Friday, 7 August 2015

A lovely lady

Over the last forty years or so, whenever I have heard the name Ruth Rogers, I have wanted to get my pin cushion out!  I admit that this is not a good thing to say.  I don't know the woman, never met her, although I have been in the same room - at the legendary River Cafe, on the banks of the River Thames.  This rather awful admission is only because she is married to the architect, Richard Rogers.  He has always been a mega hero of mine!

Mr Gaucho is also an architect.  Back in our London days, in the mid-70s, we would go to talks at the RIBA, delivered by Richard Rogers.  We hung on every word, and with good reason.  The man is a legend.  He wears great shirts too - in the most vivid, glorious colours.  Mr Gaucho's turn to be jealous!

Ruth, was the guest on Desert Island Discs today.
It was the second airing of the programme, half of which I heard earlier in the week, and I was very keen to hear the rest today.  I even pulled off the road to listen to it, on my way to do the shopping. What a lovely lady.  She chose some great music to accompany her account of her life.  I would urge you to listen to the programme on iPlayer, with a particular pause to listen to the piece she chose in memory of her beloved son, Bo.  It will break your heart.  I silently apologised to her for the pins.  Those had not been my best moments.

I was particularly interested to hear her talking about her friendship and partnership with Rose Gray.  They opened The River Cafe in June 1977.  I love food, and I love to cook, so to hear Ruth talking about the principles governing their menu, and the way the kitchen is run, was great.  How she must miss Rose Gray, who died in 2010.  She had breast cancer and later brain cancer, the deadly combination which took my mother, nearly forty years ago.

We went to The River Cafe once, not long after it had opened.  It was wonderful.  The food was fabulous, of course, but the bit I loved best was the long table around which the Rogers family, including Lord Rogers's mother, were gathered for Sunday lunch.  Lots of children, lots of laughter.  A very big, happy family.
Our second visit, a few years later, was cancelled because the rugby traffic, heading for Twickenham, prevented us from getting to the restaurant in time for our booking.  Gutted.  

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