Book Review – Belinda Jones – The Travelling Tea Shop

A delectable tale of friendship, love 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.

The brief; Laurie and Pamela – along with Pamela’s sassy mother and stroppy daughter – will board a vintage London bus for deliciously unusual tour of the USA’s East Coast, cruising from New York to Vermont.

Their mission; To trade recipes for home-grown classics like Victoria Sponge and Battenberg 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 found this book whilst I was in Tenerife, but unfortunately had to board the plane so could not buy it in time, however, I went straight onto Amazon when I got home and ordered it.

I liked the idea of the book being about a travelling tea shop (because if I could only have one thing in the world, it would be afternoon tea).

*WARNING* You WILL get hungry reading this book, so make sure you surround yourself with yummy treats and lots of tea!

This book is – in my opinion – brilliant. It’s a total heart warmer.
I smiled the whole way through the novel, (well I cried at one point too, and got a little bit scared but it was only for a second…)

I hadn’t ever heard of Belinda Jones, but will definitely be checking out some of her other books. I felt so enthralled with the characters in the book, from Laurie – the over excited traveller who loves cake, to Pamela – the TV chef who has had her fair share of heartache and just wants to make everyone happy, to Gracie – the sassy grandma who wont put up with any nonsense on the trip and Ravenna – Pamela’s daughter, I took a while to warm to Ravenna, but that was what was meant to happen.

Throughout the novel we see all the characters transform into different people, and in the most part, for the greater good. I instantly warmed to Laurie, she’s such a lovely character, loveably and interesting. She never went to university because straight out of school she was employed by a travel company, and because of that she has this fixation that it would have been the best thing in her life to experience and because of that her dream was filled when she went to the Harvard University campus along their way around America.

There’s a big secret running through this book, Ravenna’s real dad… When she finally meets him she is completely in the dark to who he actually is, it’s heart breaking to read as she is totally oblivious that this man she is enjoying the company of has not been there for her for nearly 21 years, and she has had to see her mother with someone who makes her so unhappy for all that time.

It’s at chapter 47 when Ravenna is given the news that could either make her or break her… And in the worst way possible, instead of finding out from Pamela (her mother), she found from Harvey – her half brother, whom she had just kissed…

After a tough few chapters (it was emotional to see characters you fell for going through such pain) but finally Ravenna (with the help of Laurie and her best friend) comes to her senses and realises this could be a great thing.

If you read this book (which I do suggest that you do) you will laugh out loud, smile and cry throughout it (Thank goodness I was at home when I cried!).

You can buy the book here

If you have any suggestions for my next blog, comment below or tweet me @LHutchon

Lucy.

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