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Cream Teas, Traffic Jams and Sunburn: The Great British Holiday [Paperback]

Brian Viner
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 8.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

26 May 2011
The British on holiday: how can four simple words evoke so many vivid images, images of raw sunburn and relentless rain, of John Bull's Pub (in Lanzarote) and Antonio's Tapas Bar (in Torquay), of endless queues to get through security at Manchester Airport, or Gatwick, or Glasgow, or Luton, and endless tailbacks on the M5, or M6, or M25, but also images of carefree sploshing in Portuguese swimming-pools and lazy lunches in the Provencal sun? In this funny, acutely observed and engaging social history, Brian Viner celebrates the holidaying British, with their quirks and their quinine tablets, and their blithe assumption that the elderly man selling oranges at the roadside in Corfu, so photogenic with his walnut face and three teeth, must surely understand just a few, uncomplicated English sentences. He examines the fortnight-long cruise at one end of the holiday spectrum, and a day's rambling in the Lake District at the other. He looks at how the holidaying British evolved into the big-spending, many-headed beast we know today, by recalling not only the holidays that we took as children, but the holidays our grandparents, and their grandparents, took. It is a story that connects Blackpool with Barcelona, Mauritius with Margate. It is a story, indeed, that connects us all.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847377262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847377265
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 362,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Brian Viner was born in 1961 and grew up in Southport, Lancashire. He was the Mail on Sunday's award-winning television critic between 1995 and 1999, since when he has been a columnist on the Independent. He lives with his family in Herefordshire.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great holiday read. 30 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback
Cream teas....etc. is a really informative, interesting and incredibly funny book. It evokes memories, of past holidays; the highs and lows of getting there, and surviving. Brian Viner is an entertaining writer, and makes even the most mundane facts, interesting by his personal anecdotes...and those of friends and family. The book revived memories of long forgotten holiday incidents, some enjoyable, some devastating. A memorable read, worthy of 'dipping into' for years to come. Will recommend to my Reading Group.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an Entertaining Read 30 Nov 2011
By Peco59
Format:Paperback
This was my first Brian Viner offering and what an entertaining and informative book it was. I honestly never thought that I would find an author that would make me laugh out loud, in the way Bill Bryson has over the years, but Brian Viner certainly did. I have read this book in the USA and found it refreshing that the author chose not to jump on the bandwagon in bashing America, or indeed Americans, except where justly deserved and furthermore, affording similar treatment to Great Britain and its inhabitants. So in a nutshell, if you are a seasoned traveller, who likes to relate to many of the scenarios and also to be informed of areas you don't, you will love this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! 12 Aug 2011
By AWalker
Format:Paperback
I thoroughly enjoy Brian's column and really liked his earlier books. This one combines interesting history with lots of fun stories along the way. If you like Bill Bryson, you'll like this. Thanks Brian!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amusing look at the great British holiday 20 Jun 2011
By Bantam Dave TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Brian Viner must be one of the most entertaining writers around at the moment. It doesn't matter whether he is writing about TV, football or even about his home life in Herefordshire every one of his books have been a pleasure to read. He is one of the writers that I most look forward to reading and his latest book, Cream Teas, Traffic Jams & Sunburn, didn't disappoint in the slightest.

In this book he turns his attention to the Great British Holiday, investigating how they started and how they have developed, the many diverse type of holidays that we now can choose from and the people we can thank for this. He does all this in a manner which as well as being very informative is also very funny, because his text is peppered with some excellent anecdotes about his or his acquaintances experiences whilst holidaying. For example I loved the tale about the couple searching for Knickety Knackety Street whilst visiting York when they should have been looking for the equally unusually named Whipmawhopmagate.

I also enjoyed reading about the heroes of the British holiday, which feature well known names like Billy Butlin, Freddie Laker, Richard Branston and Charles Forte but also include long forgotten but equally important people like Sir John Lubbock, whose Act of Parliament introduced the bank holiday, Vladimar Raitz, who pioneered the package holiday and the unlikely sounding Gerard Blitz, who came up with the idea of the all inclusive holiday resort. As well as these though, there are some other people included that you wouldn't usually associate with the holidays; people like the executed war-time traitor Lord Haw-Haw and even Hitler himself.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Present 2 Nov 2011
By Sally
Format:Paperback
A friend bought this book for me, knowing that I was already a big fan of Brian Viner's writing. It's a wonderful read, as I'd expect - funny, engaging and informative. Brian Viner uses his own experiences - and those of a variety of friends and family members - to explore the subject, and along the way digs up some fascinating facts about the iconic names and places of the holiday industry. For anyone who's ever huddled in the lee of a windbreak on a British beach, looking anxiously at the sky for signs of a break in the clouds, this is the perfect read. It made me nostalgic for the simple holidays of childhood. Excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, well worth a read 26 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback
A book about the Great British Holiday and the Great British on holiday.

For all those who have battled with putting a tent up in a howling gales and rain in August or have been stuck behind caravans, or moaned about the towels left behind by Germans, this is the book for you.

Viner touches on lots of different subjects, not always in depth, but enough to get a flavour. It is very, very funny in parts, so much so that I did laugh out loud at some parts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Reading 1 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a good laugh and a must for anyone who enjoys going on holiday and traveling.
A very good book to take away with you.
Light hearted and not to be taken too seriously but also rings true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting holiday read. 11 Mar 2012
By Jan Fox
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I re purchased this book recently, as I lent my own copy to a 'friend,' and havent seen it since. That's how good it is!

Cream Teas, is a wonderful read and covers all aspects of the British on holiday,in this country and sometimes abroad. Its written in Brian Viner's engaging style, with humour, pathos and some wonderful descriptions which evoked memories for me and my friends. I have heard that the author received the acclaimed award for the best narrative travel book of 2011! I'm not at all surprised.!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday joy!
Transported back in time and across the globe, this book is a delight. Toe curlingly reminiscent of my own family's behaviour abroad with my Dad's avez vous a carrier bag, it... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Al
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing
A lighthearted and nostagic look at the Brits on holiday, both in the UK and abroad.

It didn't add all that much to my knowledge but it it amusing.
Published 7 months ago by La Salamanquesa
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Cream Tea
A witty laugh out loud read. I have just read this whilst lazing on a sunlounger and realised how much related to me and holidays past and present
Particularly recommended for... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Andrew F Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Crackin read!
Absolutely loved this book! When I first started it I got the feeling it was going to be a bit too historic. Read more
Published 11 months ago by AD Pooler
5.0 out of 5 stars amusing
Brian Viner used to write regularly in the Independent and I have several of his books. He writes well and humourously and I have several of his books. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mrs. J. Newbould
5.0 out of 5 stars Holidays
A super review of the revolutioon that has taken place in our approach o holidays and how it all happened # told with insight and humour.
Published 16 months ago by Mick
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book!
Great fun this book. Takes one right back to days on the beach and sand in the sandwiches. Very nostalgic and really enjoyable
Published 16 months ago by Cleo B
4.0 out of 5 stars Her Majesty's subjects hit the road
"The politics and power shifts of the girls' weekend away would do justice to a G8 summit and, good friends though they all are, there is evidently always a moment when Friend A is... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Joseph Haschka
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