The chef Angela Hartnett was born in Kent in 1968. She studied history at Cambridge Polytechnic before turning to the kitchen, working her way up under Gordon Ramsay. In 2008 she opened Murano in Mayfair, inspired by her Italian heritage, and went on to win a Michelin star. Hartnett now has several restaurants in London and one in Courchevel, France. This year she was awarded an OBE for services to the hospitality industry and the NHS during Covid. She lives in London with her husband, Neil Borthwick, also a chef. Season two of her podcast, Dish, with broadcaster and DJ Nick Grimshaw is available now.
Inside Man (BBC One)
I loved this show by Steven Moffat, who co-created Sherlock. The basic premise is that anyone could be a murderer. Stanley Tucci plays a man on death row for murdering his wife, and solves crimes from his prison cell. David Tennant plays a suburban vicar in the UK who is trying to protect his son and gets in a real pickle. It’s testing our moral assumptions about murder and what’s good and what’s bad. I thought it was brilliant and quite scary at times. All the actors were amazing.
I’m going to see Roxy Music at the O2 and I’m super excited about it. I’ve loved them since a young age. Years ago, I was invited to the GQ awards, no idea why, and Bryan Ferry was standing across the room, having an animated conversation. I thought, you only live once, so I ran up to him and kissed him on the cheek and said, “I think you’re amazing”, and ran back off. I can’t wait to see them play live.
The Phantom of the Open
I saw this movie on a plane and thought it was very sweet. It’s based on a true story about a golf fanatic called Maurice Flitcroft, who got made redundant from a shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness and blagged his way into the qualifying round of the British Open, despite being one of the worst golfers ever. Later, some people in America put on a tournament in his honour, to celebrate his terrible golf. It’s a really lovely, proper English movie and Mark Rylance – an incredible actor – plays Flitcroft with such great love.
Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco by Gary Kamiya
I recently went over to visit some friends in San Francisco and my friend Steve bought me this book. The author is from San Francisco and he walked the city from start to finish. He spends time in places like the harbour, or Alcatraz, or the Tenderloin, where there’s a lot of poverty and homelessness, and just talks about his love of his city. I’ve been dipping in and out and really enjoying it. I’ve been to San Francisco a few times; it’s friendly and small enough to get around, and I love the trams.
I’ve been to Otto’s before, but not for a long time, and a friend has invited me to go in November with a few other industry people. It’s a very classically French restaurant on Gray’s Inn Road that’s run by an Austrian guy, Otto, who chats away to you and really commands the dining room. It’s very old school: lobster soufflé, calf sweetbreads, tournedos Rossini, and canard à la presse, where he makes the duck sauce in front of you with an amazing silver press. It’s not just about the food: I love the theatre of it.
I went to this brand-new literary festival in the Scottish Highlands earlier this month to do a talk with [restaurant critic] Tom Parker Bowles and [chef and author] Jeremy Lee. It’s held at a hotel called the Fife Arms and spills out into the village of Braemar. We had some great chats over a three-day weekend and I was very excited to meet my hero, Ian Rankin, who was talking about his new novel, A Heart Full of Headstones. Jackie Kay was there as well. She stood up at the dinner I put on and did a beautiful reading.
Letters Live (Royal Albert Hall, 27-28 October)
Letters Live is organised by Shaun Usher, who describes himself as a “professional letter nerd”. He finds letters by famous people, and ordinary people too, and gets actors to read them out on stage. It might be what Paul McCartney wrote to John Lennon when he was arrested for having marijuana, or what Mrs Smith wrote to her local funeral directors about her husband’s funeral. It’s really engaging and great fun. I purposely became a member of the Royal Albert Hall just to get tickets, so I could see it again.