Cooking Up Religious Experience

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 22, 2003 | Go to article overview

Cooking Up Religious Experience


Byline: Beverley Jones

SOME people elevate the appreciation of good food into an almost religious experience.

But celebrity chef Angela Gray gets to think up her best culinary creations in her genuine in-house chapel.

The presenter of My Life on a Plate and veteran of dozens of TV appearances is in no doubt that the architectural oddity, hidden away in the roof of her home is her favourite room.

She lives in Roath with her husband Michael and 13-year-old daughter Olivia in their Victorian house that has more than a passing ecclesiastical feel.

It is surrounded by a convent school on one side and two former chapels.

And its own converted chapel is high up in the roof.

The chapel is a long narrow room with many original features such as a chapel window, the head of the Virgin Mary emerging from the wall and wooden walls and flooring.

It was converted to a room of prayer by nuns from the nearby convent and Angela said it has a calm feeling and is a very special place.

When she bought they house three years ago she wanted to retain the feeling and the features.

And she says the spiritual air gives her a calm atmosphere in which to think up tasty new delights.

'The nuns installed the pitched, sloping ceiling, added the wooden beams and the features like the beautiful, deep, ruby red stained glass church window,' she said.

'When I was younger I would walk past the house and wonder what was up in the roof because I could see the wooden slatted beams.

'I must say as soon as I saw it it strongly influenced the decision to buy the house.

'It is very pretty and peaceful and tranquil. I loved the open space and wonderful light.'

At the far end of her room is her invaluable reference library and office.

But Angela said the open plan chapel is also a family-orientated place with various items from their travels and pictures and the paraphernalia of everyday life .

'It is warm and cosy and overflowing with our books, videos and pictures of family holidays.

'It's rustic but exotic, almost Moroccan with the deep colours. We adore it,' she said. …

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