Thursday 30 September
As well as giving us the run of her beautiful house, Elizabeth made us dinner tonight. We started with little snacks of olives, tzatziki, and crackers, along with champagne - Fortnum and Mason's, pronounced overtones of apples - as we watched her whip up a cheese soufflé, using a rotary hand eggbeater, which is no mean feat of stamina (she's done it in the middle of the Australian Outback, so Islington's a snap). The cooker - remember, we're using English terminology these days - hadn't been preheated, but she put the soufflé in with hope, and it justified her trust by coming out tall and fluffy. Accompaniments were red wine, steamed fingerling potatoes, and a tomato salad with fresh basil. Desserts were Elizabeth's own fruit compotes, in raspberry and apple. A wonderful home-cooked meal.