Al Fresco Dining with Letitia Ann Clark #LeithsTakeovers

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Al Fresco Dining with Letitia Ann Clark #LeithsTakeovers

Bitter Honey by Letitia Clark (Hardie Grant, Hardback & eBook) Photography © Matt Russell

Covid has meant that many of us will not have the opportunity to go on holiday this year, but that’s not to say you can’t recreate a little al fresco atmosphere in your own backyard/garden. Letitia Clark, former Leiths graduate and author of the hugely successful cookbook, Bitter Honey, shares her tips for recreating some of that Italian al fresco charm at home.

Decoration

I am a big fan of tablecloths, especially since moving to Italy. I pick new ones up every week at my local flea market, but whatever you have lying around, or maybe raid your granny/mum’s cupboards to find something, it makes a huge difference, and also means you do not need to own/buy a fancy table. They are very forgiving things.

Fruit & Vegetables

I love fruit and vegetables so much, not just to eat but also as objects of beauty. Don’t feel the need to spend a fortune on flowers, buy a few good lemons with leaves attached and strew them on the table. You will immediately feel uplifted, and you can use them for cooking after (unlike flowers). I have a friend who takes this further and puts great bowls of aubergines and peppers out on the table too. And why not. Vegetables are beautiful and deserve to be admired. Artichokes plonked in a vase are also extremely effective.

Food

Everyone knows that almost the best bit of an Italian meal is antipasti, the nibbles at the beginning. Not only delicious and satisfying, they are also no-fuss and minimal effort to prepare. Offer some plates of good cheeses, olives, cured meats and pane carasau (a Sardinian flat bread) and then serve one or two of the dishes included here to follow, and make your life easy.

Drinks

Negroni, Campari Spritz or Campari soda are all Italian exports of great deliciousness and charm. One sip and you’re be transported to an Italian piazza.

Music

A cliché it may be, but Volare by Domenico Modugno is one of the greatest songs of all time. It is impossible to be unhappy when listening to it. After this put on the classic Italian crooner, Lucio Battisti and all will be well with the world.



Letitia Clark is a chef, food writer and illustrator. Originally from Devon, Letitia trained at Leiths in 2010, and then went on to work in some of London’s top restaurants. In 2017 she moved from London to Sardinia. Her first book, Bitter Honey: Stories and Recipes from Sardinia, was published in April, to huge acclaim. The New York Times named it as one of the cookbooks of the year. Letitia continues to write, draw and cook from her home in Sardinia, and is currently working on her second book, as well as planning her Agriturismo. Bitter Honey by Letitia Clark (Hardie Grant, Hardback & eBook) Photography © Matt Russell

If you are motivated by a love of good food and want to carve out your own path in the food industry, you can visit Leiths virtually here and experience a virtual tour of the school, see a true to life cooking demo, and hear from more of our alumni and current students. Book a one to one chat with us through this page and see where the Leiths diploma could take you... to Sardinia and beyond.

Letitia Ann Clark

Author: Letitia Ann Clark

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