Magazine article The Spectator

Pippa Middleton's Winter Diary

Magazine article The Spectator

Pippa Middleton's Winter Diary

Article excerpt

A few days ago I went truffle hunting in Piedmont. It's been a bumper year for white truffles in northern Italy -- the best ever, according to some experts -- thanks to climate change and an exceptionally wet summer. My guide was a brilliantly sharp-eyed Italian, Mario, whose dog Rex did the snuffling. Mario told me that dogs are better trufflers than pigs because pigs often eat the truffles before you can get your hands on them. We (or rather Rex) found two, and I have been devouring truffle since I returned; I've had it with scrambled eggs, mashed potato, pasta and even just straight onto toast. I didn't think it was possible to get bored of something so expensive, but I must say I'm a bit truffled out, and my flat now smells of truffles. That's what people call a first world problem, I know.

I've just passed my Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) advanced wine exam with distinction. I spent lots of time swotting up -- quaffing, essentially, but with pen and paper to hand -- and hanging out in an excellent little wine shop near my office called The Sampler. I tried to sneak in when no paps were about; it might have been a bit embarrassing if I'd been photographed repeatedly entering an upmarket offy for several afternoons running.

Anyway, I fancy myself as a bit of a wine expert now, and am contemplating taking a full diploma, described on the WSET website as 'the stepping-stone to the Master of Wine qualification'. From party planner to sommelier -- now that's what I'd call career progression. I hear The Spectator has a very good wine club. Maybe I should sign up with a view to taking over.

The church in which I was baptised is to close. St Andrew's, Bradfield, is a handsome flint building, extensively redesigned by George Gilbert Scott in the 1840s, which sits in the middle of Bradfield College, a thriving public school. The school was originally founded to provide choristers for the church. Now the College is reportedly in talks to buy St Andrew's from the Diocese of Oxford. I'm sure the school can be trusted to look after the property well; nonetheless the story makes me sad -- passing of time and all that.

Recently, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I tried my hand at western dancing. Wyoming is real cowboy country; the mountain scenery is stunning. …

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