There are times when cooking is only partly about filling your belly but so much more about feeding your soul. With a subtitle ‘Recipes to comfort, seduce, celebrate and everything else in between’ it’s a hard-hearted cook who doesn’t fall in love with this thoughtful book arranged in chapters such as ‘nourish’, ‘spoil’ and ‘cocoon’. Jump in and enjoy the whole package: the table laden with vintage linens, fresh flowers, mis-matched china and candles, the wisteria-draped patio and effortlessly elegant antiques. In the hands of a skilled writer a cookbook becomes so much more than a list of ingredients and a method, and Skye is among the best, with her words to be savoured as much as the food. Not surprisingly for a writer whose life is split between Venice and London, the recipes mix both influences and a gentle meander will take you past roast chicken and cheese and Marmite soufflé, to saltata di risotto and spaghetti with chilli and hazelnut, from treacle tart and rhubarb syllabub to baked ricotta al limone and nutella tiramisu. Useful for a book not organised along conventional lines of entrées, mains, and desserts, is a series of suggested menus: a solo supper for a cold winter night could be baked eggs with spinach and gorgonzola, a nice chunk of good bread and a baked apple with amaretti crumble. As Skye says, “Build your own language of love one dish, one pudding, one meal at a time.” TRACY WHITMEY