Friday, 21 May 2010

Delightful Miss Dahl

It has been said that I’m cynical; jaded, even. My first blog was about how it isn’t really fun to go out on New Year’s eve. When this was published on a review site, it was accompanied by advertisements for anti-depressants. This tells you everything you need to know about society’s attitude to anyone whose opinion differs from the norm. (If “normal” is being so bored with the company of your friends that you need to chug a bottle of tequila before you can tolerate their presence with any semblance of enjoyment.)

Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know that sometimes I will unashamedly crap rainbows all over something I like.

I couldn’t resist checking out the first series of The Delicious Miss Dahl after reading many scathing reviews. The media has relished giving Miss Dahl a good chewing up and spitting out (OK, I’ll stop the food metaphors now) for daring to share her cookery style with us. The general feeling seemed to be “Who does she think she is? Just because her grandfather was a writer, and she’s a model / writer... and why is she calling herself delicious?” “We’ll be the judges of that,” wrote one grumpy critic. After the first episodes hit our TVs, there was quite a gossip storm. Sophie is trying to out-do Nigella... she can’t even cut ciabatta right... she doesn’t know what she’s doing....

So you can see why I couldn’t resist a peek. What I found surprised me. It turns out Sophie is perfectly sufficient at kitchen duty. She's vaguely similar to Nigella, in that she's attractive and voluptuous, and makes flirtatious little asides to the cameraman. All I can say is, the world is big enough for two sexy cooks. As for their culinary prowess or lack thereof, it’s not as if either of them is claiming to be a chef at the Savoy. (It’s ENTERTAINMENT, people!)

Miss Dahl is like the kindly head girl at Malory towers. She speaks frightfully nicely, and sprinkles conversation with sighs about how romantic second-hand book shops and graveyards are. Not to mention those cosy anecdotes about her grandparents.

She has an easy way with the camera, frequently dissolving into giggles, and makes you feel as if you are sitting in the kitchen with a cup of tea chatting to your friend while she gets on with the cooking.

Dividing the programmes into useful themes such as “romance” and “escapism,” Miss Dahl proved herself to be utterly charming, with plenty of genuinely useful cooking tips and meals which looked yummy, contrary to the dour opinions I’d heard.

I do hope Sophie gets a second series. I found her immensely likable and entertaining, so there critics! Save your roasts for someone who deserves them....

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