1st December 2016
Interview: Molly Tait-Hyland
Photographs: Sophie Davidson
Fletching, East Sussex, TN22 3S; thegriffininn.co.uk
Anna has fond, honest words for a place a stone’s throw from her rambling house. “One very local to us is The Griffin Inn, and although the landlord – a completely lovable, bitingly bright, occasionally offensive eccentric – tends to spit feathers at the vacuum-packed, lycra clad fashions of cycling, we can (and often do in the warmer months) cycle there, eat drink and be merry, and then weave our way back home. The food is seasonal, ingredients sourced locally and the menu always offers deep comfort and joy.”
82a Victoria Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2PW; www.kitsu.co.uk
“Tunbridge Wells has a little hidden gem that looks nondescript and non-enticing. In fact, it’s the kind of place you’d walk by, eyes facing forward, stomach leading the charge for something sustaining after dealing with the bloody awful one-way system and subsequent parking. We often did walk straight by, until a good friend booked a table. Proper formica ones. The windows are usually streaming with condensation from conversation, you’re usually seated familiarly rubbing backs with the guests behind and there’s little elbow room. The food is just brilliant. Kitsu quietly calls itself a sushi and noodle bar, but it’s always the ones that don’t shout about it that seem to deliver.” – Anna
25a Warren Street, London W1T 5LZ; honeyandco.co.uk
A petite Middle Eastern restaurant in Warren Street, owned by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, and famous for its feta and honey cheesecake on a kadaif pastry base and luxurious mezze (everything you could possibly imagine and more). Anna loves how “the warm hug of food manages to permeate even the deepest of frowns.”
Old Spitalfields Market, 8a Lamb St, London E1 6E; thewrightbrothers.co.uk
“I love my fish and I’m never disappointed here. Tuna carpaccio, battered elvers, bream.” – Anna
London Rd, Forest Row RH18 5DP; www.tablehurst.farm
“They have lovely meat and perhaps for the best sausage rolls in the country (I kid you not). A visit always feels like you’re dipping into another era. There’s a clean, honest and untroubled air about the place. From the fields of crops, the roaming chickens, right to the produce on display, everything feels loved and nurtured. There’s a sense that whatever you decide to buy, you know it’s been grown with tenderness and care. It’s very obvious that the people who live and work there have created and are managing to sustain a rhythm of their own making, one that’s doing this planet no harm, and possibly even a whole lot of good.” Anna also sources meat (primarily lamb and beef) from Denniker farm.
Lower Rd, Forest Row RH18 5HE; www.cyrnelbakery.co.uk
Where Anna gets all of her baked good necessities (“spelt loaf, sesame loaf, chicken tikka pasties, custard tarts, ridiculously huge hazelnut meringues…”) when she doesn’t have time to make her own.
10-11 Hartfield Rd, Forest Row RH18 5DN; www.seasons-forest-row.co.uk
Anna is kind and to-the-point: “It’s basically an organic supermarket with friendly, kind and savvy shop assistants.”
17 Hartfield Rd, Forest Row RH18 5DN; www.veaseyandsons.co.uk
“I buy brown shrimp, smoked haddock, coley, cod, palourde clams, mullet, mackerel – all the usual fish and seafood for cooking there. Plus (and this for me is why I love them the most), they’re amazing at quickly sourcing really beautiful examples of fish that I need for the various commissions I get.” – Anna
“They started by selling their stuff as exhibition-quality vegetable seed. They have these show onions that are ridiculously large, the trainspotters of the vegetable world. I’ve been getting seeds and wonderful warm advice from them for about 14 years. They’ve been going since 1860.” Anna gets her flower seeds from Benjamin Ranyard at Higgledy Garden.
Inside Anna Koska’s Kitchen
Roger Phillips’ London Address Book – The mushroom expert recommends his favourite bistro, two great London institutions and his local farmers' market
Erwin Gegenbauer’s Vienna Address Book – The master vinegar brewer recommends two great Viennese gasthauses, a favourite market deli for Italian snacks and a very interesting sweets workshop
Ryan Chetiyawardana’s London Address Book – The bar owner on a classic restaurant and its various offshoots, a kebab joint that plays heavy metal and (probably) his favourite food shop in London