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Chance to see book illustrations

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By Fiona Reid
Chance to see book illustrations

AN illustrator from the region has contributed work for the latest book by world-renowned chef Raymond Blanc.

Clare Melinsky from Thornhill created lino cut illustrations for The Lost Orchard. And she has turned them into small black and white lino cut compositions, now on show at the Thomas Tosh gallery in her home town.

They feature orchard fruit, friendly insects and orchard and kitchen scenes.

Thomas Tosh is also offering some of the recipes from Raymond Blanc’s book in its café during the run of the exhibition, including Apple Crumble Cookies.

In The Lost Orchard, Blanc celebrates our islands’ orchards and sounds a battle-cry for their protection. Over the past seven years, he and his team have planted 2500 trees at his hotel-restaurant Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, as part of his mission. It now yields about 60 tonnes of fruit for his kitchen each year, and is full of ancient and forgotten varieties of British apples and pears, along with walnut trees, quince, medlars, apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, damsons and cherries. A further 600 heritage fruit trees have been added from Raymond’s home in the Franche-Comté region of France.

Clare said: “I created black and white chapter headings and vignettes for Raymond’s book, which is a love letter to the huge range of orchard fruit that was once commonly found on these islands. “Raymond is passionate about preserving our orchard fruit heritage. His hotel-restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and its orchard is a very special place.”

And Raymond explained: “Today we have an orchard with over 150 ancient varieties of apple. Each one has its heritage in a village or a county that used to thrive on that particular variety. They tell the story not only of what we have lost in Britain but also what we could regain.”

The exhibition runs until Sunday April 26th.

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