Hygge to a Tea & Tattle listener (the giveaway is open to international listeners too).

***To enter the giveaway, simply put a comment on my instagram picture and tag a friend who you think would enjoy Tea & Tattle podcast too.*** 

I so enjoyed this chat with Brontë, where we discussed how Brontë’s childhood influenced her love of food, as well as how she balances her busy professional and family lives and some of the biggest challenges she and her husband have faced in running a small business in London (including giving birth on the day Scandi Kitchen opened!). I was also fascinated to hear Brontë explain what hygge means to her and how she finds moments of hygge in London.

Listen for an interesting conversation on  Scandinavian culture, the difference between hygge and lagom, some great baking advice and much more. 

A Touch of Colour

A touch of colour

Happy Friday! It’s undeniably grey at the moment, so I thought I’d do a little list of some colourful things that have been almost as good as some vitamin D and have been keeping me cheerful lately.

The David Hockney Exhibition at Tate Britain

A touch of colour

I went to see the Hockney exhibition last Friday with my friend Alice Stevenson. It was fantastic, if very crowded, and the perfect show to see if you’re getting sick of the leaden skies. I was fascinated to view many of Hockney’s California works, which I’d never seen before, but instantly transported me to warmer, sunnier climes. Do go if you get a chance, but make sure to book in advance if you’re not a Tate member, and I definitely advise visiting early one morning, if possible, to avoid the crush.

A touch of colour

Chocoholics Chai Afternoon Tea

A touch of colour

One particularly wet afternoon, I took my friend along to enjoy a pop-up, Indian-inspired afternoon tea at a church in South Kensington. Somewhat to my disappointment, we didn’t tuck into our macarons seated in the pews, but instead tables were set up in a little room adjacent to the church. The room wasn’t the prettiest, but the lovely ladies behind London Chai Party did a great job brightening the place up with daffodils and colourful tablecloths.

A touch of colourA touch of colour

On sitting down, we were handed a glass of warming hot chocolate, before tucking into the feast, which was a great take on afternoon tea with an Indian twist. The marsala popcorn was a fun way to kick off the meal, and I especially loved the cream-cheese and sweetcorn croquettes with a delicious jalapeno sauce , tandoori chicken club sandwiches, white chocolate and cardamom macarons and rice pudding & chocolate mousse pudding (which sounded a bizarre combination, but worked surprisingly well!). Oh, and of course, the chai tea was delicious too!

The Gentlewoman Magazine

A touch of colour

My heart got an instant lift, when I saw this gorgeously bright edition of The Gentlewoman magazine on my doormat. I’m loving the articles in this issue, especially the interview with the gorgeous ballerina, Francesca Hayward, whom I admired in the BBC Nutcracker documentary over Christmas.

Madelinetosh Yarn

A touch of colour

One thing I love about yarn, is that a knitting project is the perfect way to indulge my love of colour (and also to match wool to book covers – seriously fun!). It’s a joy to ponder over each skein, debating which to choose. I love knitting things for other people too, as it means I can work with colours that wouldn’t particularly suit me, but that I still love. The purple yarn in this picture is intended for a scarf for my Mum, who has very different colouring from my own. I paid a trip to Loop yarn shop recently, which stocks Madelinetosh yarn (my favourite!), but it reminded me that I have far too much stash wool to use up before buying anymore! It was still a treat to browse the shop, though, which is always full to bursting with beautiful, colourful skeins.

{By the way, this photo also serves as a reminder that this month’s book club choice is Longbourn by Jo Baker. Looking forward to discussing it with all who take part!}

What touches of colour have you been enjoying in your life lately?