Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 643

Weekend 101 wonderfulwayswith hot cross buns FREE Your regular edition of Weekend is inside Issue 643 | 30March 2023

2 30 MARCH 2023 HEAVEN Our award-winning range includes everything from Richly Fruited orWhite Chocolate & Lemon to Spiced Apple andMature Cheddar & Stout. They’re great toasted with butter, but you don’t have to play it by the book… THE RANGE 1 The cheese and porter in our No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Buns is a perfect pairing for savoury avours. Toast and stu with wedges of Cheddar, slathered with hot lime pickle. 2 Cover Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns in vanilla custard and bake for bread and butter pudding. 3 The subtle spicing of Free From Hot Cross Buns adds avour to stu ng for roast pork or chicken. 4 Toast Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns and cover with ricotta and honey for a delicious brunch. 5 Soak Essential Hot Cross Buns in egg and milk, then press down in a wa e iron to toast. Serve with maple syrup and fresh berries. 6 Turn toasted White Chocolate & Lemon Hot Cross Buns into s’mores. Fill with toasted marshmallows and milk chocolate buttons. 7 Add a citrussy dimension to a homemade treacle tart by adding crumbed and dried St Clements Hot Cross Buns into the lling, and spreading a layer of orange marmalade on the base. 8 Use halved Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns instead of scones in a cream tea. 9 Blitz toasted No.1 Luxury Hot Cross Buns into crumbs, then bind with melted butter as the base for a deluxe Easter cheesecake. SWEET 10 Toss cubes of Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns in melted butter and demerara sugar, then bake until golden to top a stewed fruit pudding. 11 Use Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns to make melt-in-the-middle eggy bread. Spread the insides of the buns with Nutella, dip in beaten egg, then fry in butter until golden. Dust with icing sugar and serve with berries. 12 Use torn pieces of St Clements Hot Cross Buns to make rhubarb and mascarpone pots. Add to the base of serving pots or glasses, then avour with stem ginger syrup and orange zest. Cover with stewed rhubarb and top with mascarpone. 18 Use Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns to make brown bread ice cream. Blitz to a ne crumb, mix with demerara sugar and caramelise under the grill. Fold the cooled crumbs through a vanilla custard and freeze. 19 Soak St Clements Hot Cross Buns in liqueur, then add orange curd, boozy cream, custard and raspberries to make a tri e. 20 How about a hot cross bun salted caramel ice cream sandwich? Toast halved Richly Fruited or No.1 Luxury Hot Cross Buns, then ll with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. 21 Fill Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns with choc-orange tru es and bake until gooey. 22 Make mini simnel buns by rolling balls of marzipan to stick to the top of Essential Hot Cross Buns with apricot jam. Brush with beaten egg yolk and grill. 23 Stack hot cross buns side by side on a board to create a caterpillar shape. Surround with fresh fruit, then pipe a face on the front bun and add chocolate stick or ngers antannae. 17 Blitz Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns to coarse crumbs for sweet pangrattato. Toast in butter with cinnamon, chopped hazelnuts and orange zest to top a rice pudding. 25 Spread Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns with cashew or peanut butter. Add sliced banana and chocolate chips, if liked, then enjoy with a cuppa. 26 Use Richly Fruited or St Clements Hot Cross Buns in place of bread in an apple Charlotte pudding. 27 To make hot cross bun bostocks, soak White Chocolate & Lemon Hot Cross Buns in fruit syrup, spread with frangipane cream and bake. Serve with fruit. John Whaite’s recipe is at waitrose.com. 28 Add Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns to homemade granola. Tear into bitesized pieces, then toss with melted butter and maple syrup, plus pecans, oats and cinnamon. Bake on a low heat until golden. 29 Bind torn Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns and dried fruit with beaten egg to make fritters. Add to a hot pan, then fry in butter until crisp and golden. Serve with ice cream. 30 Make a sweet strata using sliced White Chocolate & Lemon Hot Cross Buns. Layer up with blueberries and custard. Soak overnight, then bake. 32 Use Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns in a fondue. Cut into cubes and dip into a hot chocolate ganache. 33 Add Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns to brownie mix. Toast, butter, tear and fold through your mix, letting some poke clear of the surface, then bake. 34 Use White Chocolate & Lemon Hot Cross Bun ngers in a tiramisu. Soak in espresso and layer with Marsala- avoured cream and mascarpone. Top with grated chocolate, then dust with cocoa and chill. 35 For jam tarts, roll Richly Fruited Hot Cross Bun halves at, then line a 12-hole cake tin. Add jam, then bake. 13 Use St Clements Hot Cross Buns as the breadcrumbs in a fruity, meringue-topped queen of puddings. 14 The breadcrumbs are a fabulous option in a pineapple upsidedown cake, too 15 Use Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns to make a brown Betty. Blitz the buns into coarse crumbs, then fry in butter until golden. Sprinkle over warm, stewed apple and serve with cream, custard or ice cream. 16 To make a frangipane tart, add blitzed Richly Fruited Hot Cross Bun crumbs to a frangipane lling in place of our. Spoon over and around drained, canned pear halves in a sweet pastry case, then bake until set and golden. 31 Mix toasted and torn Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns with marzipan, butter, sugar and chopped almonds. Stu into stoned peach halves and bake. To make bread pudding, soak Essential Hot Cross Buns and dried fruit in milk or coconut milk, then add to a baking tray, sprinkle with demerara sugar and bake until golden brown and crisp on top. 24 HOT CROSS BUN

3 30 MARCH 2023 36 Add toasted, coarsely crumbed hot cross buns to a apjack mix. Any sweet variety will work. 37 For Scandi semlorstyle buns, blend grated marzipan with a dash of milk for a paste to spread over the base of Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns. Pipe on whipped cream, then brush the tops with melted apricot jam, dust over cardamom powder and balance on top of the cream. 38 Split Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns for a tear-andshare traybake. Spread with cinnamon and brown sugarblended butter and pack into a tray. Bake brie y, drizzle with cinnamon-spiced cream cheese icing and allow to cool. 39 To make hot cross bun tru es, mix Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Bun crumbs with vanilla buttercream, then chill. Roll into balls and chill to rm up. Dip into melted chocolate, cocoa powder or chopped nuts, then chill again. 40 Use Essential Hot Cross Buns as pastry cases for chocolate tarts. Roll at, butter and line a mu n tin. Bake, then ll with chocolate ganache... 41 ... or with nutmeggy, egg custard lling. Just bake until set. 42 Add St Clements Hot Cross Buns to a tropical pudding. Halve and toast, then scatter over brown sugar, golden rum and banana slices. Grill, then serve with Greek yogurt. 46 Blitz our No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar and Stout buns and use to roll around chilled croquetas of jamon- ecked bechamel sauce. Deep fry till oozing and serve with chilled no sherry. 51 Fry Spiced Apple Hot Cross Bun breadcrumbs in butter, add to chopped apples, lemon juice, raisins, cinnamon and sugar, then stew to make the lling for a lo strudel. 52 Blitz Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Bun into crumbs and add to the dough for cookies. 53 Add St Clements Hot Cross Bun breadcrumbs to dried fruit, shredded suet and spices in a plum du pudding mix. 54 Of course, a plum du recipe is very similar to Christmas pudding, so if you want to get ahead for December… 55 Liberally spread Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns with peanut butter and blackcurrant jam. SAVOURY 57 Break up Essential Hot Cross Buns to use in a breadcrumb mix for bread sauce to serve with roast chicken... 58 ... or make a gluten free bread sauce for your roast with Free From Hot Cross Buns. 59 Blitz Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns into a coarse crumb and mix with mustard powder and smoked paprika as a crust for pork chops... 60 . .. or whizz No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns into crumbs as a coating for attened chicken breast llets. 61 Mix Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun crumbs with chopped capers, dill and parsley to top sh. 62 Use crumbed Essential or Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns for crispy coated sh cakes. For a sweet snack, cut White Chocolate & Lemon Hot Cross Buns into ngers, brush with melted butter, then gently warm in a low oven. Roll in cinnamon and sugar to serve, churros-style. 43 Swap Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns for bread in the recipe for toast and marmalade mu ns at waitrose.com. Use honey in place of the marmalade, if liked. 44 Halve Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns, pipe with whipped cream and dip the tops into melted chocolate. Allow to cool, for hot cross chocolate éclairs! 45 For iced buns, make a paste with fondant icing, then drizzle over the tops of Essential or Richly Fruited Mini Hot Cross Buns. Allow to set. 46 Mix icing sugar and softened marzipan into butter to spread on toasted Richly Fruited or Free From Hot Cross Buns. 47 To make doughnuts, roll Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns in melted butter, bake until crisp, then roll in cinnamon-spiced sugar. 48 For lled doughnuts, add jam, chocolate spread, caramel sauce or apple sauce to a piping bag. Make a small incision in the sides of the buns, then pipe the lling in. Finish in the oven, then roll in the spiced sugar. 49 Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns are ideal to use as breadcrumbs in the Swedish layered dessert äppelkaka. 56 Tower Richly Fruited Mini Hot Cross Buns like a croquembouche, all tied together with spun sugar and melted chocolate, then nish with mini chocolate eggs all over. 50

4 30 MARCH 2023 95 Make Spanish-style migas by frying chorizo in olive oil. Add onions and red pepper, cook until soft, then toss in torn No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns. Fry, then top with a fried egg. 63 Spread No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns with garlic butter, tear into pieces and add to a Bundt tin with grated cheese, bake until golden, then turn out while warm. AND TO DRINK? 101 For a hot cross bun cocktail, simmer dried buns with 2 parts sugar and 1 part water. Infuse and cool, then strain and chill. Shake 1 part syrup with 1 part lemon juice, 1 part amaretto and a dash of PX sherry with ice. Pour and add a twist of lemon peel. 77 For a Med-style strata, roast peppers, garlic, onion and courgette. Add Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun pieces and pour over eggs beaten with cream, then scatter with cheese. Bake until set. 64 Serve Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns with maple-cured bacon and marmalade for breakfast. 65 Slice No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns into ngers and toast to make cheese straws. 66 Blitz hot cross buns to coarse crumbs and fry in oil to top cauli ower or mac ‘n’ cheese... 67 ... or as a pangrattato to add over pasta. Match the hot cross bun avour to the ingredients – St Clements with sh pasta or Richly Fruited in a Sicilianstyle pasta, for example. 68 Top a cobbler-style chicken stew with No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns. Halve, brush with garlic butter and sit on the stew near the end of cooking. 69 Pack Essential Hot Cross Buns with a crispy-based fried egg and drizzle with chilli oil. 70 Toast Essential or Free From Hot Cross Buns, then slice for soliders with a soft boiled egg. 71 Use leftover Spiced Apple Hot Cross Bun crumbs to top a cheesy gratin of fennel to serve with pork chops. 72 Fill open Wholemeal or No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns with Swiss cheese, ham and pesto, then grill in a panini press until oozing and hot. 73 Top toasted No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns with fried, parsley- ecked garlic mushrooms. 74 Fill No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns with sh ngers. 78 Swap plain baps for No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns to make the ultimate burger. 79 Replace crackers with toasted Spiced Apple or Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns on a cheeseboard. 80 Cut up Essential Hot Cross Buns, drizzle with oil and low-roast until crisp and golden. Rip into a panzanella-style salad. 81 Use as croutons in French onion soup. Toast, then top with mustard, thyme and Gruyère to melt under the grill. 82 Dip halved No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns in egg, then fry in butter and serve with bacon. 83 For a tasty carrozza, sandwich mozzarella in Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun halves, dip into beaten egg, then panko breadcrumbs. Fry until golden all over and oozing within. 84 Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns make great hot dog partners, stu ed with halved Frankfurters and fried onions. 85 Blitz Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns to bind a mix for Middle Eastern-style lamb meatballs. 86 Thinly slice and toast Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns, then top with gorgonzola, pear and a drizzle of olive oil for crostini. 87 Blitz Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns into ne crumbs to coat homemade scotch eggs. 88 Fill Essential Hot Cross Buns with slow-roasted pulled pork, salad onion, cucumber, sesame seeds and fresh chilli. 89 Hollow and ll No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns with grated cheese, top with more cheese and grill until bubbling for a cheesy ri on bunny chow. 90 Add onions and beef gravy to slow-cooked beef brisket. Fill hot cross buns with the beef and dip in the juices. 91 Make croutons with Spiced Apple Hot Cross Buns to top a salad of fried black pudding and scallop with apple and watercress. Add a vinaigrette made using the pan juices. 92 Blitz No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns to coat chilled croquetas of jamón- ecked béchamel sauce, then deep fry. 93 Turn Essential Hot Cross Buns into dumplings in a sausage cassoulet. Blitz to crumbs, mix with sliced sage and ground fennel seeds. Bind with olive oil, then add to the stew as balls near the end of cooking. 94 Make sloppy Joes by sandwiching chipotlespiced minced beef with cheese into No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns. 96 Blitz No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns and use to coat arancini for deep frying. 97 Add cheese, ham and mustard to No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns. Butter the outsides and fry for a croque monsieur. 98 For chorizo beans on toast, fry chorizo, add canned tomatoes, cannellini beans, sugar and thyme. Simmer, then serve over toasted No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns. 99 Toast No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns for eggs Benedict with sliced ham and hollandaise... 100 ... or swap ham for wilted spinach in an eggs Florentine. 75 Use No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns as the base for Welsh rarebit. 76 Mix blitzed Spiced Apple Hot Cross Bun crumbs with pork mince and sausagemeat for meatloaf. Add chopped sage, lemon zest and ground fennel seeds, then stu into a loaf tin and bake. Time to decide... Scan the QR code and make your choice of hot cross buns from Waitrose – then get creative for Easter! Photography Jamie Orlando Smith, Styling Jennifer Joyce ,Props: Wei Tang, Art Direction: Corrie Heale Photographs: Alamy Stock Photo, Shutterstock

WeekendFREE Issue 643 | 30March 2023 EARS TO EASTER ALEX JONES Presenter’s special time as host of emotional new show p10 DIANA HENRY A delicious sharing menu to whet the appetite for spring p26 £10 FINE WINES Raise a glass and enjoy great savings on selected bottles p32 OFFERS Superb deals on a range of products at Waitrose p48 Put a chocolatey smile on the faces of friends and family with our fabulous range of eggs, p42

2 30 MARCH 2023 News&Views SIMPLE STEPS THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE When bowel cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James succumbed to the disease last year – aged just 40 – her partingmessage was simple and succinct: “Check your poo. It could save your life.” According to latest NHS England figures, the nation listened, and 2022 saw record numbers of people referred for bowel cancer diagnostic tests. Yet, as this year’s Bowel Cancer AwarenessMonth begins on Saturday (1 April), the word still needs to be spread and urgently, says Genevieve Edwards, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, the charity of which Deborah was patron. “There is no doubt that lives have been saved, and will be saved in the future, thanks to the increase in awareness of the disease and its symptoms that she generated,” says Genevieve. “[But still] someone dies frombowel cancer every half an hour in the UK. It’s also the UK’s fourthmost common cancer and second biggest cancer killer.” Genevieve adds that research commisioned by Bowel Cancer UK ahead of the awareness month shows that 38%of people cannot name a single symptomof the disease. While 49%know that blood in stools can be a sign, the four other indicators remain little-known – a change in bowel habits (recognised by just 22%of those surveyed), abdominal pain (13%), unexplained weight loss (11%) and unexplained fatigue (3%). In a bid to change that, the charity is asking people to take its newly launched #KnowTheHigh5 symptoms quiz at bowelcanceruk.org.uk – and share it with five others – friends, family, neighbours or colleagues. It was a pair of these lesser-recognised symptoms which first took Danille Paul, then 41, to the GP. “I was getting these pains high up inmy abdomen. It wasn’t every day, even every week, but it was very painful,” she explains. “And I was going to the toilet a lot – up to 10 times a day.” Tests came back clear, but one night the pain became so acute that Danille, fromPenicuik, Midlothian, took herself to A&E. A referral to the gastroenterologist followed and a colonoscopy revealed an intestinal tumour. Danille, who has a 12-year-old sonNathan with husband Colin, had excision surgery within the fortnight, followed by chemotherapy. “I’ve just hadmy three-year scan and it’s all clear,” says the 44-year-old. “I’mproof that this is not just an ‘old Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is our cue to continue the lifesaving legacy of Dame Deborah James, as Alice Ryan reports LEGACY IN ACTION Deborah James with husband Sebastien and children Hugo and Eloise (right); Genevieve Edwards of Bowel Cancer UK (below) people’s disease’ – it can a ect anyone, at any age, any time. “When it comes to your body, if it’s not right for you, it’s not right,” she adds. “It may turn out to be nothing, but it also could be something and early detection is so important. It’s the scariest thing tomake that phone call and say: ‘I think there’s something wrong,’ but it’s a lot scarier for your family to get a call to say you’re gone.” Last year, Waitrose joined the national #GetOnARoll campaignwhich, led by Bowel Cancer UK, calls on supermarkets to print bowel cancer symptoms on own-brand loo roll packaging. NatalieMitchell, Partner and director ofWaitrose own brand, says: “We’ve been inspired by what Dame Deborah has done to raise awareness andwe want to play our part in this really important campaign.” Deborah blogged, podcasted, mademedia appearances, produced slogan T-shirts and raised funds –more than £7million in the last twomonths of her life alone – to put bowel cancer in the national spotlight. NowGenevieve wants everyone to continue her legacy: “Bowel cancer is treatable if diagnosed early – and by going straight to your GP, it’s possible to rule out the disease first and fast,” she says. ‘It may turn out to be nothing, but it could also be something and early detection is just so important’

3 30 MARCH 2023 G O O D N E W S I N B R I E F This week’s uplifting stories fromAnna-Marie Julyan Stand up for swifts Swifts return to the same nests every year after ying 3,400 miles to the UK from Africa. But as their homes in our house walls have closed up, their numbers have fallen by more than 50% over 25 years. Conservationist Hannah Bourne-Taylor’s Feather Speech campaign has a petition to make swift bricks compulsory in new builds. It needs 100,000 signatures by 30 April to be debated in parliament. hannahbournetaylor.com English evolution Koha (gifting), kaitiakitanga (environmental guardianship) and kehua (ghost) are some of the Māori words recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary. They make up the majority of 47 new words listed in the dictionary as it deepens its coverage of New Zealand English. Māori, or te reo, is one the o cial languages of Aotearoa (Māori-language name for New Zealand), and increasingly part of its mainstream. Toast of the town Wadhurst in East Sussex was named as overall winner in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2023 report. It was praised for its medieval houses, scenery and high street, with judges saying it has ‘everything needed for modern life in miniature’. Chichester in West Sussex, Cirencester in Gloucestershire and Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear, were among regional winners. Lady of letters A rare early letter from a 22-year-old Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra has gone on display. One of just 161 surviving letters penned by the author, it’s dated October 1798 and follows a trip to Rowling, her brother’s home in Kent. The chatty missive, which contains details of her mother’s illness and eldest brother James’s marriage, now resides at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire. TOP OF THE PLOTS FOR NEW GARDENERS Budding horticulturalists could begin their career at one of the UK’s most prestigious gardens, thanks to a partnership between the National Garden Scheme (NGS) and English Heritage. Since 2006, EnglishHeritage has run the annual Historic and Botanic Garden Training Programme (HBGTP), which o ers up to 20 would-be gardeners a 12-month placement at one of their estates. A new commitment by the NGS will support seven apprentices per year for the next three years. “The HBGTP has a reputation for the quality of its training, and they’re also inclusive. They actively encourage people of all backgrounds onto the course, and that’s really important to us,” explains The sixth British Library Food Season will emphasise the serious and the lighthearted, fromeating for the elderly to Nigella Lawson discussing sandwiches. The event, in London and online (bl.uk) from 14 April to 7 June, includes an AfroCaribbean food day, a chance to taste Eastern European breads and broadcaster Sara Cox interviewing TV chef Nadiya Hussain and Lessons in Chemistry author Bonnie Garmus. “We have some of themost influential voices in food, but it’s also a platform for new and unexpected voices to discuss key issues that aren’t so centre stage,” says Food Season founder and British Library curator Dr Polly Russell. Henry Dimbleby, author of the National Food Strategy, joins a panel discussing food production, while audio clips of influential late chef JoyceMolyneux will intersperse a talk by chefs Ravinder Bhogal and Sally Clarke. There’s also a celebration of nose-to-tail pioneer and St John restaurant founder Fergus Henderson ahead of his 60th birthday, while RebeccaMay Johnson, author of Small Fires: an Epic in the Kitchen, leads a debate about feminism in cookery. Food writer Gurdeep Singh curates Queering the Table, asking what makes Britain’s LGBTQIA+ food community so culturally important in 2023. And broadcaster Joan Bakewell joins Professor Dame Carol Black, chair of the Centre for Ageing Better, Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of Sustain and Neel Radia, founder of notfor-profit Cake4Kindness, to ask how society looks after its elderly. “This is an issue that’s really important, and deserves more attention,” says Polly. “Food, nutrition and diet are central to the challenges of growing older and can be tools for conviviality, pleasure and joggingmemory.” Anna-Marie Julyan George Plumptre, chief executive of the NGS. “Gardening is a good career on somany fronts – for health and wellbeing, for being at one with nature, and for playing a role in what we’re doing about biodiversity and sustainability,” he adds. This year, the sevenNGS trainees will be based at Audley EndHouse in Essex, Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, Marble Hill in London, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, Walmer Castle in Kent, BrodsworthHall in Yorkshire, and the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire. The partnership also sees English Heritage hosting events at its estates in support of the NGS. EmmaHigginbotham The BritishLibrary feasts on all things food The amount of recycled plastic required in packaging for a UK business to avoid paying the plastic packaging tax. As a result, demand for it is growing, but most councils won’t collect flexible plastic – bread and carrier bags and plastic food lids. The good news is that you can bring these into themajority of Waitrose stores, as 295 now offer recycling. 30% FOOD FOCUS Nigella Lawson (left); guinea fowl and trotter pie with a bone marrow chimney at St John in London (top) UPSKILLING Gardeners will train at prestigious gardens across the UK Photographs: Bowel Cancer UK, Getty Images, Sam A Harris, Matt Holyoak, Mike Harrington/ English Heritage

5 30 MARCH 2023 News&Views News&Views Energy bills are still at record levels, but there is some good news on the horizon. The Treasury has extended the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) for another threemonths until the end of June. This will save the average UK household £160, while experts predict that prices will fall over the summer. WHAT IS THE GUARANTEE? The EPG is a government scheme aimed at easing the impact of rising energy prices. Launched inOctober last year, it capped the gas and electricity tari so the typical annual household bill is nomore than £2,500. IS IT CHANGING ON 1 APRIL? Not anymore. The EPGwas due to rise to £3,000 a year, but the government decided tomaintain it at the same level for another threemonths. By then, prices should have fallen, says WHAT NOW FOR ENERGY PRICES? Anna Shepard reviews the support available to helpwith gas and electricity bills for the year ahead following this month’s budget Emily Seymour, sustainability and energy editor at consumer organisation Which?. She described themove as “a welcome relief for households across the country”. WILL MY BILLS GO DOWN? According to the energy consultancy Cornwall Insight, the price of energy will begin to fall fromJuly – and the second half of this year should bring lower bills. This would be the first time prices have dropped since the global gas crisis began 18months ago. But the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme – which knocked £400 o all our bills over the winter when it commenced on 1 October – is coming to an end tomorrow (31March). Hopefully, the arrival of warmer weather and a reduced need for heating will help to balance out the impact of this. IS THE PRICE CAP IMPORTANT? Yes. This sets the limit on the rates that energy providers can charge households, but since what we pay has been further limited by the EPG, this has not a ected us since October. It will matter more when the EPG ends, or if it increases later in the year. Hopefully, by then, the cap is likely to have fallen. WILL SWITCHING RETURN? Changing energy suppliers has not been possible for two years, mainly due to a lack of competition, as bills have been highwhoever your provider is. “As the market stabilises, fixed deals may be o ered – with a fixed tari your unit price for gas and electricity will not change for the plan’s duration,” says Emily. “Consumers should keep an eye on themarket and compare deals which become available in the comingmonths to see if any are right for them.” Looking for a new It Bag? Fashion has done us all – not least the peckish – a favour with spring-summer statement bags drawing inspiration from the supermarket. With collections inspired during Covid times, when foodwas the primary focus of the day, designers turned to some of the staples that provided comfort and nourishment. At the Puppets and Puppets NewYork FashionWeek show, models walked the runway with cookie tin bags under their arms, while others sported totes adorned with a lifelike chocolate chip biscuit. Hillary Taymour’s fashion brand Collina Strada launched the broccoli bag (above), made of broccoli and a Swarovski crystal handle. Meanwhile, the truly hungry delighted at Dauphinette’s pastry bag and could take a nibble out of the brand’s limited batch (no joke) Daisy Bread Bag, made froma real, hollowed-out boule – although it would be an expensive snack at £274. The thriftymight fancy fashioning their own, inwhich case the bakery aisle beckons. Anna-Marie Julyan The next time you buy stamps, they could carry the image of HM King Charles III. From 4 April, rst (£1.10) and second class (75p) stamps will feature the monarch’s pro le, although the colours will remain the same – purple for rst class, green for second. This re ects The King’s request to maintain continuity and keep things simple, says Royal Mail director of external a airs and policy David Gold. “There’s no embellishment, no crown, simply the face of the human being, on the plain background,” he says. Fashion caters for dedicated followers of food NEW STAMPS TO FEATURE THE KING 22 MILLION Britons send more than 50% of furniture to land ll every year. That’s 22 million pieces – the majority of which is still t for purpose. Additionally, fewer than one in 10 people consider repairing their furnishings to extend their life span. Reupholstering, painting, selling or donating to charities are other ways to extend the lifecycle of a product. Photographs: Getty Images, Royal Mail

6 30 MARCH 2023 News&Views DOWN TO In focus Soil produces 95% of our food, sowe all have a stake in a growing movement to improve its health, writes Anna-Marie Julyan In her 1943 book The Living Soil, Lady Eve Balfour wrote: “Society, like a house, does not start at ground level, but begins quite literally beneath the surface of our planet, within the soil itself. For out of the soil are we fashioned, and by the products of the soil is our earthly existencemaintained.” Her book inspired the founding of the Soil Association three years later and, almost 80 years on, that link endures between the dirt we dig – a combination of minerals, organic matter, air, water and living organisms – the food we eat and our health. Soil produces 95%of our food. It also contains more than three times the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and four times the amount stored in all living plants and animals. As soil degenerates, it releases that carbon into the air, making healthy soils crucial to tackling the climate crisis. “It’s often overlooked, but healthy soil is also prettymuch the only thing that stops most of the world’s rainwater simply washing back into rivers,” explains Compassion inWorld Farming CEOPhilip Lymbery. “It holds water against gravity tomake it available to our crops, creating drought and flood resistant landscapes.” Philip’s latest book, Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future, gives soil a starring role. And little wonder. Globally, soil is being lost 10-40 times faster than it’s formed and one third of arable soils are degraded. A 2020 review estimated that only 30-40%of Europe’s soils are healthy. The UK has 700-plus soils, varying across type, region, geography and weather – a complexity and variability that canmake themdi cult tomonitor and protect. But strides are beingmade to encourage solutions that enable our soils to thrive. These include the growing regenerative farmingmovement, new government legislation that incentivises landowners, and public commitments from companies such as the John Lewis Partnership, which promises all of its supplier farms will be net zero by 2035 – its own Leckford Estate is on track to achieve this by 2024. When he spoke at the John Lewis HappierWorld conference last autumn, Philip called for us to ‘bring back the elephant’. He wasn’t suggesting that the world’s largest land animal should arrive, hot on the heels of beaver reintroductions, and thunder through the British countryside. “I’mnot talking literally about elephants,” he explains. “But about the weight of life that should be in a single hectare of healthy soil. Treat it right and a hectare of arable land – littlemore than a football pitch – can hold as many as 13,000 species of life with a weight of five tonnes, about the same as an elephant.” As for howwe get there, he describes a three ‘Rs’ approach: Regenerating the countryside, Rethinking protein and Rewilding. “The big rewilding opportunity is on farmland, which occupies 70%of our land surface in the UK,” he says. “Regenerating the countryside relies on the restoration of farmed animals to the land as part of mixed, rotational farms, while balancing our diets withmore ingredients fromplants and alternative proteins. There would be far fewer animals overall but you’re keeping them in the right way.” At theWaitrose farmon the Leckford Estate in Hampshire, for the past three years cattle have been brought onto the arable land as part of a 12-year mixed arable and livestock rotation, which involves grazing animals and growing crops on the same piece of land in sequence. Cattle graze on fields planted with herbal leys (temporary grasslands made up of diverse legume, herb and grass species), which might then be sown with cereal crops such as barley or wheat, followed by winter cover crops which keep soil covered and can also be grazed. The cattle thereforemove around the whole farmhelping increase organic matter in the soil, explains Partner and Leckford Farmgeneral manager AndrewFerguson. Their muck and the nutrients they cycle help contribute to a thriving soil food web. “We’re getting the fundamentals right, which leads to a build-up FIELD GOALS Crops growing (above); Sarah Langford (top right); cows grazing at Leckford (right); Philip Lymbery (below) EARTH

7 30 MARCH 2023 FI GLOVER The journalist and broadcaster has her say Inmy opinion Would you like to be augmented by a robo appendage or an exoskeleton? You’d be forgiven for not really knowing what I mean, but both of these incredible things are here to stay. No longer are we just humans, dealing with the world in the bodies we were born with. We’re now being given the opportunity tomake ourselves truly bionic. The latest exoskeleton is a game-changer for anyone who needs to lift heavy stu . The Cray X, made by German Bionic, is a wearable device which powers the way you lift. With fixings around the top of your thighs and lower back, the power-assisting pack acts as amini hydraulic lift, which means you can pick up or move heavy items more safely and carry them for longer. For nurses and care workers who need to lift or turn over patients, it could be groundbreaking stu . It’s one of many ways our bodies are hosting new technology. This month’s American Association for the Advancement of Science conference inWashington DCwas full of scientists showcasing extraordinary augmentations using wings, tentacles, extra fingers and thumbs. The powers we once gave ourselves in our dreams are becoming realities. How do these things work? Let’s take the thumb, which has been developed by scientists at Cambridge University. It’s a robotic device worn opposite the user’s own thumb, near the little finger, and its actions are controlled through pressure sensors attached to the user’s feet. TamarMakin and Dani Clode, the scientists behind this, have been testing the futuristic digit with remarkable results. Participants in their trial found that, within days, their brains had adjusted to the new demands and they were able to use their thumbs to pick upmultiple balls or wine glasses with one hand. One worry for the researchers had been that the human brainmight lose its ability to send signals to existing limbs if you popped a new one in it, but this doesn’t seem to have happened. The capacity to pick upmore wine glasses is not the world’s most pressing problem, but the idea that our brains can adapt to new limbs is the stu of magic. There are somany possibilities for these robo appendages – serious and daft. You could have a tail to bring you greater balance or to flick around as a display of emotions – like a fed-up cat. I wouldn’t mind a couple of fins to see how that helps my swimming. Anyone for a swooshing tentacle to reach those hard-to-get to places? Bring this extraordinary future towards me, and yes, I amusingmy extra arm to do this. Fi Glover and Jane Garvey’s show runs on Times Radio from3-5pm, Monday to Thursday. @fifiglover of bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa, earth worms, beetles and spiders. A healthy soil is full of life – soil health is about diversity at all levels.” With our own diet, diversity is important, too. A key example is scientist Dr TimSpector’s 30 plants a week diet – nuts, seeds, grains, herbs, spices, fruit and veg all contribute, as outlined in his book Food For Life: The New Science of EatingWell. Diversity is the regenerativemethod that writer and farmer Sarah Langford has come to appreciate most. She trained as a criminal defence and family barrister before taking on her in-laws’ farm, which led her to write Rooted: HowRegenerative Farming Can Change theWorld. “I wanted to become a defence advocate for farmers, to explain why farmers made the decisions they had and how this regenerative farming revolution was growing, allowing farmers to take control from chemical and fertiliser companies back into their hands,” she says. POWER OF YOUR PLATE As consumers, we have a lot of sway through our food choices to help make changes for the better ‘Our connection to each other and the natural world is about joy and what it is to be alive’ In its 2021 Saving our Soils report, the Soil Association says a drive to farm for high yields and cheap food led to specialisation that disrupts soil’s carbon and nitrogen cycles. Moving away from diverse and circular mixed systems meant losing crop rotations featuring legumes, to build soil fertility, or livestock to providemanure to the field. Transporting soya and wheat long distances to feed intensively reared animals became common. The report names ‘seven ways to save our soils’ – from monitoring soil health on farms, to encouraging life underground by reducing tillage (ploughing) and chemicals, covering up bare soil with continuous plant cover and increasing the amount of plant and animal matter going back on to fields, as well as calling for national soil strategies. Themessage, says Sarah, is that we should remember and marshal our own links to the soil. “Understanding our connection both to each other and the natural world is not just about responsibility. It is also about joy and what it is to be alive.” ‘No longer are we just dealing with the bodies wewere bornwith, we’re nowbeing given the opportunity to make ourselves truly bionic’ “Eat more plants and less and better meat and dairy, meaning from pasture-fed, free range or organic sources,” says Philip Lymbery. “Plant-based meals are getting better all the time at replicating the taste and convenience of meat.” To get more plants into your diet, Tim Spector’s suggestions include swapping half the meat in a bolognese, stew or curry for beans, lentils or tofu, embracing Meat-Free Mondays, adding seeds and toasted nuts to salads and experimenting with grains such as barley, spelt, bulgur and quinoa. Eating or growing more pulses will help the soil. There’s a wide variety to explore, including peas, beans and lentils, all of which x nitrogen and boost microbial activity and diversity. They will also help other crops access more nutrients as part of rotations which bene t the soil. TASTY Waitrose PlantLiving Moroccan Style Falafels Photographs: Getty Images, CIWF + Richard Dunwoody, Richard Allenby-Pratt/ The Su olk Project

9 30 MARCH 2023 News&Views CALM AND COLLECTED The big picture It’s hard to decide which is flu er – the soft amber fur of this snoozing fox, or the dainty seeds that cling to it. Called Sleeping with Dandelions, the enchanting image – winner of the Animal Portraits category at this year’s British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA) – was captured by Lewis Newman, a plumbing and heating engineer who photographs nature in his spare time. “After spending a lot of time with this vixen, she began to learn I was not a threat,” says Lewis. “This gaveme great photographic opportunities. I got to know her routine, and as the wildflowers began to grow I would find her curled up among them.” The competition, open to professional and amateur photographers, celebrates our biodiversity, species and habitats. Some 13,000 images were submitted this year, the best of which will tour the UK in an exhibition (see bwpawards.org) and feature in a book, with Lewis’s fox as the cover star. “This tender moment brings a feeling of serenity, calmand peace,” said the judges. “It’s one of those rare images where having the subject with closed eyes adds to the atmosphere.” EmmaHigginbotham Photographs: Lewis Newman, London, England

10 30 MARCH 2023 News&Views Alex Jones tells Paul Kirkley about her emotional new TV assignment – and the hazards of live broadcasting in the social media age SHE’S THE ONE Photographs: Jude Edginton

11 30 MARCH 2023 “I’m just onmy way into work,” says Alex Jones, talking to Weekend while on the move in London. “We’ve got a 3 o’clock meeting about tonight’s show. We’ve got Paris Hilton, Chris Pratt and Charlie Day in the studio, while I’ll be outside doing a danceathon for Comic Relief.” This, of course, is just another day at the o ce for the host of The One Show, the BBC Onemagazine programme whose eclectic subject matter – a typical editionmight include everything fromHollywood A-listers to a filmabout bell ringing – once led a bamboozled Mel Brooks, of all people, to declare it one of themost ‘nuts’ experiences of his life. “It’s hilarious, isn’t it?” laughs Alex. “My husband said exactly the same thing earlier. He said: ‘You’re doing a what? You do realise it’s not a normal job, right?’” It’s 13 years since Alex, now 46, took her berth on The One Show sofa. With previous presenters Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles both having defected to ITV, recruiting an unknown face fromWelsh language channel S4Cwas something of a gamble. But more than a decade on, Alex is the undisputed queen of early evening TV. “I don’t know about that – but I’ll take it,” she says. “I do feel really lucky to be there. I mean, what a great job. I was really reminded, during the pandemic, of what a public service we are – being company for people who weren’t seeing anyone, day to day. We provided something familiar, that wasn’t the news. “The One Show is kind of a window on Britain, it’s something quite comforting,” she adds. “And because everyone was at home, it maybe signified the transition from day to evening – and that it was OK to open the wine! It was a real privilege to be on the show during that time. Some days, I felt like the only person in central London. There was only one cameraman, no one else behind the scenes. It was quite bizarre. But it felt important we remained on air, and I think we gained a lot of goodwill from that.” The same warm, down-to-earthmanner that made Alex such a welcome friend to the nation in lockdown alsomakes her the perfect choice for her latest assignment, hosting BBC Two’s ReunionHotel. A heart-tugging blend of Long Lost Families and First Dates, the show brings people connected by a unique story together for the first time during an overnight stay at the stunning IscoydHotel inNorthWales. It is, according to the press blurb, a showcase for ‘the very best of humanity’. “I think that’s a very good way of describing it,” says Alex. “You know, everything is a little bit down and a little bit stressful for people at theminute. There’s somuch negativity, isn’t there? So to have a programme like this – that feels like a real warmhug, I think it’s probably come at the right time.” As the tears start to flow – in the first episode, the guests range fromamanmeeting the brother he never knew he had to a young woman reunited with the hero who pulled her

12 30 MARCH 2023 News&Views from the path of a speeding Tube train – it’s Alex who’s on hand to provide that warmhug (often literally). “People have put a lot of trust in us, and as the person who’s kind of leading them through this process, you do feel a sense of responsibility,” she says. “They’re such big lifemoments – for people who have often been waiting a long time to say thank you, or ask for forgiveness, or for whatever reason. And the fact they feel happy to haveme as a kind of friend, going through it with them, that’s a really special thing. “Because it’s great interviewing Hollywood A-listers and all the people we get on The One Show, but everybody’s got a story to tell, and sometimes it’s themore unexpected stu that’s themost interesting. Quite often, I’m listening at the door [during reunions], cos I’mdesperate to get in and see what’s happening...” Does she get to stay in the hotel herself? “I actually get to stay in a little cottage in the grounds,” she reveals. “Oh, it’s so nice. Honestly, whenever we go to film it, it feels like going on amini-break. It doesn’t feel like work at all. My husband’s like: ‘Oh, here we go again – she’s o on another jolly…’” The show, which is also being shown on BBCOneWales, allows Alex to show o theWelsh language skills (don’t worry – the rest of us get subtitles for those bits) that helped launch her career on programmes like Cân I Gymru (A Song for SCREEN QUEEN Alex Jones on her new programme Reunion Hotel (main); with husband Charlie Thomson at the Chelsea Flower Show; with actor Tom Holland on The One Show set (bottom) Wales) and Hip neu Sgip? (Hip or Skip?). Born in the former mining town of Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, Alex was a painfully introverted child. But by her early twenties, she’d come out of her shell enough to appear as a contestant on the laddish 90s game show Prickly Heat, surviving footage of which shows her in a yellow bikini, being wrapped in clingfilmand rolled around the beach inMagaluf. (She even sat her uni finals out there, writing at a desk in a gymwhile being timed by DavinaMcCall.) For someone who’s held down the same high-profile TV job for 13 years, Alex’s early forays into the world of work were… patchy. “I once got sacked froma summer job at the local sandwich factory because I couldn’t chop the peppers quick enough,” she recalls. “Andmy point was: ‘Well, who wants peppers in sandwiches anyway?’” Another time, while working in a high-end department store, she “popped to the loo”… and never came back. “I was desperate to go to a festival, and the girls turned up in a car outside…” she laughs. “So I went with them– inmy uniform! If my children did that, I’d be besidemyself.” Her early TV career was equally unpromising. She was sacked twice as a researcher – once for mistakingMike Photographs: Shutterstock, Jude Edginton, © StockFood / Huw Jones

13 30 MARCH 2023 to tipping her into postnatal depression. Was it any easier the second and third time around? “If I’mhonest, when I think about that book now I think: ‘God, I didn’t know anything,’” she says. “I had no idea. Once you’re into the realmof two, then three…The early stages aren’t as scary, because you’ve been there before. But in terms of physicallymanaging these small people… I mean, we’re outnumbered now. Which is a whole other thing.” Alex has beenmaking babies on-screen, too, having trained as a fertility assistant for a recent documentary series – part of a TV portfolio that’s taken in everything from royal weddings and Eurovision to a respectable semi-final placing on Strictly Come Dancing. Now there’s ReunionHotel – a programme, she says, that “lets me put all the skills I’ve learned over the last 20 years to good use. I’mvery proud of it,” she adds. “It’s a privilege to witness suchmonumental moments in people’s lives, and seeing them leave lighter, happier andmaybemore at peace than when they came in.” None of whichmeans she’s budging from that One Show sofa, though. “I’mpart of the furniture,” she says. “It’s like a second home tome – like putting on a pair of slippers. People often say: ‘But what else do you want to do?’ And I just think: ‘It’s one of the best jobs in broadcasting, and a flagship show for the BBC. What would be better?’” ReunionHotel starts on Thursday 6 April at 8pm on BBC Two and BBCOneWales Peters, of Welsh rockers The Alarm, for a workman who’d come to fix the o ce alarm– andmanaged to lose Julian LloydWebber’s £10million cello in a car park. “I was a hopeless researcher and runner. They just used to say: ‘This isn’t for you,’” she recalls. “But I just used to keep going back on the next Monday, and eventually they said: ‘OK, we’ll do a screen test and see if you’re any better on camera.’ And that’s how I ended up as a presenter.” Themove fromS4C to The One Show was a big step up, which Alex tookmostly in her stride (though she’s admitted early complaints from some viewers about herWelsh accent knocked her confidence a bit). Today, the show remains a reliable wellspring of tabloid fodder, with certain newspapers regularly trying to spin jokey banter into some kind of scandal. (“Alex Jones breaks her silence over chaoticMel B interview” is one recent typical headline.) “We quite enjoy reading those,” says Alex. “It’s always: ‘Alex Jones has upset somebody or other…’ But it’s water o a duck’s back for me, really. We have a nice rapport with our guests. It’s a warmatmosphere. Sometimes people wonder why we don’t take a tougher line of questioning, but that’s just not the show. We’re a happy show.” Weekend asks her about the recent misgendering ‘row’, in which she asked singer SamSmith, who identifies as non-binary, if he’d like to be a ‘fly fisherman’, to which he responded, “I’d be any type of fisherthem.”With the Twitter mob poised to strike at any time, does live television increasingly feel like a highwire act, where you’re just one slip of the tongue away from cancellation? “Yeah, this has becomemore andmore of a thing,” she reflects. “You used to just worry about swearing. Now that’s the least of your worries. It’s quite easy to say something controversial, isn’t it? As we’ve discovered over the last few weeks. On our show, there’s a line you’ve got to stay on the right side of. But I dunno… I don’t really worry about what I say. I’ve been banned fromTwitter anyway – because they think I’m the other Alex Jones!” The ‘other’ Alex Jones, of course, being the far-right American radio host and conspiracy theorist. Is it annoying he’s nowGoogle’s top search return for the name? “Yes!” says Alex. “Verymuch so. And the fact we get confused all the time. People used to sendme horrible random tweets, and I’d be like: ‘You’ve got the wrong one – I’m fromSouthWales!’” It’s one of many reasons she doesn’t miss Twitter, she says. “I don’t think it’s a very healthy space. There isn’t a lot of love there. There’s a lot of sad people typing at home who wouldn’t dare say anything of that sort to someone’s face. The bigger picture is that there are absolutely loads of people out there who just love watching our show. And that’s good enough for me.” The last time Weekend spoke to Alex, she’d just written a book, Winging It!, about becoming a first-time parent “in themiddle of life” (she was threemonths shy of her 40th birthday when son Teddy was born, whichmade her, medically speaking, a ‘geriatric mother’). At the end of that conversation, she said she and husband Charlie, an insurance broker fromNewZealand, were hoping for a sibling for Teddy, adding: “It’s just whether it will happen, isn’t it?” Five years on, and Teddy, now six, has been joined by brother Kit, who’s nearly four, and 19-month-old sister Annie. “I thankmy lucky stars every day,” says Alex. “I mean, it’s more than we bargained for, I’ll be honest. But I’m delighted because, secretly, I really wanted three children. But I couldn’t quite get my husband’s head around that. And suddenly there she was. He’s absolutely smitten, of course.” Winging It! was a very candid dispatch from the parenting frontline, with Alex chronicling everything from the lifethreatening loss of blood she su ered during Teddy’s birth to the ‘feelings of despair and fear’ that she thinks came close ‘I’mpart of the One Show furniture. It’s like a second home tome and one of the best jobs in broadcasting’ What are you having for dinner tonight? I’m excited because it’s my birthday weekend [Alex turned 46 on 18 March] so I’m o for a rare night out with the girls. We’re having sushi. When I grew up, we didn’t have sushi. It didn’t exist in South Wales. Are you a good cook? I used to be hideous. That’s why I married Charlie, because he used to be a chef. But I’ve had to get better because F O O D B I T E S we’ve got children, and I need to feed them. Can you recommend a Welsh delicacy? Cawl. If you’re under the weather, my dad’s cawl is what you want. It’s like a chunky soup and traditionally made with lamb (below), but I’m not a lamby person – controversial in Wales. So Dad uses chicken, loads of vegetables, then crumbles Caerphilly cheese on it. Honestly, it’s the most delicious thing.