Friday, 19 September 2014

The Family Table: Part : Part 12. CHARLIE GLADSTONE from PEDLARS.

A couple of years ago when I first started writing this blog I thought about what it was that I wanted to share.

It started as a way of me sharing my food knowledge and my passion for preparing real food for our families.

More importantly though I like to think that I give people the confidence to appreciate that the magic that is the Family dining experience is NOT just about the food.

While the food is what draws us to the table it should be considered but ONE of many things that are shared and indeed NOT the most important one.

LOVE to me should always be the single most important ingredient that is shared at our family table. Without LOVE the food and the entire dining experience is just another meal. But with it our souls as well as our tummies are nourished.

It is with this in mind that on Fridays I will be sharing with you my new series- The Family Table- where super special guests share their family dining experiences with us. It is a way of appreciating that there are infinite ways of dining together.
My wish is that every single one of my readers makes The Family Table part of their own family life.

This week I am sharing with you a friend from across the globe.
We share a common love of large families, collecting vintage goodness, laughing & not being too serious, music played on record players, campfires, Land Rovers, and generally seeing the positive side in life.

Charlie Gladstone is the owner of Pedlars, a business he created & runs with his wife Caroline selling Wonderful Stuff for your home- some new, some Vintage. They have an online store and a real life store (Pedlars General Store and Cafe) that you can visit in Notting Hill, London .  They have made a gorgeous family with six children.

They also run a super doop Pub called The Glynne Arms in Wales, that they painstakingly renovated in 2012 as well as their fab award winning shop in Wales, Hawarden Estate Farm shop.
Together they have created a gorgeous brand that centres around celebrating life and love.  They split their life living in the Highlands of Scotland & London and spend Summer in France with their six children and five dogs, all the while travelling around the globe purchasing the fabulous Vintage treasure that is sold weekly via the Pedlars website.
Added to this amazing list of accomplishments is the publication of their very lovely book The Great Outdoors- all about taking the time to put everything down in favour of heading outside and the benefits that this gives all of us. Every family should own a copy!
Phew! AMAZING right?! What lovely people to share all of their great ideas and super stuff with us.  I am so thankful for people like Charlie & Caroline- as they help remind us to see that it is about how valuable it is to take the time to make opportunities for our families and to see the value in celebrating the simple pleasures in life.
This weekend they are hosting their very first Good Life Experience festival. I have loved watching the ever growing line-up of amazing guests. It really is a celebration of their Philosophy on life.
This day long event will be held at their Hawarden Farm Shop in Wales and is all about celebrating Culture, Food and the Great Outdoors- how RAD is that?!
I know it will be an enormous success - I just wish I could be there!
Thank You so very much Charlie for being this weeks guest at my Family Table.

1.) Can you please share a little about how your family shares food?

We are very old-fashioned. We always eat at the table, we lay things up properly, we decorate it as well as we can.  Phones are banned. We always drink wine in the evening, always. Now I think about it, this is fundamental to the way we have brought up the children and developed as a family.

2.) Do you have hard & fast eating rules? 

Other than those above....well, breakfast is quiet and no-one needs to talk. Reading is encouraged at the breakfast table. We always sit down to lunch together in the holidays.

3.) Can you share with us where your cooking influences/inspiration are from?

All over. I tend to imitate pictures I have seen because I lack the patience for following recipe instructions. Caroline, my wife, is the opposite, as is our eldest, Jack; they are much more precise. Having said that, Caroline is an incredibly intuitive and adventurous cook, with a real understanding of flavour, and I am not sure that can be taught by a recipe book.

4.) Do you have a favourite cuisine?

While travelling I have probably enjoyed Vietnamese and Indian food best, but I also love Spanish, Italian and British. French is a bit of an odd cuisine, not really sure what it is anymore. We have been to Morocco- we love the place- many times but I loathe their bloody Tagines- it makes me feel sick just thinking about them.

5.) Can you recall a super special meal or eating experience that has stayed with you forever? 

I always come back to an incredible dinner we had in Bogota. We had just arrived and we were knackered and slightly anxious as Colombia had a reputation for danger back then.  The hotel told us to remove our rings and watches to be safe on the streets. Anyway, we found a restaurant and it was just what we wanted.  We both ate a sort of warm chicken and corn soup with cold avocado and it hit the spot in a way that I will never forget.  I don't know why I will never forget it, but food does that sometimes.

6.) Would you please share the recipe of your favourite family meal with us?

If I am cooking my default would be a campfire in our fields or one of our wood burning ovens.  I would marinade some thin steak in Olive Oil, with loads of Rosemary, masses of Lemon and even more Garlic for a few hours.  Then I'd slap it onto the fire, on a grill, covered in masses more rosemary. When it was cooked, I'd let it rest and then slice it thinly and chick it back into the marinading bowl. With that I'd serve a gently pickled Cucumber Salad made by peeling the cucumber, thinly slicing it and putting it in the fridge for an afternoon smothered in whatever white vinegar I had to hand and some toasted Mustard seeds.  I cooked that the other night on a hot fire and it rocked.

7.) What music would be playing? 
And on the record player I'd have something like Creedence Clearwater Revival.
I'd used to think that early 70's stuff was for smelly old hippies but recently I have been buying loads of second hand vinyls by artists I have heard of but never really listened to, and it's a treat (probably because I am now a smelly old hippy). xx


  1. LOVE it! Now I want to be wandering around Notting Hill!

  2. I really wish we had family festivals like that here. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the Charlie Gladstone's work - as you know - and after reading this I love that smelly old hippy even more!

  4. aww what a lovely series! I love Charlie's chutzpah! Do let me know if you fancy an entry from Leipzig, Germany xx


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