The opening to the introduction gives a clue to the contents of this marvellous book:
'Welcome to the Vintage Tea Party Book. You are about to embark on an imaginative journey to create your perfect tea party.
The pages ahead of you capture my passion and fantasy for all things vintage and I feel incredibly blessed that I've been given the opportunity to share this with you.The Vintage Tea Party Book: a complete guide to hosting your perfect tea party
to give this unique book its full title, has a cameo effect front cover and the little picture of the red-haired lady in the LBD had that familiar look about it. The more I looked, the more I thought I've definitely seen her somewhere before......
I was even more intrigued to open the cover and ah......of course, all is revealed - the TV programme - 'Dragon's Den', as I recalled:
'Angel Adoree & the Vintage Patisserie', with that successful, eye-catching pitch!
The cover opens to 305 matt pages, split over simply titled main sections:
1. Brunch (pg 22-103)
2. Afternoon (pg 104-189)
3. Evening (pg 190-263)
4. Style (pg 264-297)
sandwiched between a 14-page introduction which includes sections entitled:
* Past, Present and Future
* The Invitation
* Sourcing Props
* Kitchen Atmosphere
winding up with that quintessential must-have with diagrams:
* Tying the Perfect Headscarf
and a 4-page index.
2 pages of acknowledgments complete the book......oh.... and there is an airforce blue coloured fabric ribbon to keep your place!
The first three chapters open with a double-page spread, then a complete list of all the recipes on the next with narrative on the right-hand page.
Each recipe opens with a relevant chirpy note often containing useful information; sometimes the odd warning:
'Important Warning: Be careful when making this recipe as you will discover that no shop-bought granola will ever satisfy you or your pocket again. Once you have tried my Chocolate Coconut Granola, you will see how simple it is to make and thereafter you will only be limited by your imagination........'
After the capitalised title, comes the list(s) of ingredients and the clearly laid out, numbered method.
Prep and cooking times are given, along with the quantity or number of servings
Sometimes there is more than one recipe to a page, sometimes a recipe spills over extra pages as it includes detailed notes about e.g. vintage equipment, such as an egg coddler, and 'after you have raided your Granny's cupboard and got your hands on an egg coddler, let the coddling begin.
Remember one simple rule: If it goes with eggs, coddle it.'
Colour photography throughout, with a good percentage of the recipes, too.
Useful ideas which feature are:
* Dr Cottonbottom shows you how to make aprons
* How to decorate china
* Flower arranging
* Making butterflies
* How to dry edible flowers
* Hair decorations, inc. making a hat
* Bird mobile
* Flag making (inc Queen Elizabeth stencil to photocopy)
* Candle making
* How to make a bottled butterfly display
* Parlour games
* Thank you cards
The STYLE section is sub-divided into:
* Picking a vintage dress
* Hair styles
* Applying False Eyelashes
* Male Grooming
Dotted throughout the book are all sorts of snippets and historical references, along with the odd old wives' tale.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, red is Angel's favourite colour and the picture of 'Egg-stuffed Tomatoes' is exactly as portrayed in the opening text:
'......I would cook this dish based simply on visual impact that the juicy red tomatoes have on the table. Luckily, they are incredibly tasty, too. At first glance, popping an egg into a tomato may seem a little unusual, but don't knock it till you've tried it.'
Her recipe combining beetroot, celery, apples, carrots and radishes, entitled 'Ruby Delicious', on page 95 opens with:
'In my fantasy world, everything would be ruby-coloured. When I make this drink, I taste it first with my eyes. I adore the magnificent colour and the earthy taste. Be warned, though the flavour of the beetroot is so intense that it needs to be tempered with other fruit and vegetables.'
Angel likes to rescue teacups which have no saucers when she sees them on her travels! All is revealed in a colourful double-page spread presentation on pages 44 & 45 and in the opener to 'Asparagus Egg Custards with Parmesan Wafers' from the page before:
'Yes you can cook things in china, yes it's like a crème brûlée; and yes you can use other vegetables when asparagus is not in season.'
A taste of the other recipes contained within:
* Hot Baked Grapefruit with Crème Fraîche & Honey
* Baked Apple Slices with Cinnamon Cream
* Smoked Salmon Soufflé
* Kipper Paté on Oatcakes with Whisky Marmalade
* King Scallops with Crispy Black Pudding
* Potato and Bacon Pancakes
* Caged Devilled Kidneys
* Onion & Potato Flowers
* Quick Strawberry Jam
* Orange & Lemon Curd
* Irish Soda Bread
* Triple Berry Smoothie
* Pomegranate Iced Tea
* Athol Brose
* White Chocolate Mocha
* Cream Cheese & Cucumber Hearts
* Rose Petal Sandwiches
* Tall Filo Baskets with Stilton, Pear & Walnuts
* Apple Crumble Cake
* Lemon Tart
* Chocolate Prune Tea Cakes
* Decadent Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
* Candy-striped Meringues
* Rose Pannacotta
* Floral Creams
* Brandy & Green Tea Slush
* Potted Prawns sprinkled with Pork Scratchings
* Trout Tartare
* Chicken Liver Parfait in a Filo Pastry Basket
* Crown of Lamb
* Simple Fish Pie
* Chicken & Asparagus Pie
* Sugared Fruits
* Gingerbread Pudding with Eggnog Cream
* Orange Possets with Spiced Walnuts
* A Very Posh Choc-Ice on a Chocolate Saucer (Ice-cream maker req'd)
* Tea-quila Sunrise
What a lady : what a book!
Check out the 'vintagepatisserie co uk' shop for some useful items to purchase!