Monty Don continues his gardening Tour de France this week with an examination of the traditional kitchen garden, or ‘potage’ (a word which Don rolls around his mouth with Nigella-like sensuality as often as he can). It’s the sort of programme you imagine being watched between a game of Home Counties golf and an early evening aperitif: lush, leisurely, charming – and bursting with clichés. So we have the straw-hatted Don pootling around the countryside in a 2CV, dappled shots of him sampling strawberries and savouring red wine as he chats to farmers (and flirts with cucumber-growing nuns), while jaunty accordion music or the theme from ‘Jean de Florette’ tinkles comfortingly in the background.
Everything consists of ‘simple ingredients, cooked well’, which is all very pleasant, if a little predictable. The only occasion it really picks up is on his visit to the Jardin d’Aubervilles, a huge allotment on the outskirts of Paris, run by residents from the local tower blocks. The delightful and effusive Eleanne, who shows him around the patch she has lovingly tended for the last 39 years, deserves a whole show of her own.
OXO Tower Bar
A bar and restaurant on the eighth floor of the iconic OXO Tower. Visitors can choose to sit inside or out on the terrace to marvel at the spectacular vistas across the Thames (to St Paul’s Cathedral and Somerset House), with a cutting edge cocktail in hand or a craft beer. There is also a food menu for the peckish, featuring a series of snacks and three mains: fish and chips, cheeseburger, and a pasta dish.
Venue says: “Summer is on its way, meaning our spritz menu is back! Relax above London on our bar terrace with one of our bubbly drinks in hand.”