The Definition Of Slow Food
Country Life UK|October 06, 2021
In the garden
Mark Diacono

SWEET chestnuts are everything a strawberry isn’t. Whereas the latter is all sun-warmed succulence enjoyed the instant it’s picked, only a few months from planting, sweet chestnuts might be the definition of slow food. For a year or two, they act like an ambivalent lover, offering scant encouragement by way of a few—and I do mean a few—chestnuts and it is your job to keep the faith. Unseen, long roots push deep in search of nutrients and water: eventually, this expansion is mirrored above ground, and when it is, all is quickly forgiven.

Autumn has become synonymous with sweet chestnuts for me. Their earthy, sweet nuttiness perfectly suits the short days and dropping temperatures and I love the festive cold-backs-and-warm faces palaver of cooking the first of the harvest, balanced on a cleaned shovel over a blazing fire. As an old friend often reminds me, smoke is an ingredient, and rarely do I feel it more than then. It’s also this time of year that I planted my first sweet chestnuts and am usually organizing for trees to go to those whose gardens, orchards, or batteries I have designed.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM COUNTRY LIFE UKView All

A shaggy dog story

These big bundles of fur have advertised Dulux and danced with David Bowie, but numbers of old English sheepdogs are plummeting, warns Katy Birchall

5 mins read
Country Life UK
September 08, 2021

Interiors - The designer's room

A large collection of books lines the informal library of Kit Kemp’s Hampshire home

1 min read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021

Bonkers bespoke

What to do when you can’t find that perfect luxury item? Design it from scratch, of course, and, with the right help, it’ll be beyond your wildest dreams

5 mins read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021

Fix up, look sharp

These dream projects need TLC, but are well worth the bother

3 mins read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021

Snug as a bug in a quilt

If you’re planning to make a patchwork quilt, be sure to stick with tradition, inviting your friends and stitching to the accompaniment of violins and bagpipes

4 mins read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021

Magic carpets

Going bespoke can be the key to a stylish space

3 mins read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021

Tailored for success

Benson & Clegg has been making bespoke suits for decades in Mayfair, where it is as much about the experience as the end product

2 mins read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021

Just give me a sign

Even if no one agrees what a red fingerpost denotes, rural communities still cherish their historic signage

6 mins read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021

Things that go bump in the castle

A century ago, with a pall of loss and decay hanging over once splendid houses, a haunted history was one way for struggling estate owners to stay connected to a more illustrious past

6 mins read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021

There's a mouse in the House

As Larry celebrates 10 years as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, Claire Jackson looks back at the cats of Downing Street–and the prime ministers who have served them

4 mins read
Country Life UK
October 27, 2021