Loving the fact that by falling on a Wednesday, a dead split between two weekends, the 5th of November seems to have turned itself into a week-long festival of fireworks, cinder toffee and hot dogs. I’m saving my bonfire action for this coming weekend although nothing about an organised event can ever quite beat the childhood celebrations in the back garden which always seemed to consist of dad freaking mum out by trying to re-light a catherine wheel half-swizzling on the fence, or my favourite firework episode, the time a Posh University Boyfriend stuck a gigantic rocket directly into the ground (no tube!) in the rose bed, then lit it so of course it didn’t take off properly and chased the neighbours, an erratic comet of waist-height flames, around the front lawn. Then the alarm on his silly London car went off at 3am and woke all the same neighbours up….
I really like mulled wine with bonfires. Or hot chocolate with brandy in it (there is a really dangerous salted caramel version by Gu, that a friend, Harriet, gave me a carton of the other day). Also sturdy reds from the Rhone. M&S has a good one, Lirac les Closiers 2013 France (£10) or there’s a beautifully cushioned, plush one from From Vineyards Direct, called Domaine Pélaquié Cotes du Rhône 2012 (£9.75). Both of them are crying out for jacket potato and mittens and burnt sausage and the smell of sparklers. I might just keep going on this all month.