Part biography, part lifestyle tome, part recipe book, somehow, out of this tangle of concepts, a gem has emerged. The prose offers insights into the way NS thinks, following on from his autobiography "Toast", and is written in such an engaging and thoughtful way that it is almost enough to buy this book on the writing alone. Almost. The rest of the reason for a justified recommendation is for the recipe ideas. Unusually, these are actually the dishes that Nigel served up for himself and his visitors, rather than being carefully crafted, food-porn visuals, dinner party fayre. The simplicity and purity of flavour that most encompass is inspirational, the food is firmly rooted in the seasons, and provides a handy hints source if you are suddenly called upon to knock up a quick dinner for guests. It is just a shame that one of the most usable cook-books (in every sense) isn't easier to keep open on the kitchen counter top!