A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere
by Alison Walsh.
Six Word Summary: Tea, cakes, food – perfect tea party!
Blurb: A Literary-Inspired Cookbook for Voracious Readers at Teatime
Tea and books: the perfect pairing. There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a good book on a lovely afternoon with a steaming cup of tea beside you, as you fall down the rabbit hole into the imaginative worlds of Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Sherlock Holmes . . .
Fire up your literary fancies and nibble your way through delicate sweets and savouries with A Literary Afternoon Tea, which brings food from classic books to life with a teatime twist. Featuring fifty-five perfectly portioned recipes for an afternoon getaway, including custom homemade tea blends and beverages, you will have everything you need to plan an elaborate tea party. Cook up and enjoy:
- Turkish Delight while sipping on the White Witch’s Hot Chocolate from The Chronicles of Narnia
- Drink Me Tea with the Queen of Hearts’s Painted Rose Cupcakes from Alice in Wonderland
- Eeyore’s “Hipy Bthuthday” Cake with Hundred Acre Hot Chocolate from Winnie the Pooh
- Hannah’s Sweet Potato Bacon Pastries and Jo’s Gingerbread from Little Women
- Tom Sawyer’s Whitewashed Jelly Doughnuts from Tom Sawyer
Accompanied with photographs and book quotes, these recipes, inspired by the great works of literature, will complement any good book for teatime reading and eating.
My Thoughts: I absolutely love the concept behind this book – a literary tea party. Reading the blurb of this book made me seriously consider throwing a themed tea party just so I could show off all these great recipes!
The very basis premise of this book are recipes that have been taken from the pages of your favourite literary book. As the blurb suggests there is a recipe for the iconic Turkish Delight, but also present in the book are steak sandwiches from Sherlock, Sword and the Stone Cheese Bites inspired by King Arthur, and even a star-crossed focaccia reminiscent of the fated lovers Romeo and Juliet.
The book is broken up into two main sections, the recipes and the paired tea blends. The recipe section breaks off into three sections, savouries, bread and muffins, and sweets. Almost every recipe features a beautiful picture that not only captures how the food item is meant to look but encapsulates the literary work itself.
Part of why I love cookbooks so much is just being able to look through, page by page, being tempted by each recipe. In this aspect A Literary Tea Party is a delight to read. Recipes had me thinking back to the books themselves but also had me wanting to get in the kitchen and start cooking.
In addition to all of the lovely recipes and tea party inspirations, the book features tea recipes 😀 I am an avid tea drinker! As some of my other posts show, I am passionate about my blends. This section of the book is really interesting as it takes you through the process of creating blends. There is the normal section where it talks about how to brew tea and the different types of tea, but the real hook for me was the composition of making your own tea. Some of the pairings call for you to add additional elements to different tea or to create your own from the instructions, and I really loved this!
At the moment I am eyeing off making ‘Hannah’s Muffs: Sweet potato bacon pastries’ from Little Women and attempting to brew my own ‘Bilbo’s Breakfast Brew’ from The Hobbit. At the time of writing this I haven’t made these delicious little potato bacon puffs and delicious sounding black tea blend, but the ingredients are on my shopping list, so I promise to update the post and include some pictures if I make succeed at making these treats.
=Update – I made the ‘Hannah’s Muffs’ and they were so yummy and amazing! The recipe was really easy to follow and they tastes so good!=
The cookbook itself:
Ease of Use: The recipes were easy to follow and the photos that accompanied the recipes were quite informative in how the food should be prepared. (Which is something I need because do not leave it up to me as I will use my imagination somehow mess up 😛 )
Recipes: The recipes started with an extract from the book, describing the food item, and then a little explanation by Walsh.
The ingredients were listed in order of usage and the following instructions were very clear and concise on what needed to be done.
At different points in the recipes, there are tea pairings whose recipes are included at the very end of the book.
Book: After the introduction and letter from the author, the book includes a ‘Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions’ section which was much appreciated. After this there was a small section dedicated to ideas for themed tea parties, which included lists of tea party meal plans taken from the following recipes.
The rest of the book was broken up into two sections, recipes and paired tea blends. The recipes themselves were broken up into: savouries, bread and muffins, sweets.
The A Literary Tea Party book itself was easy to read and the recipes were formatted in a way that made following the instructions a simple process.
Recommendations: If you’re thinking of something a little different to do for a birthday party, I would definitely recommend picking this book up! For me, the idea of a literary tea party is an exciting one (no judgement on how boring I may or may not be).
Nothing makes me more happy than sitting back with a cup of tea, a snack, and good book, so the recipes and matching tea parings really were a delight.
Please note: I received a copy of A Literary Tea Party from NetGalley.