The MojoMakers had been in the UK for about a week and were only just drying out from two days of English rain when we set off for the tiny village of Buscot.  Their first drenching had been on a day’s fly fishing tuition; the second, and the heavier of the two, was on a foraging expedition in the beautiful Savernake Forest. So the opportunity to visit a blacksmith’s forge promised to be a warmer and drier adventure by far.  Everyone was excited. I’d arranged the visit through my youngest son Morgan who had qualified as a smith in June after three years at the UK’s National School of Blacksmithing.

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Lord it blew. How it blew! 

The gravel hard rain had stopped but the wind was still pushing us here and there as we scurried along the harbour side looking for somewhere to eat. And then the Cornish storm literally pushed us into the doorway of what, at first glance, seemed to be a whitewashed cottage on the quayside. But there was a menu posted in the doorway and, hopeful, we stumbled out of the gale into a hearty welcome. We’d found Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen and we were about to experience an assault on our senses to rival the weather’s blast outside. 

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There’s always a huge sense of anticipation when I cross the Severn Bridge. I see it as a portal to the ancient and wonderful land of my birth; Wales. This time the portal would let us through to the stunning seaside haven of Newport in Pembrokeshire. Destination: a magical ‘restaurant with rooms’ called Llys Meddyg; the Doctor’s Place in English.
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The best wines are the ones shared with friends... and the ones showcased by a human winelist. Night was falling fast and flocks of starlings were wheeling in mesmerising spirals over the fields as the Mojo bandwagon rolled into a famous Cotswolds hamlet and a perfect chef’s storm. Tweed-clad locals, quaffing ale after a day’s shooting, were congregated around the entrance to the Bathurst Arms, North Cerney, when the Mojo sisters stepped into the log fire warmth of the bar.

On the surface everything seemed normal but then the restaurant seemed eerily empty. Just one table had been taken up by a couple who were eating with the studied concentration of royal food tasters checking for poison.

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“Well yes, it is tasty but it doesn’t rhyme with tasty; it actually rhymes with nasty.  It’s a pARSty Stephanie, not a pAYsty.”

It took at least a day to teach Stephanie how to pronounce the name of Cornwall’s national dish, the pasty. Her rendition made the scrumptious West Country meal sound rather pale and unhealthy which it most definitely isn’t.

We were already well on our way to the ancient kingdom of Cornwall so there was no way I was going to sing ‘Let’s call the whole thing off’ just because an American couldn’t say pasty properly.

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"Of the four elements, air, earth, water, and fire; man stole only one from the gods. Fire. And with it, man forged his will upon the world." ~Anonymous

We first visited Tom Southerndon at Buscot Forge in October with our initial Mojo launch. I have always had a fascination with fire and the application of heat, perhaps because I am a fireman’s daughter? Ultimately, I am most curious, as a foodie, to understand the various ways that heat is used to enhance our palates and our lives. Who better to help me understand more about this versatile element than a blacksmith? Say no more, Alun was on it and quickly arranged for the Mojo team to head to Tom’s forge.  The experience was more than we could have anticipated. As Tom expertly stoked the forge fire, explaining each step in the process, I felt something happening deep within my being. Something stirred that I couldn’t quite identify. The fire whooshed, the flame danced to life, and the first clear bell of the hammer on the anvil woke some primal awareness in my soul. For a moment, completely without explanation, tears sprang to my eyes. I was hooked!

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