I love afternoon tea, I really do. A delicious spread of tiny treats makes me feel like a little girl playing ‘grown up ladies’. We used to do it on a regular basis, and a least once a year we would have a large gathering of friends round for tea and scones, but it hardly ever happens now, and using the next book reminded me why. Ah, chronic fatigue! What a chronic pain in the bum. I just don’t have the energy to spent all morning making cake, scones, pastry and sandwiches, and socialise. In fact, I just can’t be on my feet for any length of time these days; it’s very demoralising. I still love afternoon tea though. Pass the scones please.
Miss Hope’s Teatime Treats by Hope and Greenwood. Ebury Press, 2012.
“Cream tea, cake and cucumber sandwiches”
Where do we start? Hope and Greenwood describe themselves as “Purveyors of splendid confectionery”. We might describe them as a chain of high end traditional sweet shops; you may have seen their products in the supermarket, or caught their BBC series a few years ago.
So why did you buy it?
Flicking through the pages in the bookshop, I thought it was cute but not worth getting, as I already had so many similar recipes at home. Then something caught my eye… The introduction to each recipe ranged from amusing anecdotes to insanely bizarre humour, right up my street!
Judge a book by it’s cover…
It’s attractive in a kitsch sort of way, but like I said, you wouldn’t guess what it was really like inside.
Do you use it?
Not really, but I often read it.
What did you make?
I used a recipe from each section – savouries, cakes, pastry, and drinks, to get a feel for the book. What impressed me most was the accuracy of timings and quantities . Many, many recipes seem to give you too much or too little of various things, but these were spot on.
I made cucumber and strawberry sandwiches; it sounds like a strange combination but it really works, everybody loved them.
Then we had Jaffa Cake Madelines (not pictured) and Blueberry Bakewell tarts – which may not have been the best I’ve ever tasted, but were still excellent, then Sicillian Lemonade – which is really a lemon cordial that you top up with soda water – and is absurdly delicious!
Is the book still in print?
It seems to be out of print at the moment, but readily available second hand. The kindle version is still available.
Is it worth buying?
Yes, the recipies are reliable and it’s a jolly fun read.
Find out about Hope and Greenwood at www.hopeandgreenwood.co.uk