As recipe books go these days, most are pretty well-presented, fully coloured and completely impractical for keeping anywhere near messy food which might spoils its beauty. The Vintage Tea Party Book is no different, apart from the fact that it exceeds all others on the market in terms of presentation. The standard mouth-watering pictures of food are paired with quirky illustrations, vintage fonts and handy hints. In addition to its fantastic appearance, the content itself is diverse and seems to include everything you can think of that might be required for a tea party. Sweet and savoury, hot and cold recipes are broken up by instructions on how to make table decorations, bunting, and apron, even where to find vintage clothing and how to do your hair in 40s/50s styles.
But what about the actual recipes? Well, many of the savoury ones really are vintage. They are reminiscent of some of the strange things featured in 1950s editions of Good Housekeeping Cookbooks, so might introduce some odd tastes to a modern palette and frighten off a fussy eater. However, there's nothing which will hold back a determined chef or an open-minded gourmand. As for the sweet recipes, there are many delicious and extremely easy things to make. I particularly like the lemon scone recipe - which essentially requires only cream, flour and lemonade - and the apple crumble cake.
All in all a beautiful book to be in possession of so it would be a good gift and many of the recipes are simple and yummy. Why not try using it to throw your own vintage tea party like I did? It was so fun and so easy but wouldn't have been quite as much of either without this book.
After watching Dragons Den with my better half and being very impressed with the whole concept and love of everything about Angel Adoree's fabulous vintage passion I decided to purchase the "vintage tea party" as a little weekend surprise for my wife and here it is in her own summing up of this fantastic book....
You can tell the huge amount of work and passion which has gone into this hardback, every photo is a work of art and every page beautifully designed. The quirky watercolour illustrations set the tone for Angel Adoree's fabulous vintage passion. She runs a company called the Vintage Patisserie who host private tea party events, and has made it her life's work to explore her love of retro; from china & props, to fashion and food.
A Vintage Tea Party is quite an epic, packed with lots of classic British food and craft ideas with a few fun tips like head scarf tying in-between. From Candy Striped Meringues to How To Apply Fake Eyelashes and make a Butterfly Box, use this book as you perfect creative vintage companion, tea party or not. It is beautifully & elegantly styled and it even looks like they may have created their own font for it?
The team working on this have done a brilliant job and cannot be praised enough, this exactly the sort of book we need to re inspire our bookshelves. 10/10!
This is more than a 'Tea Party' or recipe book - much, much more. This book has been made with absolute love and every single page reflects that.
It is stuffed to the brim with delightful and charming recipes for Brunch, Afternoon Tea and Evening events. The recipes all have an old-fashioned but timeless appeal and a bit of a modern twist. Anything you make from this book is going to wow any visitors to your home.
It's got cocktails, jams, teas, lots of cakes, meat, fish, puddings and delectible sugared fruits.
In addition to the actual recipes, there are pages and pages on vintage style. Hairstyling, games, flower arranging, making cards, choosing clothing to wear.
This book would actually make a gorgeous gift for someone who loves entertaining and putting on a show with glamour. I have spent hours looking through this book because there's just so much to keep looking at. It's a real joy to read. Pity I'm just an armchair cook!
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:
sandwiched between a 14-page introduction which includes sections entitled:
♦ Past, Present and Future ♦ Location ♦ 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 & 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
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 * Scones * 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) * Gunfire * Tea-quila Sunrise
When I received my copy of The Vintage Tea Party Book, I sat and read it for about an hour, not only earmarking what I wanted to make, but also enjoying the sheer vintage variety that lay before my eyes. Never a dull moment, It's jam packed with ideas and visual treats to create a perfect vintage tea party, at any time of day and gives you not only ideas but patterns and instructions on how to host in style.
The book is split into 4 sections, 3 of which include the recipes for tea parties at brunch-time, in the afternoon and in the evening and the final section is on vintage style. This book is so much more than cucumber sandwiches and scones (although they do appear in their own special way), it allowed me to dust off my 'coddlers' and make coddled eggs with different fillings. I made smoked salmon soufflés in tea cups which, contrary to popular belief were very easy to make and came out perfectly.
Of the cakes, I tried Apple Crumble Cake which was deliciously surprising when you hit the crumble and the Bittersweet Chocolate Pear Cake was a delightfully oozy warm pudding cake - and then the next day, both were a welcome picnic treat. So far so good - everything I've tried has been easy to make and has hit the spot. I'm even munching away at the Chocolate and Coconut Granola as I write.. So the book has encouraged me to keep trying new recipes.
And of the earmarked pages for this week's tea party, I'm going to try the Plum and Honey Tea Bread, Spinach and Parmesan Mini Muffins, Pork and Lemon Quail Scotch Eggs, Venison Pie and Gingerbread Pudding with Eggnog Cream... all washed down with some Wild Hibiscus Champagne. Want to come?
Well, over the weekend I have perused this beautiful book at my leisure, as well as trying my hand at one of the recipes.......and I have to say that this is quite simply one of the most beautiful books that I have seen recently. It is wonderful book on several counts ~ the illustrations lend an almost life~like vintage feel to the book and are fun ~ foxes dressed up in evening gowns mincing amongst crabs climbing cake stands to reach the Crab Choux, which is a recipe featured in the book!
The recipes are an exciting and eclectic mix and all look very tempting ~ traditional tea-time baking as well as decadent and more luxurious modern day treats mingle amongst each other with ease. The photos are glorious ~ quite simply delicious and beautifully styled with vintage settings and china.
And finally, the writing is fun, interesting and quirky with not a hint of "twee" or "cute" that some tea party books often have. I am hooked ~ and have this book marked on my Christmas List to give as gifts to several friends and members of my family.
Angel's flamboyant character is evident on each page and that lends to a feeling of vibrancy and the desire to throw a tea party straight away! The book is not just about tea party recipes, it also has several tea~time related projects to embark on ~ how to dress and get those "Victory" rolls in your hair; how to make a "pinny" (apron) and also how to source your vintage china and "props" for a tea party. There is also a template for a proper invitation ~ vintage style of course.
There are some wonderful recipes in the book and the ones that leapt out immediately were The Coddled Eggs..............................the Green~Jasmin Tea Bubbles...............The Engraved Earl Grey Truffle Hearts..........The Crab Choux......... along with Rose Petal sandwiches, Chocolate Figs, Plum and Honey Tea Bread, Candy Striped Meringues, Lemon Scones with Lavender Cream, Baked Brie in Puffed Pastry, Potato and Bacon Pancakes, Chocolate Prune Tea Cake, Whisky Marmalade, Athol Brose Morning Drink, Asparagus Egg Custards with Parmesan Wafers, Lollipop and Jam Sandwiches to name just a few!
Those of you who watch BBC's `Dragons' Den' might be familiar with Angel, who came on the show last year to pitch her Vintage Patisserie. Angel's personality shines through the pages and makes the whole vintage tea party idea seem fun and achievable at home. The book is split into sections to include recipes for Brunch, Afternoon and Evening Tea Parties, which are interspersed with tea~time projects as I mentioned before ~ there are even ideas on how to paint your own china and how to make your own flags!
What I also love about this book is the plethora of tea based cocktail recipes, some alcoholic and some not; I decided to indulge in an alco-frolic one this weekend for my first recipe review from the book!