16 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Cause for celebration? I think so,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Celebrate: A year of British festivities for families and friends (Hardcover)
So sue me (or something) - I really like it...
First of all, here's the chapter list so you have an idea of the structure and flavour of the book:
Cosy Supper Parties
New Year's Eve
The Party Cupboard
Some reviews suggest that this is essentially a cookbook but in fact it isn't. More of that later, but on the subject of the food here, the recipes (all with photos, as are the craft ideas - marvellous) throughout the chapters are quite ordinary, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. No expensive, hard to get ingrediants here. Some recipes are:
Spicy Red Chicken Curry
Strawberry and Orange granita
Brown bread ice cream
Stuffed roast lamb
Sticky toffee pudding
Sloe gin or whisky
The recipes (which comprise of about half the content of the book) have a comforting, hearty feel and a bonus I appreciate is that for the main courses, wine suggestions are made. Advanced cooks looking for extravagant dishes should look elsewhere, but to my mind, the recipes here are the things most of us we want to cook and regularly, rather than aspire to.
As I said, recipes are only one aspect of what's included in this book and it's in the sheer scope of what she's covered that's the big accomplishment here. Food, games for kids and adults (some of which I hadn't heard of), flower arranging, camping, picnics, what to include in craft and dressing-up boxes, a Christmas planner, and more. A one-stop entertaining guide as full as this is great for me and, as a somewhat inexperienced host, I've picked up some tips. The Burns Night section was quite eye-opening and the drinks ideas (alcoholic and otherwise) are excellent on the whole. I really can't imagine anyone not getting something from this book, regardless of age or income.
Of course, the book looks fantastic. It was always going to. It's beautifully designed and photographed. No idea why people have been so snide about this.
I agree with the criticism that some of her writing is too basic, same with some of her ideas she suggests. This for me brings down the book from five stars to four. But this is her first book. And I'd have liked to have read her opinions on the provenance of the food she uses.
Ignore the sneering and moaning from people who've browsed the book for a few minutes, if that, or not even picked it up. All in all, she delivers and the book is something of a triumph. There's few entertaining books as comprehensive as this, fewer still that give craft and game ideas (Pippa is very big on the latter). She's been clever enough to recognise there's something of a gap in the market so with this and her utilising her currency and career in hospitality I say good luck to her. I found the book generally inspiring, too.