The very best of January


Move onto cauliflower cheese and bacon Finish with rhubarb and cream


Savoy cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac, leeks, parsnips, shallots, squash, forced rhubarb and salsify
Start with celeriac soup with salsify fritters

Nature notes

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Bare branches glisten with frost-encrusted lichen in the early morning and crystallised grass crunches under foot. Earth remains as hard as iron and toes turn to stone within a rubber boot. But the days are just beginning to lengthen and soon, the warmth of the shrouded sun will once again begin to penetrate, as snowdrops and aconites push their heads above the frozen soil.

Many of the main images are taken from ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year: Collection 6′ (£25).

Get away

To one of the Duke of Northumberland’s charming holiday cottages on his estate surrounding Alnwick Castle. We like Old Mill, a handsome beamed property with open fires- which sleeps five and allows dogs by arrangement-in the village of Lucker, near Bamburgh (01668 219941; www., from £448 per week).

Walk this way

At low tide, take an approximately four-mile-long route from Bamburgh along roads to Budle Bay, returning along the coast to Bamburgh (


The Goring’s Bloody or Virgin Mary 50ml vodka (leave out for a Virgin Mary)

Tomato juice
6 good dashes
of Worcestershire
Dash of Tabasco
Ice and a slice of lemon
A stick of celery

Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice,
add the tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco and shake well. Pour into a goblet and garnish with the lemon slice and celery (

Jobs in the garden

● Wash and refurbish tools-oil blades and hinges withWD40 and wipe linseed oil over wooden handles
● Repair turf edges-cut out squares of turf where damaged, turn them around and re-fit them with the damaged area facing inwards. Re-sow bare patches if necessary
● Choose First Early potatoes-Pentland Javelin is good on sandy soils and Home Guard favours clay loam. Rocket is pleasingly waxy KBH

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Whats on
January 1

New Year’s Day Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse (
January 5-February 3 Kooza by Cirque du Soleil (
January 19-February 8 Onegin at The Royal Opera House (
January 31-March 30 A Life of Galileo, Royal Shakespeare Company (
January 26-May 6 ‘William Scott’, Tate St Ives (
Last chance to see ‘Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde’, until January 13, Tate Britain,
London (
‘Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour’, Somerset House, London, until January 27 (

Book now

Tickets for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May 21-25). Non-RHS members can book tickets from December 1, 2012 (

Don’t miss

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, January 26-27 (


The Warden by Anthony Trollope