No Mystery Diet
Miss Marple lived to a ripe old age whilst retaining a mind capable of solving complex murder mysteries in genteel locations. What was her secret? We know she lived a simple spinster's life, but could it have been anything to do with her diet?
Let's assemble the facts.
Molecular gastronomy has its place, but sometimes you just want a nice poached egg. Here's a description I found of Marple taking breakfast in At Bertram's Hotel:
"A comfortable tray with a big pot-bellied teapot, creamy-looking milk, a silver hot-water jug. Two beautifully poached eggs on toast, poached the proper way, not little round hard bullets shaped in tin cups, a good-sized round of butter stamped with a thistle. Marmalade, honey and strawberry jam."Butter stamped with a thistle. And they say civilisation isn't in decline?
So Miss Marple enjoyed simple food — something she shared with James Bond, incidentally. What about when to eat? We know she enjoyed her tea-times most of all. She pretty much lived on afternoon tea, cake and sandwiches.
Tweedy's Fact: The afternoon tea is undoubtedly — ahead of our language — England's greatest contribution to civilisation.
So, facts assembled, if you want to try the the 'Miss Marple diet', it's easy to follow. You head to your local tea rooms and order a full afternoon tea, then repeat daily.
You can also try this diet at home. Here we line up a few useful items to get you started.
Teapot - Royal Winton (1888)
A teapot is essential. Made in Stoke-on-Trent, England, the 4-person pot above is by Royal Winton. It's from their Afternoon Tea range, incorporating the Florence pattern.
Royal Winton has been making fine bone china since 1888. They are famous for their chintz patterns. Take a look at the patterns they offer on their web site — so delicate and pretty; some would make nice patterns for ties, actually. The eyes get so used to tasteful Monocle reader minimalism the world over that these patterns seem almost rebellious. It's a shame the discontinued list is growing. Let's help to do something about that.
Chuck in the Chintz?
When Ikea launched its Stalinist purge of chintz from our shores in the 80s, with its Chuck out the Chintz manifesto, like sheep we obeyed. Who are they to tell us what to do? Is it time to bring a little bit of chintz back?
- Bakewell Pudding from the Old Original Pudding Shop. Traditional Bakewell pudding made, quite properly, in Bakewell, Derbyshire. You can purchase a year's supply of these 'naughty boys' to be sent one-a-month to your home.
- Victoria Sponge from Sponge the Norfolk cake makers — truly the Queen of cakes.