About Me

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Food and travel with a conscience; food and travel that’s good for the soul.

Roots: My passion for food stems from my maternal Mediterranean roots and my vegetarian paternal roots, so I blog about recipes from my childhood and dishes inspired by my veggie Buddhist Dad. I also blog about foods inspired by my travels, new ingredients and local produce I discover, especially things with a indulgent veggie twist.

Toots: I write about independent, often quirky, travel, especially trips which are off the beaten track. I champion destinations that have a creative, nostalgic or spiritual twist and where the food is something to write home about. I’m also a backyard blogger and often feature local produce and things to do in my home county of Norfolk.

Above all my blog is about food and travel with soul – things that are good for you, have a conscious in some way, whether that’s vegetarian, cruelty-free, fair trade, independent or homemade. The things that make you feel good to your core.

I love ambling around Montmartre photographing the street art. Magic.

The day we walked around Montmartre photographing the street art. November, 2013.

Food Influences

Food and travel is in my blood. My Sicilian-Maltese grandfather ran a patisserie business in Valetta in the 1960s and his daughter, my dear old Mum, has since dedicated her life to pleasing other people’s palates.

Lilian and Leah Larwood

Me with my Maltese Mum – my inspiration in the kitchen since the 1980s

As a 1980s toddler, I had a taste for L’escargot, lobster and duck à l’orange. So there’s little surprise that for the last thirteen years I’ve been writing about and promoting food, drink and travel, for a living. My first foray in the food industry was when I was eight. I made a tidy profit every summer by picking Victoria Plums from our garden and selling them in 50p bags at the end of our driveway.  And then came the plum jams.

I love this stack of empty ghee tins lined up against a sapphire backdrop ~ Old Delhi

I love this stack of empty ghee tins lined up against a sapphire wall. And then there’s the forgotten shoe ~ Old Delhi (April 2013)

The Bad Vegetarian

But after a year out backpacking adventure around South East Asia and India, I’m now a vegetarian. Most of the time. I make exceptions when I eat out. I know, I know, that doesn’t really make me a vegetarian, but I find it hard. I love food but I also want to do right by animals at the same time, so I do what I can.

This was my favourite picture I took from the Taj Mahal. It's the floor of an empty water fountain.

This was my favourite picture I took from the Taj Mahal. It’s of an empty water fountain situated behind this landmark. (I think they’d call this effect ‘wabi sabi’ in Japan.)

Travel Influences

My Dad’s an artist and sculptor, and it’s rumoured he comes from a long line of Romany gypsies (which would explain the ‘ants-in-your-pants’ gene there seems to be on this side of the family). He’s emigrated to the USA twice, although moved back to the UK after he married. And, back to Mum, she left Malta when she was 19 years old – she left behind her family in search of a life in England – quite a brave move for a young lass in the 1970s.

But me? Travel for me is about piecing together things about life that I haven’t quite worked out yet. I do love to experience different cultures and foods; travel always promises some sort of awakening or change. For two years in my late twenties I lived on various islands in the Caribbean: Turks and Caicos, Bahamas and Jamaica. But what was even more exciting for me, was when I took a year out in 2013 to travel solo around India, South East Asia and Europe. It was such a rewarding and life-changing experience and I’d encourage other women to take the plunge too. But the best place on earth? Well, there’s no place like home. Norfolk is my dream destination, with its mesmeric skies, coastline and green meadows, for me, it doesn’t get any better than this.

There really are no other horizons quite so expansive than those found in Norfolk.

There really are no other horizons quite so expansive than those found in Norfolk. You can see to the end of the earth from here.

Food & Poetry Matching

One of my good friends, a very talented poet called Judith, sent me one of her latest poems to read (always a real treat) and part of my response to her included something along the lines of “… it reminded me of a gooseberry and raspberry tartlet with a spoonful of freshly whipped cream”. It was a taste and smell response to what she wrote. After which, she urged me to use poetry as part of my food blog. As a result, in my blog, I’ll often match the dishes I’ve cooked, not with a wine recommendation (although that may happen from time to time) but with a suitably paired poem. If you’re interested to hear what kind of poem tastes like a gooseberry and raspberry tart with fresh cream, then see the poem at the end of this section.

You'll find one of these street clowns in most European cities, Venice included.

You’ll find one of these street clowns in most European cities, Venice included.

Key Interests:

  • Artisan foods
  • Local produce
  • Vegetarian cooking
  • I LOVE train travel
  • Family-run restaurants
  • Healthy or super foods
  • Vegetable box companies
  • Off-the-wall accommodation
  • Brands with an ethical stance
  • “Live like a local” experiences
  • Time-honoured getaways (vintage)
  • Independently-run eateries & hotels
  • Retreats: yoga, meditation, writing, art

I am an avid second-hand, antique, vintage – call it what you will – lover of pre-loved items which have a story or a touch of nostalgia. Or simply something that’s a bit of a bargain! So I will be blogging about vintage finds, car boots and antique shops from time to time.

The best way to transport your vintage loot from a car boot, is to stow it on the back of your boyfriend's bike. Always bring extra bungee straps.

The best way to transport your vintage loot from a car boot, is to stow it on the back of your boyfriend’s bike. Always bring extra bungee straps ~ Arminghall, March 2014

(To find out more) I was the blogger spotlight recently with Cision – to view my interview with them click this magic button: “MAGIC BUTTON”

All photography in this blog has been take by yours truly, unless stated otherwise. Thanks for stopping by and if you did read everything on this page, then I think you’re a real Peach. If you’d really like to root for me, please ‘follow’ my blog and sign up for updates.

Toodle pip for now x

This is me. I like bowler hats and marmalade sandwiches.

This is me. I like bowler hats and marmalade sandwiches. Holkham Hall, North Norfolk ~ July 2013

This is that poem I mentioned – the one which would be best served with a gooseberry & raspberry tartlet with freshly whipped cream!

“The great green YES that sweeps the days up one by one,

Unbuttons them and kisses spring into their bones –

the god of goldenrod and dog-rose, hawk and peewit –

Whatever this is called, the year is bright with it,

Fresh as watercress and hot enough to burn.

I’m hanged if I’ll be solemn. I am drunk on light.

That little bulb of bullfinch praising hawthorn,

The blackbird unlacing his dark song; both are lit.

It shines from mountain snowdrifts, calm and wild.

The year is bright with it, whatever it is called”

By Jo Bell

13 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hey Leah – it’s good to see you’re still blogging!
    I thought you might like to know that we’re still using your original blog(?), Moon Doodles! We’ve just returned from Cambodia (among other places) where we referred to your blog as we travelled around!! I’m sure we’ll use it again and maybe even some of your new stuff.
    All the best with Roots and Toots.
    Shaun

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