elcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. Raymond Blanc tells us although he worries about the “double whammy” of Brexit and coronavirus on the food industry, after his bout of severe Covid he has found a sense of optimism. Later on Ukip’s mayoral candidate Peter Gammons chats about his eventful life and Emily Blunt addresses her Irish accent in Wild Mountain Thyme. In SW1A we talk to pollster boss Damian Lyons and former Tory aide Chris White warns an early election may be on the cards.
Raymond Blanc worries the “double whammy” of Brexit and coronavirus will impact the food industry but after spending four weeks in hospital with severe Covid, he has found a sense of optimism.
“For many Brexit will be a mega problem to find qualified staff which often come from Europe,” he tells us, adding it will be “a tough time”.
Blanc also plans to lobby the Government over extending a VAT cut until March. “So many people are suffering and for some it’s too late and for many others they are hanging on.”
But after his stint in hospital, he’s also seeing the brighter side of things. Even beans on toast. “I used to hate it as a Frenchman because I had my prejudice against English cuisine.
Not anymore… as long as your toast is a beautiful sourdough bread,” he says.
Although Blanc, who has just finished a new home recipe book, Simply Raymond, has come to embrace British cuisine, he hopes the pandemic will encourage people to realise that “globalisation is not always a good thing” and reconnect with local food. “Slowly, as a nation we will find our joie de vivre.”