Troubador A Foodie Afloat

Released: 28/07/2020

ISBN: 9781838593513

eISBN: 9781800466036

Format: Paperback/eBook

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A Foodie Afloat


A Foodie Afloat has been shortlisted for the 2021 Guild of Food Writers Award in the categories of Self Published Work Award and the International/Regional Cookbook Award

A Foodie Afloat
is the story of a cook’s journey through France on a barge. Di Murrell takes us on a gentle journey across France; her main preoccupation being to make sure that tasty food arrives on the table each day. As she voyages across the country she shows, through her recipes, how the cuisine changes with the landscape. Whether bought in the market, dug from a lock-keeper’s garden or even foraged along the towpath, the food she finds and cooks is always seasonal and local to the region. 

This book is more than just a collection of recipes though. It is the result of a life spent on the waterways of Europe. She talks to lock-keepers, skippers of working barges and those, who, like her, find their sustenance on or near the canal. Di’s enjoyment of good champagne, foie gras and truffles leads to an eclectic mix of simplicity and sophistication in her cooking. The boating life, though rarely sensational, is full of small events and chance encounters. This is an enticing story of slow boats and slow food. Di makes it come alive, and her combination of travel and recipe book tempts us to give up everything and join her on the waterways of Northern and Central France.

A Foodie Afloat is the 2020 UK winner of the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards in the Food Tourism category.

My first, 'Barges and Bread' published in 2017 was the winner of the best UK Culinary History in the 2018 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

Now I am to publish my second book, in the spring of 2020, and this time with Matador.
'A Foodie Afloat' is the story of a cook's journey through France on a barge. Slow boat, slow food, and my main preoccupation - making sure that tasty food arrives on the table each day. Though very different in style, both books do, in their own special ways, reflect my twin interests in food and travel on inland waterways.
Still some weeks yet from P-Day, I am, in the meantime, greatly looking forward to working with Matador on 'A Foodie Afloat' and hopefully learning something about the intricacies of publishing along the way.

Thames Guardian

The Oldie

Waterways World

Mercia Marine

Canal Boat

Towpath Talk

French Waterways

France Magazine

Waterways World

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Di Murrell

I have spent all of my adult life working and living on inland waterways. Once we carried lime pulp in canal boats for Rose's Lime Juice, coal for the Cadbury's Chocolate factory and later grain, loaded at Tilbury Docks on the river Thames bound for Coxes flour mill on the river Wey. Our children, two boys, were born on the boats and were largely home-educated.

We have spent the last twenty-plus years traveling the canals and rivers of mainland Europe in our motor barge 'Friesland'.

I came to writing a little late in the day but was rather spurred on when I won the highly esteemed Sophie Coe Prize for Food Writing in 2012. This was for a piece entitled 'Food on the Move':

I have written a blog for many years. It was said by The Times to be the best blog to discover life on the waterways of Europe. It is now discontinued, replaced by which is largely about our life in Burgundy, France.

I also write regularly, and do book reviews, mostly for the food history publication Petits Propos Culinaires which is published 3 times a year.

I have given talks on our boating life at the Museum of London, the London Canals Museum, the River Thames Society and to many other groups and organisations.

We sold our beloved barge about 2 years ago and are now land-based but still with our feet (almost) in the water in a small village beside the river Seille in the Saone et Loire department in France. We also have a home in West London where we spend as little time as possible!

Waiting for dinner to come
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