Wednesday, September 18, 2013

August Blog Break Reading and Reviews

While I was on my August blog break, I ordered three books that blogging friends had featured.  I have a hard time resisting cookbooks, and tea themed books are even harder.

The first two books that arrived in my mailbox were from Hoffman Media.  I've learned not to put off ordering promptly, because you never know when they're going to sell out, and not be reprinted.

Afternoon Tea
Delicious Recipes for Scones, Savories & Sweets
From Tea Time Magazine

Like Tea Time magazine, this 134 page book is full of beautiful 'eye candy' and great recipes. It's divided into three parts:  
Special-Occasion Menus [Holidays]
A La Carte Recipes [Scones, Savories & Sweets]
Useful Resources 

Page 38 caught my eye because I have the same teacup that is pictured.  More of the dishes appear again on page 131.  I wish I had the beautiful teapot, creamer, sugar bowl, and other china pieces, but alas, I only have a trio in the Sunnyvale pattern.

I like that it's an American company founded in 1901 in New Castle, Pennsylvania.  You can read its great history here.  The Sunnyvale pattern was produced from 1957-1972.  Its delicate pink roses and gold trim are beautiful.

Southern Lady
Luncheons, Teas & Holiday Celebrations
A Year of Menus for the Gracious Hostess

This 134 page book is reflective of Southern Lady magazine with beautiful color photography and mouth-watering recipes.  Below is a sampling of photos from the Fall section of the book.

The last book I ordered was:

There are 11 chapters that range from A Nautical Beginning to High Tea.  Penelope, the author, begins by retelling her trip from New York to Southampton, England on the world's fastest ocean liner, the S.S. United States, when she was a young girl.  Her mother was from England.

Penelope shares highlights about the Titanic and its passengers throughout the book, especially Molly Brown, because Penelope lives in Lakewood, Colorado, near Denver, where the Molly Brown House is located. 

The book includes recipes as well as Penelope's s own personal tea journey and rituals.  I highlighted several things that I thought were worthy of remembering.  For example, on page 66 she says:  "An attractive table setting is only one part of the atmosphere you are creating, but it can be the most captivating...".  "The tradition of tea has always linked its history to that of charm and elegance." 

It's a fast reading book, and a great addition to any tea lover's library.  

To read more about the talented and fascinating author, who conducts Tea Tours to England, and has a newsletter, click here.   I have a friend who was invited to tea at Penelope's home, and she said it was a wonderful experience.

Happy Reading!


  1. Thanks for the reviews -- I don't have any of these books!

  2. All three books sound wonderful, but it was the Sunnyvale teacup that caught my eye in your post, even before I read what you had to say about it! This was my maternal grandmother's china pattern, and as a child, I thought those were the most beautiful dishes in the world. Last year, probably 25 years after i'c last seen those dishes, I saw a cup and saucer in a blog post, and was so thrilled, because I'd forgotten the pattern name! I now have a dinner plate, cup and saucer, and two small bowls. And I still think it's some of the prettiest china I have ever seen.

  3. I don't have any of these books but always enjoy a review before purchasing new ones.

  4. Hi Phyllis - another great write up! Love the book reviews (and the tea cup). I can vouch for Tea on the Titanic as a good read as well as the wonderful tea at Penelope's! : )


Thank you for visiting my blog. If you would like to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!