Lots of things come to mind when I consider figs. 

First is one of my mother's many hilarious go-to phrases in response to 11-year-old protests of mine about unimportant things ('Siubhan, I couldn't give a fig!'). I'm certain she must be the only person who says it.

Second is the woman who used to pop into a cafe I once worked in to donate the products of her fig tree to our customers every September and October. She loved the tree, but was less keen on the figs, which worked out beautifully for everyone else.

Lastly though, I can't think of figs, or eat them, without associating them with the proper beginnings of autumn.

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When we go back to Islay, my sister spends most of her time chasing Ben around with a notebook and pen, jotting down precise details of how he makes things, so that she can make them herself. I like to think that she 's writing him a kind of unapproved and peculiar ghost-written cookery book. 

When he made this pudding, I had forgotten my notebook, so all I know is that it is figs baked in the oven with red wine and hazelnuts, and served with yoghurt on the side. The wine goes all warm and caramelly and the colours are all autumn, with the last pinks of summer thrown in for good measure. A bit of both seasons, which is just what you need in September, I think.



There are few places in Bristol that feel like they're not in Bristol (which is a city escapism that I quite like). Cafe Kino is one of them – for me, it could be New York, or London, or maybe even Glasgow – which means, essentially, that I like it there.


I really appreciate how light and airy it is – I'm certain that my flat was built at an angle that purposefully lets in as little light as possible – and that it actually mostly serves vegan food, but vegan food so good that I don't miss anything non-vegan at all.

They also serve herbal tea in the strangest brewing contraption from Attic Tea. You leave the herbs to flow about for a while, then attach your mug to the brewer, push down, and all the tea drains out into the mug. It's completely mesmerising. Has anyone else seen one before? I'm fascinated.

Although Cafe Kino feels like another place entirely while you're sitting inside drinking swirly tea at wooden benches, it has all the good bits of Bristol at its heart: it's a non-profit workers' cooperative for a start, and in addition it is committed to using local ingredients from local sources – a very Bristol trait that has been rubbing off on me too lately, but more on that some other time.