Last weekend was one of those times when a ton of stuff comes together and gets whacked off the to-do list. First I taught a two-day class at the Lost Art Press storefront in Covington, Kentucky, a beautiful work space in a town that’s historic, picturesque, and still happily down to earth. The participants in the class (I can’t call them “students”; they already knew much of the nuts & bolts substance) were a joy–a fun, intelligent bunch of characters. (Who knew there was a Bacon Fart app? Thanks for enlightening me, Horace.)
Adding to the fun were the culinary treats. Jose brought Gateau Na Na, a shortbread crust with pecan praline filling, from The Kitchen Shop in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Chris supplied dangerously good cheese Danish and Schnecken from a local bakery. Every place we went for lunch or dinner had good vegetarian offerings; my favorite for lunch was Piper’s, a sandwich shop-cum-ice cream stand where everything is home made. (Try the veggie burger.) We made a pilgimage to the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar and had a final meal on Sunday evening at the fabulous A Tavola in downtown Cincinnati; their asparagus salad has just the right blend of crispness and zest for a satisfying meal. As for the roasted carrots, they should come with a warning about likely addiction.
On Monday I drove to Leesburg, Virginia, to deliver a pair of Voysey two heart chairs.
I spent the night with dear family friends Richard Busch and Olwen Woodier, who live in a converted barn. Olwen is an accomplished cook who teaches classes through her Glenfiddich Farm Cookery School and has authored several books. She also raises chickens and keeps an extensive garden that includes this sublime meadow for pollinators.
Richard is a professional photographer who freelanced for LIFE magazine before going on to editorial positions at other publications.
Yes, that is Jimi Hendrix, with Mick Jagger just below and to the right. Joe Cocker, Ike and Tina Turner, and other icons of the ’60s are scattered around this long wall of black and white images, along with others of friends and family, most notably some touching shots of Olwen with the couple’s daughter, Wendy. Richard launched another career as a ceramic artist after retiring. He operates Glenfiddich Farm Pottery, where he makes a variety of bowls, platters, cups, wren houses, and other wares in addition to teaching classes.
Tuesday was a 12-hour drive–altogether too much driving, but thanks to dark chocolate, coffee, and The Cinematic Orchestra, I made it home by 9. It was a wonderful weekend on all fronts.