Spring has been inexplicably delayed; I imagine Persephone to be stuck somewhere outside Swindon on her way back from the Underworld. She’s probably on a crowded First Great Western train having to elbow her way onto a replacement bus service, due to planned engineering works.
So far, at least, the southwest has got off lightly. In Scotland, thousands of people remain without power and heat and elsewhere, hill farmers have spent days digging through 15-20 foot drifts of snow to try and rescue their sheep, who are lambing. With the cold snap set to last longer, it seems that the country may be turning to mulled wine to cope, with M&S reporting a 50% increase in its sales.
Given this backdrop, it sounds rather churlish for me to complain about feeling cold…but I will. For a fleeting moment I reverted to a child-like state of awe when snowflakes started floating from the sky; then an icy wind found all the gaps between my layers and froze me down to the bone. It just so happened at that moment I was outside Zazu’s Kitchen, on Gloucester Road, and thought it the perfect place to warm up.
Thankfully it wasn’t too busy. As much as I love the laid back vibe in Zazu’s and freely admit to coveting the Ercol, it can sometimes be a bit of a wait to get served. The food however is worth it and, today’s wild garlic soup was no exception. A warm, fuzzy jumper of a soup; it was silken and soothing and accompanied by hot sourdough toast, dripping with butter.
Shame I had to go back outside. They do a pretty mean breakfast here also and are soon to open south of the river on North Street. I’m sure it will become a firm local favourite in Southville, just as it has on the Gloucester Road.