21 March 2013

feasting with Lesley Blanch


world traveler, femme fatale, Lesley Blanch was a cook, at least she was a glorious collector of recipes-a connoisseur of cuisine-more than all that-she was a poet. Lesley Blanch was The Poetess of Prose,caressing language that still today makes her reader's mouth water when putting her pen to spices for Shashlik, Paska, or just Poor Man's Caviar. Round the World in Eighty Dishes is a seductive collection of recipes from Lesley Blanch's travels first published in 1956-and will reintroduce Lesley Blanch to a new generation of readers-& new cooks. Each recipe is served up with a tale by Blanch of its origins-or her first taste of the dish in her travels. The book will satiate you even if it never sees the crockery of your kitchen.

In a later edition of Round the World... Lesley Blanch writes of her life's work: 'benign fate whisked me elsewhere to follow less restricted ways, travelling widely and eating wildly'... I don't belong in England, I don't belong anywhere, it is rather restful - I have met everybody and known nobody'.

Blanch adds her whimsical sketches to each recipe story-this new edition lovingly recreates them true to the original first edition.This Round the World in Eighty Dishes will whet your appetite for the Blanch pièce de résistance- The Wilder Shores of Love-her biography telling of the lives of the women travellers she so admired, Isabel Burton, Lady Jane Digby, Isabelle Eberhardt, and Aimée du Buc de Rivéry -delicious- or her very intimate Russian aqua vitae served "neat," Journey Into The Mind's Eye

photograph of Lesley Blanch by Henry Clarke

Round the World in Eighty Dishes will have you craving more, more Blanch that is.  

Bon appetit!

the book is available at grub street here



  1. ... you always introduce something new, but not new ... must hunt up Lesley Blanch ASAP. Thanks

    Karen in CT

    1. so glad to hear that Karen. She is a treasure, I know if you enjoy little a-you will be devoted to LB. pgt

  2. Lesley has been on my bookshelf for many years; Journey into the Mind's Eye is one of those unforgettable reads. And I still have the magazine article with the photo of her lounging with the fan. Thanks for reminder that it might be time to read her again.



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