White Negroni | Discernment

The White Nergoni

I’m loving this alternative take on the Negroni via Food52.

The Bitter Parts of LIfe | Discernment

The Bitter Parts of Life

This week, I’ve been eating quite a lot of jam.

Read more…

Grayson Perrry’s Reith Lectures

Grayson Perry Reith Lectures  | Discernment


It’s a wonderful thing in the first place that Grayson Perry has been invited to give this year’s Reith Lectures on BBC Radio 4. But even more wonderful is his mischievous and frank approach to thinking about the value of art.

Listen to Grayson Perry’s Reith Lectures here.

Scratch and Sniff Wine

Wine Scratch'n'Sniff | Discernment


The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert by Richard Betts - surely the future?

(See the full article at Brain Pickings)

Ghost Food | Discernment

Ghost Food

Ghost Food is a fascinating project that lets you explore the foods that could become extinct – through smell.


The Incredible Arrogance of Thinking ‘Natural’ Means ‘Good’

Chocolate - It's All About the Cocoa Solids by Mark Swain | Discernment

Guest Post: Chocolate Discernment – It’s All About The Cocoa Solids

Author: Mark Swain  Read more…

Seasonal coffee: when to buy your beans at their peak

seasonalcoffee title=


(By the way, a good place to start is the wonderful Square Mile Coffee Roasters.)

Fitzbillies | Discernment | Betty Herbert

On Bakery

Last week, I visited Cambridge’s Fitzbillies for dinner. When I lived there, it was a rather sorry little place, but Cambridge is a town that likes to mythologise, and the Fitzbillies Chelsea bun was part of that mythology. Like many myths, it was better left uninterrogated.

Suffice it to say, it’s been transformed. We ate a delicious meal in a buzzing dining room, and marvelled at a space that was utterly unrecognisable from fifteen years ago.

The night before, knowing we would visit, I dreamed of the same place over and over again: a dark, cavernous, floury space, warm with yeast and hot ovens.

Read more…

Brian Wilson’s harmonies, visualised

What ‘the most brilliant ear in pop music’ could hear – that we can only see (via Wired).

The Discernment of Being Undiscerning

The Discernment of Being Undescerning

I used to have a friend who was delightful in all respects until you got her into a restaurant.

At that point, she would become a monster. She would sneer and nitpick at the staff; she would critique the menu in a loud voice (‘Don’t these people realise that using the word ‘jus’ just marks them out as suburban?’), and she would make it a point of honour to complain about at least one dish over the course of a meal. Read more…

Frances Wilson: Learning Taste and Discernment in Classical Music

Guest Post: The tyranny of the minority – Learning Taste and Discernment in Classical Music

About the author: Frances Wilson is a pianist, piano teacher, writer, concert reviewer and blogger on pianism and music as The Cross-Eyed Pianist Read more…

Inner Dialogue by Melissa Heywood | Discernment

Guest Post: Inner Dialogue

Read more…

Brewed Coffee at Curators Coffee | Discernment

Curators Coffee: making the perfect brewed coffee

A couple of weeks ago, the the good folks at Curators Coffee invited me to take part in one of their brewed coffee courses.

This covered different ways of making coffee at home without an espresso machine – but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s any less exacting for that. In fact, it’s wonderfully geeky and precise, as you will see. Read more…

I’ve been thinking that I’d quite like some guest posts.

Can you write a short piece sharing something you’re really discerning about? It could be anything – an obscure genre, a hobby, or something that only you understand.

I’d love to hear from you!

Length: 1,000 words or less.

Don’t forget to include a (short) title.

Stern warning: No adverts please. I’m not interested in product placement.

I won’t be editing the pieces, so please ensure they’re as perfect as you can make them.

Please have a read of my blog before you submit anything. It will help you to get an idea of tone & audience.

Send your post in the body of your email to hello@bettyherbert.com.

The Chemistry of Coffee

This great video from Wired shows how trace chemicals give coffee its distinctive flavour.

Brewed coffee classes from Curators Coffee

Shell Zenner

Shell Zenner shows me how to be discerning about new music

Last week, I talked about Phil Collins Paranoia, and how it’s ruining my love of music.

Well, luckily I have Shell Zenner in my life to hold my hand and tell me how to make it all better. Read more…

Everything you ever needed to know about the ice in your drink

Phil Collins Paranoia | Discernment

Phil Collins Paranoia

 Having reached an age at which I definitely have to accept that I’m no longer hip (I suspect that my use of the word ‘hip’ gives a lot away), I have succumbed to Phil Collins Paranoia. Maybe you’ll recognise the symptoms: every time I hear a new record that I like, I am struck by a crippling fear that this, finally, will be my Phil Collins.


Read more…

Discernment - Thatched House Pale Ale

Day of Discerning Drinking

On 17th May, I undertook a challenge to spend a day drinking the right thing for the right moment, avoiding my standard glass of white wine. Here are my notes.  Read more…

The Discerning Drinker

This Friday (17th May) I’m embarking on a day of discerning drinking.

The idea is simple (and probably slightly lethal). I want to address the issue of what to drink in a pub: what should you choose, and what’s the right drink for the right moment. Therefore, I will be installing myself in a range of locations across the day, and carefully choosing one drink an hour. The exactly right drink. Read more…

Tatty Devine - Mexican Embroidery Necklace Multi-colour

Flashing the Plastic at Tatty Devine

Read more…

Laser cutting from a computer file

The making of my Tatty Devine name necklace

Read more…

Coffee School at Coffeesmiths Collective | Betty Herbert

A Decent Cup of Coffee

Read more…

Coffee School from Coffeesmiths Collective

The Suits of James Bond

This fabulous blog highlights the sartorial choices of the most discerning of spies, James Bond.

The attention to detail  - and, let’s face it, sheer level of geekery – is exquisite. My particular favourite is the post on how Bond knots his tie – a raffish four-in-hand, apparently.

Wonderful stuff.

The Suits of James Bond

The Suits of James Bond

The Discerning Choice

I am not particularly discerning.

I am the sort of person who dreams of a chic capsule wardrobe, but then can’t resist the lure of Primark. I am vulnerable to costume jewellery. I have a weakness for Pop Tarts.

And, actually, I’m quite proud of that. Some of the best things in life are – if not free – cheap, readily-available, and made of brightly-coloured plastic. I find all the fuss about this vintage of wine, and that limited-edition handbag a bit dull. Too often, it seems to me that people are trumpeting how much they’ve paid, rather than how good their purchase actually is.

Read more…