A first meal sketch – well, not really !

Belford - SunnyhillsThis was the first sketch I did of a meal – well, not really ! I’d drawn my food before, but this was the first time I’d drawn it in a dedicated book.

It was on the way up to Edinburgh Literary festival and, the weird thing is …

That weekend of drawing my meals included a couple asking to take my photograph drawing my meal (That’s not happened since! And I soon wish I’d asked them to send me a copy of the photograph!) and also a family interrupting my drawing to tell me that they were fans of my drawing in the camping magazine.

Neither of those two things has happened since.

maybe, that’s why I continue to sketch my food :/

The Cooking School Cafe – Club Sandwich

Cooks school - club sandwich sm

The Cooking School at Dean Clough , in Halifax, is a wonderful place; it trains chefs in the cookery school and gives them practical experience in different roles within the attached cafe.

The cookery school is also a school for leisure cooks and offers a year long range of cooking courses on a wide range of themes.

It also runs junior cookery events too; which is where I’ve dropped Lucy off to.

This club sandwich was erred warm; although it cooled somewhat by the time I got to it! I’ll pop in again and have it warm, sometime.


Fish Finger open sandwich with pea mayo

Staying down in Dorset means we can stop off at the delightful village of Wimborne. We nipped into No.9 on the Green for a light lunch; where I discovered the pleasure of Pea mayonnaise!

Coupled with the fish fingers this sandwich offered a pleasant variation on fish, chips and mushy peas.

As far as I can figure out this might be the recipe for delicious …

Pea Mayonnaise

Makes a pleasant accompaniment to any fish based dish.

150g (1 cup) – Frozen peas
120ml (1/2 cup) – Sour cream
120ml (1/2 cup) – Mayonnaise

Variations – add any or all of these options
– Add garlic
– Add a couple of tablespoons of chopped mint
– or how about a couple of tablespoons of chopped chives No9 on the green - fish finger sandwich sm

The Pear Tree – Sandwich

A light (and wholly vegetarian) sandwich at this quaint little village cafe in Derbyshire.


The pear tree - sandwich smMenus and menu boards hold a peculiar fascination for me (I wonder why!?)

More in their design and organisation than their actual contents, though. I’m fascinated by the way that some restaurants and cafes organise the various options available to the customers.

I suppose this figures more for cafes which offer a selection of different sandwich options, for example. There being so many different combinations available. The Harland Cafe in Sheffield had a most interesting menu board; allowing customers to close from breads and a variety of fillings to create their own sandwich. And I suppose Subway aims to allow their customers a similar range of choices.

It would be an interesting task to design a customer friendly menu offering as wide a range of components as possible.


Coffee on the Bean – Pastrami sandwich

Focussing on drawing my meals out has certainly opened my eyes to many eating habits and foodie choices.

Strangely, though, one things I love to do, which mixes this up, is something I’ve actually done for years, long before I started drawing again.

My default position on sandwiches would probably be ham and cheese, I guess; perfect combinations

Sometimes I just need a second opinion …

Years ago, on a whim, I instead asked the server at the deli counter, ‘What would you recommend?’

At first they were rather reluctant. Just as I, as a customer, am used to striding in and checking the menu board for my default sandwich, so the deli assistants are used to only having requests barked at them. Who cares what they think?

What would you recommend?

Which are you most proud of?

What is your favourite?

That day, instead of having a ham and cheese sandwich on brown bread, I had a Bacon and Brie Croissant.

(Which is essentially a ham and cheese sandwich at a different level)

What a revelation!

Coffee on the Bean - Pastrami smToday I received a Pastrami sandwich with Saurkraut.

Peppery and sweet. I sat in the park, on the edge of a wall, balancing my can of Pellegrino, while I watched the other office workers chatting and enjoying the summer sunshine on the grass.


If you enjoyed this post, or my illustration, please feel free to comment and/or share it with the social media channel of your choice.


and I dare you to ask that waiter or waitress for their choice the next time you’re having a meal out.



Ye Merrie England – Breakfast

Merrie England - breakfast smWhen you’re growing up you get used to certain things. And assume, understandably, that everyone is familiar with those things.

For instance, at the moment I’m drawing a a spread about popular biscuits. This would probably be pretty unfamiliar to anyone not from the United Kingdom, although American imports, such as Oreo Cookies are invading our shelves, I’ve tried to keep the illustration to traditional British biccies.


Merrie England -is a set of local teashops. Now when I say local, I really do mean local. There are about eight or so of these cafes and they’re all localised around Huddersfield. It wasn’t until I travelled further afield, as I grew older, that I realised that Ye Merrie England was only a Huddersfield delight.

Picture, if you will, a café decorated in a mock Tudor style. The outer walls clad in beams with diamond-leaded windows. Inside the interior continues with wood panelling and more beams in dark wood. Fleur-de-Lis banners and rampant lion pennants hang from the ceiling, perhaps a suit of armour in the corner and

Now, I hasten to add that they have a bit of a make-over in recent years and are looking a little more modern, but have still pretty much retained the quasi-Tudor look.

The atmosphere is nice and friendly and there are clearly lots of regulars strolling in for breakfast.

I woke up to a breakfast roll and a nice cup of tea.

Bacon, sausage and a runny fried egg.

It must be a runny fired egg in a sandwich – ready to pop once I bite into it and then run round the bacon and sausage. Hopefully dripping onto my plate, so I can mop up the egg yolk with my sandwich.


Baxter’s Sandwich Shop – Christmas Lunch in a Sandwich!

Baxters - Christmas Sandwich sm

The sandwich shop closest to where I work has been serving these little beauties for the past three weeks, or so. How could I possibly resist?!

Now, I realise that this isn’t the most inspiring foody drawing I’ve done; but it’s certainly one of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve had in a long while. Let’s just have a run through those ingredient, shall we?

– Turkey or chicken

– Bacon

– Sausage; sliced in half and cooked as a butterfly

– Stuffing

– Cranberry sauce

and, quite possibly, the deal clincher …

– Gravy

All it needed was a paper hat and a crumby joke to top off the effect.

I added Prawn Cocktail crisps as a starter. Well, it is Christmas!

At the Harland Cafe; Sheffield

Last Saturday the Sketchcrawl North group met up at the Harland Cafe in Sheffield; for a drawing extended lunch. I made sure I got there a little earlier so that I could have breakfast as well, knowing that i would spend a little amount of time drawing it before I ate.

Harland Cafe - Breakfast

There were soooo many tasty sounding things on the menu, for lunch; I just couldn’t decide what to have!

In fact, I actually abdicated responsibility on that decision and asked the waitress what she preferred. So I have a vegetarian sausage and fried egg sandwich., Yummy!

Harland Cafe - Lunch

I don’t usually have puddings or cakes; so for me it has to be something particularly special.

Tuesday in Cyprus

For breakfast I thought I’d try a  it bit more of a minimalist style. Especially as this was the first morning I’d felt like anything for substantial than tea! I just wanted to tuck in!

Then we set off into town. Lucy wanted to check out some of the shops ….

…. so after quite a while (Whilst Lucy desperately tried to spend the Euros which were burning a hole in her pocket) We stopped off for a late morning drink.

After we’d gone round the roman mosiacs and the archaeological dig it was time for lunch.

And I had a first! The owner of the restaurant was so impressed with my speedy drawing that she waved the charge on our drinks when it came to settle the bill! That’s never happened before! I wonder how many more restaurant drawings I need to do before I get the whole meal for free?

I’d had such a lovely day out – it was frustrating to be reminded of other people offloading their preconceptions of what is acceptable behaviour at the dining table :/

But, you know what? I don’t think I do care what other people think! I’m enjoying drawing my food!!

Monday in Cyprus

Yeh, I went from a devout coffee drinker to out and out tea drinker in the spece of four days (Well, four days and 1 virus).

For lunch I wandered across the road to the sandwich shop in the little shopping mall.

Our evening meal at the hotel was a Mexican themed buffet… and extra chillies in the salad selection …