Maryann's food memories: My thirties

My thirties were a busy time, having a little toddler in the family was fun, Jamie was treasured by all being the first family baby for 7 years and fitted in easily to our household and lifestyle.

Simon started working for the AA as first a restaurant and hotel inspector becoming the editor after a few years and experiencing the more celebrated restaurants of those years overseen by chefs such as Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay. That gave me the chance to visit some very special places with him - Gleneagles in Scotland was one where he had been asked to to do consultancy and test out all this amazing hotel had to offer, I had my first luxury spa experience, went horse riding for the first time for a good few years, we both did falconry which was amazing and Simon tried play golf on the famous course and we tried out all the eating experiences possible from afternoon tea to room service to delicious cocktails after an amazing dinner, on another occasion we went to Gidleigh Park where we were so well looked after and which was one of the most beautiful hotels and locations I had ever stayed in.
The Four Seasons was still my pride and joy and we diversified into music nights with The Memphis Seven a group of 7 jazz musicians becoming a regular fixture and Pat Grover's Blue Zeroes guaranteed to get the audience dancing, we would push the tables aside after supper to make the space.
We had The Four Seasons for 15 years in all, it came to a end a couple of years after a very sad time for us all, my mum Jenny was diagnosed with cancer and sadly died after only 6 months despite having surgery and intensive chemotherapy, she was only 61 and had been so important to us all. We were all heartbroken and decided we needed to take my dad away to give him a break and settled on New York. At first he was a little reluctant, mum hadn’t liked flying so he had never considered a long haul trip but with a little encouragement he decided to join us. We were a big family group of 4 adults and 4 boys 7-16, all having ideas of what to see and do, this was 2002 so a difficult time for New Yorkers but we felt so welcome and a had a fabulous time eating amazing food in incredible restaurants including Balthazar, Daniel and Anthony Bourdains Les Halles , seeing the sights and even taking dad to the famous Blue Note Club to see Dr John.
The trip was good for us all but we soon came to realise The Four Seasons had lost its magic for us and that we needed a change of pace to our lives and to have more family time to spend with the boys and we closed the doors a couple of years later.