It’s taken me so long to write about this, because to be honest, it was such a brilliant day, I don’t think I can do it justice. Shall I give it a go?
Many moons ago, I was at a Guild of Food Writers event and Bruce Langlands, Director of Food and Restaurants at Harrods was one of the speakers. I plucked up the courage to go and speak to him afterwards, and asked, “Do you know who Vincent Price is?” (one should never assume…) He said he did, and I asked if he knew that Vincent had been a massive fan of Harrods, and had written about it in his legendary cookbook A Treasury of Great Recipes. He didn’t. Soon after that, he invited me to meet with him in the Georgian Restuarant at Harrods. I felt like a million dollars having coffee and pastries galore, in such a beautiful setting. I took along my original copy of the Treasury to show him, and he LOVED IT. Shortly afterwards, he managed to score a copy from 1965 for the Harrods archives.
When Victoria Price, Peter Fuller and myself started planning events for the London Legacy Tour, I hit upon the idea of having an event at Harrods, and boy did we ever?!
Around 20 of us had a VIP tour of the food halls BEFORE THE STORE WAS OPEN. That was something really special. Bruce has an encyclopeadic knowledge of the history of the halls and gave a brilliantly entertaining, and super informative tour.
The new edition of the Treasury was on display in the food halls and I posed for some pictures with Victoria…
After our tour we had a private breakfast in the Georgian Restaurant, before it was open to the public. When we arrived, I had never seen such a beautiful looking table, all set up for us. I nearly cried!
Via Bruce and Alex, I’d arranged with the chef to have Buckingham Eggs served as part of the breakfast. This is a recipe in Vincent’s Treasury, and one that is dear to my heart. The Harrods version of Buckingham Eggs was just superb. Better than all the versions I have ever made! So yummy and much more subtle with the anchovies than I usually am…
I didn’t know until the night before that the lovely Russell and Sarah had booked on the tour. I first met them when I DJd at their wedding reception with The Shellac Sisters, and now we are all firm friends. It was Russell’s birthday on the day of the event, so that made it extra special. So much fun to enjoy breakfast with them, in such a glamorous setting.
After breakfast we trooped up to the book department where the Treasury was displayed in all its finery. I nearly cried again, when Victoria signed my copy.
Battenburg Belle was there, and she did make me laugh as by the time we’d finished our breakfast, Harrods was absolutely teeming with shoppers. She said, “Oh, I did prefer it when it was just us”! We felt like royalty, having that special time in the store before the crowds.
It was a wonderful day, full of fun, friendship and glamour. But my favourite thing of all, was meeting Miriam and her mum. Miriam writes the wonderful Cine Gracia Cinema blog and she and her mum came all the way from Spain to come to this event. I’d never met Miriam before, we’ve just corresponded by email, and when I saw her in the entrance hall of Harrods I just had to run over and give her a great big hug. When bloggers meet! I love it!
Miriam gave me such a cute gift for my Christmas tree. I shall cherish it and bring it out every year!
Thanks so much to Bruce and Alex at Harrods, for making this event happen. Thank you also to the staff of the Georgian Restaurant, and its superb chef, who made us such a special breakfast. I will remember that day forever. It really was a dream come true, all thanks to Vincent…
It looks like you had an amazing time! I think Vincent would be THRILLED that this event was held in honor of the cookbook and in honor of him. 🙂
Oh, thanks so much Tina. It was such an amazing day, I couldn’t stop smiling!
Also, I meant to ask this in the comment before, but forgot. Do you keep your copies in your kitchen or somewhere else? I keep mine with my Vincent Price collection. I don’t want them to get food stains on them!
I keep both copies in my bedroom! I so often want to glance through it either before I go to sleep or when I get up, can’t be bothered to keep walking to the kitchen! I think I’ll carry on using my original copy for cooking from, the new version just seems to perfect to use…
The original copy I have has a big chocolate thumbprint on the page that has the recipe for Pots au Chocolat recipe. The thumbprint of whoever owned it before me – I love that!
What a brilliant day! It looks like it was all so perfect.
It really was! Everything was sooooooooooooooo lovely! Jx
That sounds fabulous!
Victoria was supposed to have a dinner in Baltimore (I bought tickets) but it was cancelled.
How different is the new version than the original?
It’s a facsimile, so all the recipes / text / photos / menus are exactly the same. It has a new introduction by Wolfgang Puck and a wonderful added section written by Victoria about her parents’ love of cooking and entertaining, with new family photos. The book itself is a beautiful thing. Mine are side by side on the bookshelf. I love them both. I think I’ll continue to use my original one when cooking, the new one when browsing! Jx