For people without a garden, how would you recommend bringing a feeling of the outdoors inside during the warmer months?
Use a lot of green…the freshest colour. Bring the outside in, with ferns and flowers in vases, plus pots with plants – all of which look beautiful on the table. To finish, burn candles with a fresh scent and get the music right; a bit of light Mozart - in the flute and harp concerto you can almost hear the birds singing.
Do you have a signature springtime menu you like to serve?
I would start with layers of grilled peppers, sprinkled with garlic, olive oil and basil andtopped with salted anchovies. It’s a River Café special. To follow would be risotto with asparagus and peas and then panna cotta with berries to finish.
How does setting the table beautifully help to bring some joy to mealtimes during this period of lockdown?
It’s a lovely creative thing, trying to do something a little different for each meal. Making the table interesting and compatible with the food creates a feeling of optimism, which we all need at this time. I always have music playing whilst doing this, which just lifts me even further. Sometimes I tie a napkin with string, herbs and leaves, scatter petals, or use a beautiful handmade napkin ring. A switch of flowers and glasses and a different tablecloth or placemat all creates a feeling of freshness and change. Both things we need a lot of at the moment.