High jinks and gastronomic journeys

Heather Gartside will be launching her book on Thursday.
Heather Gartside will be launching her book on Thursday. / SUR
  • Heather Gartside will be launching her book, Rice Pudding in a Duvet, on Thursday

Heather Gartside will be launching the second edition of her book, Rice Pudding in a Duvet; a journey home with snacks, at Bookworld, the English bookshop in Puerto Banús on Thursday 19 October. The launch will take place from 5 to 7pm and Heather will be signing copies from 9pm. There will be drinks, tapas and music to accompany the event.

Rice Pudding in Duvet is a compilation of Heather's travels around the world and recipes she found along the way. The chapter on Spain sees her travelling into the country via France and falling in love with papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) - a typical dish from the Canary Islands, which is served with 'mojo picón' or spicy sauce.

Papas arrugadas

In the Spanish chapter of the book Heather says, “I chose to include papas arrugadas as I sampled them quite recently in Malaga and they blew my mind with their intense flavour! When I researched the recipe I realised that they're rather like life, as a baby potato is transformed into a tired and shrivelled looking husk, but is full of the richness of what it has experienced. Top that with a vibrant salsa verde and memories of childhood visits to Spain came flooding back at - love at first bite!”

The author explains that the book is written as the main character, Alice Bonneville-Beck, is saying good bye to her eldest daughter who is leaving home for the first time. It begins with some cautionary advice about being true to yourself, then launches into a roller coaster ride of “high jinks” as Alice admits just what she got up to when she was growing-up. She visits Parisian tenements, the Australian outback and the Spanish coast among other places.

Heather says that her decision to launch the book in Spain came about as it “has always been a passion of mine.” She adds, “All through my life I have been coming here, and I feel very attached.” Spain was often the destination for family camping trips in the 1970s and these memories are integral to the chapter on Alice's adventures through Spain.

She goes on to say that Spain is still “beckoning” and she has even considered the idea of coming here more regularly to write. “I'm heartily sick of the dark winters that we get in Scandinavia and Spain is just a short trip away from the rain,” she confesses.

Work and travel

Heather, 53, was born in England and currently lives and works in Denmark but has also lived France, Belgium, Norway, the USA and Australia.

Her illustrious career has seen her train as a fashion designer, work as an art lecturer, interior designer, tour guide and display designer. She has also been merchandising director for The Conran Shop and subsequently Louis Vuitton.

She says she's currently working part-time as a marketing communications manager and the rest of the time she's a writer and freelance photographer. She has also had time to be a full-time mum.


British artist, Derek Worthington, who lives in Malaga, illustrated the book and each chapter has a sketch depicting its recipe. Derek says, “I met Heather a couple of years ago at the Chelsea Arts club and we became friends.”

He was invited to illustrate the book by Heather, who says, “He's a very good artist, a very good friend and he used to be in advertising. He's helped me in endless ways in illustrating, advising and promoting the book.”

Rice pudding in a duvet

Heather explains that it is technically possibly to cook rice pudding in a duvet and that she's even tried it. She says that it's done by boiling the rice and milk, then wrapping it up in blankets or a duvet and forgetting about it for several hours. “It's environmental and there are no burnt pans or cooker hob,” she says.