Today, I attended the funeral of someone unforgettable.

When Karen and I opened Krimo's at Seaton Carew on May 4th 1985, I told her that if we got the same customers back within the first two months, we'd cracked it.

Alex Torrance dined with us five times in the first two weeks.

A Scottish bon-viveur who worked and later lived in Hartlepool, Alex knew a great deal about food, wine and good times. A true gentleman, a soft-spoken charmer, he came back countless times in the last twenty five years with family and friends.

When I opened Portofino in 1997, he was the first and only person who asked for an egg on his pizza. He even explained to me and the chef when to place the raw egg in the middle of the pizza so that it was just set when served.

Over the years, I have met many interesting characters who have been part of our saga. Alex was that kind of guy one can never forget.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Red Sky...

Hartlepool Marina offers an ever-changing landscape every minute of the day or night.
Last Saturday I took this photo while rushing between restaurants.

Hartlepool's Farmers Market

The second Saturday of every month brings an exciting Farmers Market to Hartlepool.
It takes place on the Historic Quay car park. There are usually around twenty stalls selling meats, cheeses, cakes, fish, plants, honeys, jams, herbs and much more produce than I can remember.

I personally like this kind of market because it offers genuine produce one can no longer find in profit-driven supermarkets.
I must admit that I have seen a lot better markets both in the UK and Europe but with sustained local support, I believe that ours could grow and flourish into a permanent feature.