In this world of fast-paced, competitive food and lifestyle shows, "At Home With Venetia In Kyoto" is a calming breath of fresh air. We recently discovered this Japanese program on our local public television station and have become quite enchanted by Venetia's "eco- and people-friendly way of life."
"At Home With Venetia In Kyoto" focuses on the home life of British-born Venetia Stanley-Smith, who has lived in Japan for over 30 years. Venetia resides in a 100-year old farmhouse with a garden that contains 200 varieties of herbs. Viewers get to see her gardening throughout the seasons, drying herbs for cooking and making tea, baking cakes with her granddaughter, visiting local craftspeople, and sewing household items like potholders made from old clothes. It's an inspiring glimpse at a lifestyle that is slow, serene, and in tune with the natural world. And we love her kitchen, which is a charming blend of English cottage and Japanese aesthetics.
Unfortunately, "At Home With Venetia In Kyoto" doesn't air everywhere but if you have access to a channel with NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) programs (such as KCET in Los Angeles), do keep an eye out for it. You can also watch occasional videos online or purchase DVDs and books via her website.
(Images: Stills from Venetia's Garden: Recipe for Enjoying Slow Herbal Tea)