This is who lives at The Dinner Bell now: three women, brought together by food blogging, who’ve followed the different paths life has taken them.
We met, many years ago, at the Cosmo blog awards, long before nomination required a follower count as large as a house deposit and #ad was just as common as chocolate chip recipes. Emine, of Mbakes fame, in the giant sunglasses. Sophie, the winner that night with The Cake Hunter, in the Union Jack hat. Me perched in the middle.
Now, TDB is home to all of our recipes from years of blogging, showing more than a hint of sweet tooth. These days, you’ll still find us in the kitchen, just without a camera in hand. And the recipes live on.
At my parents’ house, out in the countryside where the tallest structure on the skyline is a water tower and greenery far outweighs the dull grey of concrete, there’s an old pub bell, hung, unassuming, at the bottom of the stairs. It’s a house of cackled laughter and loud discussions, hollered “Woooohooo!” when someone enters and, when the family gathers together, the ringing of that old bell, followed by elephant-heavy but mouse-fast footsteps down the stairs.
The dinner bell brings the time to down tools, and sit down to be served up something delicious. And that’s exactly what I plan to do here.
For me, food blogging has always been about cooking for the space-deprived, for dishes you can make without fancy equipment or expensive ingredients. It’s for the people who don’t get home from work till 8pm and don’t want to tackle an ingredient list as long as their arm, and for the people who spend their days dreaming about what they’ll bake at the weekend. The Dinner Bell also champions eating with the seasons, and exploring what British producers have to offer.
I’m all about the local when it comes to eating out too, and after nurturing a growing “to eat” list, launched NorEats to document the plethora of independent shops, restaurants, and bars around Norwich.
As for me, I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in Norfolk, but little bits of my heart still belong to Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent, and London, where I lived for five formative years afterwards.