JANUARY has arrived in all its bleakness. I’m clearly not a fan, but some are and all my Capricorn mates, who number about thirty, are out celebrating, so we’re out attending wall to wall, joint drinks, lunch and supper parties and that’s winning me round right now.

Our season doesn’t kick off in a big way until April 1st, then it’s non-stop until October, so now is a great time to take stock and think about what we want to achieve in the coming year.

For me, like most people, a bit more money, less time working and more time having fun with my family and friends are high priorities, although over the last seven years, rarely achieved. Business start-ups, even at the tender age of 55 are ruthless, demanding events. With seven years of lean behind us, I’m looking forward to this first year of plenty.

But along with phenomenal wealth (I am joking by the way) comes the search for greater meaning in what we do and for me that comes with getting closer to the suppliers we work with and working closer with the seasons to which they defer. It’s a slow process, but then the year is long, or should be if we savour every part of it.

We’re slowing down over the next couple of months and introducing or, in my case re-introducing ‘Slow Sundays’. One day a month dedicated to friends and family, discovering new culinary delights and sharing them over a long, lingering, boozy (no resolutions here) Sunday lunch. 2-7pm, five hours of relaxing, chatting, charging up those serotonin levels and kissing goodbye to S.A.D.

I think it’s a great idea, there’s plenty of time beforehand to get organised for the week ahead, have a couple of scoops in your local with a few friends, then head off for a hedonistic, five course bonanza. Then get an early night and wake up refreshed on Monday morning after 12 hours sleep, fully charged and ready to take on the challenges of the week ahead.

I’m focusing on new dishes, experimental, seasonal, massively tasty and slightly weird. So I’m kicking off with; Lobster arancini. Braised octopus. Braised mallard with black peas. Celeriac puree. Rainbow chard. Tabbouleh with roasted cauliflower florets. Poached rhubarb with mango to finish.

Return to the source. Happy new year.