The Travelling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'A delectable tale of love, friendship and cake...
Laurie loves a challenge. Especially if it involves tea-time and travel. So when British baking treasure Pamela Lambert-Leigh needs a guide on a research trip for her new cookbook, she jumps at the chance.
Laurie and Pamela Ð along with Pamela's sassy mother and stroppy daughter Ð will board a vintage London bus for a deliciously unusual tour of the USA's East Coast, cruising from New York to Vermont.
To trade recipes for home-grown classics like Victoria Sponge and Battenburg for American favourites like Red Velvet Cake and Whoopie Pie.
All the women have their secrets and heartaches to heal. As well cupcakes galore, there's also the chance for romance...
But will making Whoopie lead to love?'
I could not wait to read this book, it sounded right up my street. I love travel and I love recipes and cakes so this had to be the book for me.
Well known baker Pamela Lambert – Leigh wants to bring out a new cook book based on cakes from the US. She wants to visit different states, identify the traditional cakes from these areas, research them and create a book based on them, using traditional English recipes. She hires Laurie (I found out after reading the book that she had previously appeared in Winter Wonderland.) to plan her trip for her and accompany her along the way.
They are set for their trip and coming along for the trip is Pamela’s mum Gracie and her daughter Ravenna. Although they are primarily the secondary characters in the story, I really enjoyed reading about Ravenna and she became my favourite character, you could see a stroppy teen develop through the story and I enjoyed reading how her relationship developed with Laurie, like I wrote, a stroppy teen – she is actually twenty but behaves in a way a lot younger. Gracie is a wonderful grandma and she holds no prisoners when it comes to her granddaughter Ravenna, and tells her like it is.
I loved the idea of this story and enjoyed reading about Pamela trading recipes with other chefs from around the states of America. One thing that I think could have made the book better would be to have included these recipes that Pamela had received. I would have loved to try to recreate the perfect Red Velvet cake in my own kitchen.
The story did take some turns in the book, which I was not expecting. This made it a more enjoyable read for me. I enjoyed reading the romances that developed through the story. The way Jones’ writes is really descriptive and this allowed to me to feel I was with them on the trip as I could easily picture where the characters were and what the setting was like. It is clear that Jones’ spent a long time researching this book before writing it, clearing having an awesome time doing so!
I did enjoy this book; however I found it a little difficult to initially get into it. I feel there were a lot of characters to get to know – some I felt we know a lot better than others. I think that if you have time to spend to get into the book to begin with, it will become a smooth and easy read. For me getting into the story was the main issue I had with the story and it spoilt my enjoyment of it somewhat.
I would recommend anyone to read this who loves stories about travel and cooking oh and course Belinda Jones!
I would like to thank the publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.