The Cassandra Goad Book & Film Club... (And More!): Week 6

Looking at the empty streets around the world...

Some of Cassandra's and the teams friends and family who are living around the world have shared photos of what lockdown is like in their cities. The stark streets create eerie yet beautiful photos of our new reality.

What the Cassandra Goad team and extended community have been reading, watching, singing, cooking and doing this week…


1. Le Grand Meaulness by Alain-Fournier, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Recommended by MGA (Showroom Manager and jubilant jewellery junkie)

I am writing this from my desert island during lockdown...

I have been unable to think of just one book for Cassandra's book club, and have therefore decided to break the rules and take three books that I would carry with me in my backpack through life, or if cast ashore alone.

The first book, I found as a teenager and I am re-reading now: Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier - simple and transporting escapism and a classic beautifully written tale of the loss of innocence. I read it in English! The second book I

go back to often for its wisdom, grace and glorious illustrations The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The third book I gleaned from a client when she came to us to have a spiral quote engraved on to a pebble pendant. It is the most extraordinary book, and should be an essential I feel: Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser.

The quote in question reads "And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom". Quite possibly this is also rather apt for our current situation.

In the future I will add one more book to my desert-island backpack. I was given this last Christmas, and I find the simplicity and brilliance of Charlie Mackesy's book The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and the Horse a dream. He has an Instagram page that drops his illustrations and wisdom into each day.


1. Double Choc Chip Cookies

Recipe from Steve Watts (A friend of Cassandra and brilliant chef)


  • 115g soft unsalted butter
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 115g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 75g of porridge oats
  • 1 egg
  • 115 plain/milk chocolate cut into small chunks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 115g white chocolate cut into small chunks


Set the oven to 175c and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper. Cream together the butter and muscovado sugar. Add the egg and mix again, followed by the self-raising flour, the oats and the vanilla essence. Add the chocolate pieces and give a final mix. Place spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the baking trays allowing enough space for the

cookie mix to spread as it cooks. You will have enough mix for around 15 biscuits. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and allow cookies to cool on a wire cooling rack before eating!

2. Asparagus Pasta with Parmesan and Pancetta

Recipe from Juliet Nissen (Mother of Cassandra's page boy George)


  • 200ml double Cream
  • 1-2 bundles of asparagus
  • 300g dried penne pasta
  • 100g grated Parmesan
  • 300g pancetta dices
  • 4 Spring onions tops


Remove the tough bits of asparagus and then cut the rest into 3-4 cm pieces at an angle. Put into boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain and run under cold water and set aside. Mix the double cream and Parmesan. Fry the pancetta

and whilst frying cook the pasta. Drain (retaining a little of the water). Add the asparagus, pancetta and cream/parmesan, season with salt and pepper. Add a bit of the drained water if necessary. Turn out into a bowl and sprinkle with spring onions or chives and serve.

The CG team's lockdown lunches…

EVM (Showroom Assistant and peony lover)

Right now we all deserve the occasional treat, but this is no time to stick religiously to lists of ingredients but rather to get creative. So for hors d'oeuvres I had baked a sourdough bread to have with some peridot green olive oil, followed by roasted courgettes with tuna and bee pollen. As for dessert, there was a real sense of achievement as the vegan chocolate chip cookies turned out to be rather delicious.

MGA (Showroom Manager and jubilant jewellery junkie)

Difficult, this, as we are rather unambitious at home but we have two options. The first is my son George's favourite lunch, a baguette with salami and cucumber; the second is my go-to easy lunch, ratatouille. We will be heartily sick of both by the end of lock-down.

SLW (Junior Showroom Assistant and Maltesers addict)

I LOVE avocado on toast. A spread of Marmite? Yumm. A poached egg on the top? Even better. Sourdough toast? Now we're talking. A sprinkling of cherry tomatoes? Yes please.

JLG (Marketing Assistant and Dachshund devotee)

Having spent the first few weeks of lockdown consuming more bread than I have eaten in the last year (yes this is probably an exaggeration!) I have decided to try eating healthier lunches. My current ideal lockdown lunch is a salad with any leftover bits I can find in the fridge. One delicious example was baby gem lettuce, beef (from the roast we had on Sunday), edamame beans and bean sprouts, all topped with crispy onions and a homemade salad dressing, made using the newly released Wagamama recipe.

AMK (Workshop Manager and lover of all things shiny)

A fresh green pea and mint soup, sourdough bread (with butter on of course), olive oiled salt and peppered tomatoes and other salad based bits and bobs too - yum.

EJL (Marketing Assistant and Earl Grey tea enthusiast)

Although it is very simple, my favourite lunch is roasted tomato and basil soup, with some homemade porridge bread and butter. I was slightly sceptical about the bread before making it, but I have to say that it is absolutely delicious and so easy to make!

The art of quarantine…

MGA (Showroom Manager and jubilant jewellery junkie)

This is a framed piece of fabric created by my daughter, Annie, in her lower sixth year - this symbolises the moment that I understood that Annie was succeeding in her creative endeavours. Until then the school had been persuading her in to a more conventional portraiture role, but Jane Freud saw this amongst the year's A-level pieces, and singled out her attention entirely on Annie's work. Annie is now at the London College of Fashion.

EVM (Showroom Assistant and peony lover)

The Sleeping Venus by Dirk de Quade van Ravesteyn, painted in the early 17th century.

A haiku written by EVM inspired by this painting:

Eyes slowly closing,

The murmuring of voices,

Suddenly fading.

SLW (Junior Showroom Assistant and Maltesers addict)

A portrait of my grandparents, Sir Peter and Lady Felicity Wakefield, painted in water colours by Maggi Hambling in 1983; it hangs in my parents' kitchen at home. My grandparents were long-time friends of Maggi Hambling, having met at Benton End farmhouse, the famous school of art run by Sir Cedric Morris, who was also a great friend of

my grandparents. I love this painting because this is how I like to remember my grandparents; sitting together peacefully in their beautiful conservatory, enjoying the calm and each other's company.

AMK (Workshop Manager and lover of all things shiny)

Bacchus and Ariadne by Titian. (1520 - 1523). This painting was the first one I ever learnt about when studying history of art at school.

I love the vivid colours, the story behind the subject, and the history of it, it is a visual drama painted in the most beautiful way.

JLG (Marketing Assistant and Dachshund devotee)

One of my favourite paintings was painted by my great-grandmother, the artist Elizabeth Cameron. Clothes hang on a washing line beneath a stormy grey sky and it hangs very appropriately near our laundry room.

I often walk past, the simplistic style and the ordinariness of the subject lend a calming atmosphere. It is an example of the joys of the simple pleasures in life and the clothes blowing in the wind always bring a smile to my face.

EJL (Marketing Assistant and Earl Grey tea enthusiast)

This series of sea life paintings are by my friend Lara Thistlethwaite, and I particularly love them because of their contrasting bright colours and boldness. I have always been a huge fan of her very eye-catching, fun paintings, and particularly at the moment the vibrant colours certainly lift everyone's spirits!

Flower delivery!

Cassandra delivers flowers from her garden when she goes to check the shop most weeks.

A very special delivery always goes to the amazing Norman, Brent and Nicola at Andrews Pharmacy that is based almost next to the shop.

It is the only shop on Sloane street still open and continues daily to help the local community.

Great sporting moments to relive...

And some of the children of our craftsman have been out on their boats…

And last of all a librarian's selection (read the titles)…

That's all for this week... back next Thursday with lots more to keep you smiling!

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