Make a dressing with about 1/4 pint (1/2 cup) of the best olive oil, adding lemon juice and seasoning to taste: keep it quite tart. For easy mixing, make it in a screwtop jar.
Grill or fry the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels.
Put the beans into boiling salted water and cook until just tender; drain and refresh under cold running water.
Pat the eggs dry and chop roughly together with parsley and chives.
Lay the beans in some ravishing china dish, sprinkle with the bacon, pile the eggs and herbs on next and lattice the top with the anchovy fillets. Chill slightly. Just before serving, give the dressing a good shake and drizzle over the beans. Bring to the table with some good crusty bread and unsalted butter.
Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright