Savoury Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pancetta Pastry Scrolls

Savoury Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pancetta Pastry Scrolls

Reading Time: 4 minutes

After the busy work week, Saturday morning is the epitome of relaxation coupled with a little indulgence over breakfast. Whereas during the week, breakfast usually means gobbling up a bowl of porridge in two minutes whilst being half-way out the door in order to beat rush hour, the weekend makes way for an extended break over steamy, aromatic coffee and fresh flaky pastries. However, it doesn’t always have to be a sweet breakfast with pains au chocolat or cinnamon swirls. This recipe for savoury Parmigiano-Reggiano and pancetta pastry scrolls combines the rich umami flavour of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with the smoky taste of cured pancetta and sweetness of sweated onions rounded off with aromatic fresh thyme.

What an utterly delectable start into the weekend!



For 10-11 pieces (approx. ø7cm)


1 sheet ready-made flaky pastry dough (ca. 25x35cm)

6 heaped tbsp. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 egg yolk

8 slices pancetta

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. butter

Several twigs of fresh thyme

Salt, pepper to taste


What you’ll need:

Chopping board

Large kitchen knife


Frying pan



Clean and dry work surface for preparing the dough

Large, flat baking tray, lined with non-stick baking paper

Two small bowls or other containers, one to store the egg white, the other for keeping the egg yolk

Pastry brush



  1. Finely slice the onion and the pancetta. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and, on low heat, lightly sweat the onion and pancetta pieces until the onion turns opaque in colour. Add a sprinkle of salt and a generous dash of black pepper. Take the pan off the heat and add fresh thyme to it (remove the greens from 3-4 twigs).
  2. Roll out the flaky pastry on a clean, dry work surface. The prepared dough won’t need any further flattening. Evenly distribute the onion and pancetta mixture on the dough and make sure to reach to the edges. Sprinkle 5 tbsp. of Parmigiano-Reggiano on the dough.
  3. Roll up the dough from the shorter side, which will produce approx. 10-11 pieces with a diameter of 7cm when baked. Carefully cut the dough with a large kitchen knife into pieces of 3cm thickness.
  4. Lay out the dough scrolls on a flat baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Leave a few centimetres space between each scroll to avoid them sticking together once they expand in the oven. Sprinkle the remaining grated parmesan on the scrolls.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven, middle rack at 160°C (fan) or top rack on Gas mark 5 for 20-25 minutes altogether.
  6. Ten minutes into the baking process, glaze the half-baked pastries with egg yolk using a pastry brush.
  7. Remove pastries from the oven once they are golden brown. Serve immediately.


(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

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Reading Time: 5 minutes


About 20 years ago I was utterly ‘shocked’ when a rather mumsie middle aged woman who was trying to revive her sex life with her husband told me that with or without a partner, a gloriously hot bath full of bubbles, surrounded with a multitude of candles and dimmed lights was the answer to any maiden’s prayer.

I think I was more surprised that this lady of around 50 was having any sex at all, but now that I am approaching that age myself am far more sympathetic to her revelation.

A beautiful bathing experience is not only good for your sex life, it is also wonderful for your wellbeing, can help you to think and sleep – especially if you have a long luxurious soak just before going to bed.

I have also been reading about how more and more people are getting back into bathing as their relaxation regime, together with meditation and love this quote from health guru  Gwyneth Paltrow:

“I take a bath every single night – unless I’m somewhere where there is no bathtub,  I started getting really into taking baths when I was probably 22-years-old and did my first movie in London. It’s such a kind of damp cold there, a bath is the only thing that gets the cold out your bones. So, I started taking baths every night – and then I came home and I just never stopped.”

I decided to put this to the test recently as I had been waking up earlier every morning and having difficulty in getting back to sleep.  My restlessness had increased with the colder weather, as Gwyneth had said, the damp air in the UK does something to the bones when you reach a certain age, and I was amazed at the difference a late night bath made to my sleeping and indeed my increased energy the following day.

It also felt incredibly pampering, far more than a shower which is refreshing but far less nurturing.   It gives you thinking time, and somehow it is a stress free zone where you can really unwind.  It also gives some well-earned ‘you’ time.

Going back to the disclosures of my lovely ‘Mumsie’ middle aged friend, Gwyneth is not the only movie star who sang the praises of the Bath Tub, and not just to keep warm, Hollywood Icon Marilyn Monroe who was the epitomy of ‘Sexy’ made bathing sensuous and beautiful in the famous bathtub scene in Seven Year Itch back in the fifties.

Luxury Bath salts for calm and great sleeps:

Herbivore calm bath salts – £16

Cowshed – sleepy bath salts – £18

Bath soak heaven is – £22

Neom Real – Luxury Mineral bath salts – £38

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day – How We Saved the Children

International Holocaust Remembrance Day – How We Saved the Children

Reading Time: 7 minutes


Actress Debbie Arnold recounts the tragic but poignant story of her Mother Mary Grimanger, and how the
Kindertransport saved her life.

The passport picture of the little girl is my mother’s. It’s stamped with a Nazi Swastika and she is rendered ‘stateless’.
She was 4 years old. Mary was one of the lucky ones as she was brought to the UK on the Kindertransport.

Mary’s passport – Cancelled with the Nazi stamp

Mary’s incredible parents (my grandparents), made the decision to put her on what was to become the very last train to
leave Vienna and that was the last time she ever saw them.

Mary remembers vividly at the age of only 4 being put on the train at the station in Vienna by her Aunt.   She recalled
how she had looked around to say goodbye, but her aunt had disappeared out of sight.  The Nazis had told all relatives
that if they showed emotion, the children would not be allowed to leave.  So Mary’s distraught parents had elected her
aunt to take her as they would not have been able to contain their grief.

Mary arrived in Harwich and was taken in by a British family in London who said they wanted her as a ‘companion’ for
their daughter who was the same age. This wasn’t the case as Mary was used as ‘slave labour’, she was given very little
food and was generally mistreated.  She had ended up alone, in a foreign country, not knowing a word of English.
I cannot imagine how that gorgeous little girl from a doting family managed to cope, but she did, and the alternative
would have been far worse.

My beautiful mother Mary was a fighter. She was brave, extremely beautiful and very bright. When the war was over she
was taken to the Beacon in Tunbridge Wells where she met other refugees. That’s when she found out she was Jewish,
she never knew before, and that both parents had been exterminated. She was 10 years old, orphaned and alone. Mary
was told her father had been artist and that’s all she knew about either of her parents.

After leaving the Beacon at 16 she came to London to train to be a beauty therapist and lived in a Jewish hostel.
It was then she was found by her half brother- the son of her father from a previous marriage – who had met her father
in the Ghetto before he was taken to Auchwitz.

Josef was one of the few who managed to escape from the camp. He told her that her father was indeed an ‘artist’
though not the sort she had imagined. He was a comedian and an actor and Josef her brother was also a comedian!

The news was very fitting, as after winning numerous beauty titles in London, Mary had become friendly with one of the
judges of a competition – impressionist Eddie Arnold – who was a huge star at the London Palladium.
Eddie (my father)  literally swept Mary off her feet and married her!

Debbie’s grandfather Arnold Griminger

The rest is indeed history as Mary then went on to become one of the UK’s most successful Theatrical Agents, and of
course I myself am enjoying a hugely successful acting career and am an ambassador for many charitable causes.
There have been many success stories of survivors through the Kindertransport who have made a difference to this
Country and indeed the World.

My Mum always said the UK had saved her life and that she was ‘proud to be British’.  How could she imagine all these
years later that history is repeating itself. How there are millions of child refugees that are starving to death and we are
no longer helping them.

Debbie with her mother Mary

I normally remain non-political, as does, but this is no longer a political issue but a humane one and
extremely urgent.  In 2016, Lord Alf Dubs, also a Kindertransport child, sponsored an amendment to the Immigration
Act 2016 to offer unaccompanied refugee children safe passage to Britain amidst the European migrant crisis.  So far
only 300 children have come to the UK under the scheme and the government said that councils were not able to find
homes for more children than this.  Only last week the amendment, which was passed in the Lords earlier in the week
was crushed by the Commons vote.  What could be more humane than asking that unaccompanied child refugees
stranded in Europe be able to join relatives in this country?  We managed to help 10.000 over 80 years ago why can’t
we help now?

Another innocent child leaves her family behind


We are now putting this to the people, because it is only you who can help overturn the vote.  We can only imagine
our own children, through some terrible act of fate, with similar life threatening circumstances.


Here is Debbie talking to Alex Salmond on the ‘Alex Salmond Show’ about her mother Mary and her incredible journey


On International Holocaust Memorial Day, let’s all learn by the past and have empathy for these frightened children.

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Passions run High at the County Register

Passions run High at the County Register

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Passions run High at the County Register by Tracey Cater

If you have any reservations about dating, Tracey will put you mind to rest as she talks about her confidential and proven approach as a dating Dating Adviser for The County Register, an exclusive introductions agency.

‘In my role as a Membership Adviser, I make sure that there is total transparency and honesty throughout the process, for new clients joining The County Register. Our clients are professional men and women who expect, and deserve, an elite service.’

Tracey speaks with conviction as she describes her unique approach:

‘Previously, I have carried out roles as both a Matchmaker and Matchmaking Manager. Just like the rest of my fellow employees at The County Register, I am absolutely passionate about the personal introductions we provide for our clients. Those who join us are all looking for a long lasting, loving relationship. Many have been through heartbreak and loss of some sort, so our approach to all of our members is one of sensitivity, compassion and professionalism.

Online dating is usually discussed during an initial consultation, as many people have suffered bad experiences. I make it clear that the service we offer is 100% confidential and also that our clients are all ID checked, using a verification system provided by Lexus Nexus.

My attitude towards my role is to guide a client through the joining process, managing their expectations and making sure they have chosen the membership that best suits their needs. I am one of a very hardworking and honest team of people. We all operate with integrity and emotional involvement. I absolutely love my job and I’m incredibly proud to work for The County Register, alongside an amazing group of individuals.  With our wide experience of personal matchmaking, we understand the uncertainties you may feel. It may be some years since you were dating; other issues, such as a career or family may have taken priority, or you may have reached the stage where you are ready to share your life with someone – you just haven’t met that person yet. An important part of our service is to advise, counsel and listen to your concerns.

I’d love to speak with if you’d like to find out more about dating with The County Register.  Please do call me, for an informal chat on 0800 644 4110 or email:’


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Jemimah Fleet Speaks Surrogacy And The Law At Pinewood Studios

Jemimah Fleet Speaks Surrogacy And The Law At Pinewood Studios

Reading Time: 5 minutes


We met Jemimah Fleet, family lawyer from progressive Buckinghamshire Law Firm BP Collins, on her visit to Pinewood Studios recently.  Jemimah spoke openly about Surrogacy, the niche area of family law she has grown to love, and the positive impact it has on so many lives.

Jemimah talked about the current legal obstacles within the climate on surrogacy law in the UK (described as ‘unwelcoming’ by Sir James Munby, the former President of the Family Division) and how it is very difficult to find a surrogate, or indeed for surrogates to come forward, due to the various restrictions concerning payments and even offering/advertising to be a surrogate. In contrast, in the USA, there is a more progressive attitude towards surrogacy which has meant that many people from the UK are drawn to go overseas.

But she is hopeful that with the proposed reforms that are presently in motion with the law commission, around the complex issues of surrogacy law, that there may well be light at the end of the tunnel.

Overall Jemimah remains positive and passionate:

‘It is a real privilege to work in this area of law’ say Jemimah ‘and I enjoy navigating the legal obstacles for clients, setting out a clear plan of action and supporting them on their surrogacy journeys. 

In relation to the law commission’s current consultation and proposals to reform UK surrogacy law: 

‘I absolutely welcome the proposals for regulation and reform and see it as hugely positive. I have seen an increase in the number of clients who are seeking advice on surrogacy, especially internationally, in recent years.  The lack of uptake of the surrogacy process in the UK is undoubtedly due to the obstacles and uncertain legal framework that intended parents (and surrogates) currently encounter. One important issue is that the surrogate (as the birth mother) is always considered the legal mother and intended parents can only apply to court for a parental order, to be recognised as their child’s legal parents, once the child is born. This inevitably places the child in a legal limbo and vulnerable position until legal matters are resolved, which can take months.

The Law Commission’s consultation will help to reform the law which is outdated and doesn’t meet the interests and needs of those involved in surrogacy journeys. Importantly, the reform aims to ensure that the child’s welfare remains the key focus, but provides a clearer legal framework and reassurance to all those involved.’

As she touched upon aspects of her work that she was permitted to share, she told us that she has encountered some wonderful surrogates and that they usually have one or more children already, and are committed to the surrogacy journey and rarely stray from their decision to help a couple who cannot conceive.  So the obstacles faced were in the law itself.

Jemimah works with single parents, same sex couples, older parents and parents who are unable to conceive naturally for medical reasons, and she feels that in spite of the current legal challenges, it is a privilege to work in a profession that brings joy to so many people.

Contact Jemma on 01753 279045 or email


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