2016 was one of the scariest and saddest years in many years. Brexit, David Bowie, AA Gill, Prince, Trump…I really wanted to start afresh in January and clear away the negativity, bad habits (and christmas trees. Bah humbug), and in my case, results in too much panic buying and then panic eating and drinking.
I don't really hold with “dry January”. All well and good for those who do it, but I prefer a dry February. You can then not drink and absolutely no one notices, as they are all too busy getting totally rat arsed, usually banging on about how hard January was. Nothing more boring.
Same goes for diets - I understand that people want to get on track and lose those winter pounds. Can I say that I'm just a little bored of hearing about it? Admittedly as the co owner of a restaurant, “dry January” is also bad news for wine sales..
One person who wins my vote on the sensible lifestyle front is Rosemary Ferguson, nutritionist, naturopath and juicing fiend. She is no stranger to parties and late nights but quite literally glows from the inside. Just by being a bit more balanced and looking after herself. At Locanda Locatelli I have fought for a few dishes on the menu to be a bit more appealing to people who are trying to stay fit, lean or just feel like not eating something heavy. I have won with a few of these battles, but the thing I'm really pleased about is getting freshly made fruit and veg juices and smoothies on the menu. Rosemary has a recently published book out with loads of sensible and tasty recipes, several of which we now make at Locanda Locatelli, and instead of dieting, I will be replacing meals with a juice when I'm feeling sluggish or bloated. Top tip is spending an hour when you have some time chopping each portion and freezing the juice ingredients individually in tupperwear so its all ready to whizz up in the mornings ahead, when you are in a rush.
This Beetroot Virgin Mary is incredibly delicious. Also not too shoddy with a shot of vodka in it…
75ml Beetroot juice
2 dashes wooster sauce
1 dash tabasco
1 pinch celery salt
1 quarter grated horseradish
squeeze of lemon
pinch of black pepper
1 generous splash of vodka...