Esther Clark is a freelance recipe writer, food stylist and editor. Find out what favourite ingredient Esther will be cooking with this Springtime, her top tips when visiting Bristol and don’t miss her successful home cooking newsletter called The Good Home Cook:

What does home cooking mean to you?

To me home cooking means enjoyment. A space and time where you can be intuitive. Becoming a better home cook means being more adaptable, challenging yourself to learn new skills and taking risks in using what you have. A combination of these things will help you feel less pressured and find home cooking at home more enjoyable.

What can we expect from your Substack, The Good Home Cook?

My newsletter builds on the basics with new flavours and ingredients. Each week is a different theme. From scones to roast chicken and 3 ways with a tin of tuna – all recipes are easy to make and there’s lots of simple, clever tips and tricks on how to nail them! I worked as a food editor at BBC Good Food, and have drawn on my experience there and years of writing recipes that always work. If you’ve ever cooked a recipe from there you’ve probably made one of my recipes!

What do you enjoy most about Falcon in and around your kitchen?

I love the classic style of falcon but also how functional it is. A jug can also be on the table with hot custard, a kitchen pen pot (great for all my pens when making notes on recipes!) or filled with a few stems from the garden and popped on the window seal.

What handful of ingredients are you most looking forward to cooking with this Spring?

Asparagus has just popped out of the ground and it's always an excitement to cook with it again! There’s a lovely salad on my newsletter with asparagus, soft herbs, tuna and a yoghurt dressing – so good. But I also love it boiled in salty water briefly so it has a firmness to it then dunked in lemony brown butter.

What does Spring hold for you this year?

I’ve got some fun projects coming up and I’m excited to have some time in my new kitchen cooking. Now we live closer to Wales we’re going to try and get there at weekends for a spot of camping. The earliest I’ll let my boyfriend persuade me to go is mid-may! Of course, we’ll pack lots of sweet treats. I usually bake a sticky ginger cake to take camping as it only gets better in the days after its baked and a stack of falcon plates to eat it off, of course!

Are there any local companies you'd like to shoutabout? Where do you usually eat, drink, and source ingredients in your local area?

I moved out of London after living there for 10 years very recently which was a bit scary but I’ve actually been really loving it. I’m now based in Bristol so I’m really enjoying getting to know smaller, local Bristol based shops. I love the cheese from North Street cheese shop – it's such a sweet little shop with a really strong collection of good British cheeses. The fruit and veg at Hugo’s greengrocers is fab and such an inspiring place for dinner planning. Food shopping is such an important part of being a home cook. It’s a great thing to do to get to know ingredients and what’s in season and I honestly just find it really fun! Of course I order lots of stuff online too – Bold beans are a must as they are the best beans out there and great for throwing into lunches and dinners! Plus I tend to a big shop on Sous Chef every couple of months for things like spices and oils.

Photography: Lizzie Mayson


Orange, rosemary and dark chocolate loaf cake

This simple citrusy sponge cake is elevated by a few sprigs of rosemary and dark chocolate. The top turns beautifully crisp with a lovely fluffy golden sponge in the centre.

Serves 10

Takes 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 350g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 6 medium eggs
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt  
  • Finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, very finely chopped
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 180g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces and coated in ½ tbsp flour


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Butter a line of Falcon 2 litre loaf tin.

Put the butter and sugar into a freestanding mixer and beat together for 10 minutes or until extremely fluffy. It should have a pale colour and mousse-like texture. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each is added and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go.

Add the salt, orange, rosemary, flour, yoghurt and flour coated dark chocolate and briefly mix until combined. Spoon into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 20 mins or until a skewer comes out cleans. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 mins then lift out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

This cake will keep for 5 days well wrapped in a cool, dark place.


White with Blue Rim Teapot

White with Blue Rim Loaf Tin

White with Blue Rim Mug


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