This reminds me of baking books that my grandmother used (Finer Cooking with Mcdougalls springs to mind!) This is the type of book that would have done quite well before the popularity of the cupcake took on epic proportions.
The recipes are simple, straightforward, traditional, gimmick free and no-frills. There isn't anything original in there, but I really do think that sponges in various forms have been re-worked to death now (and I say this as someone who LOVES Hummingbird, Primrose, Cookiegirl et al). This book strips it all back to basics, which might seem boring to some, but is refreshing in a lot of ways. Is it trendy? No. Is it something that National Trust shops might sell? Yes!!! (Who knows maybe it's already on their shelves).
The book contains recipes for: teabreads, sandwiches (!!) pastries, biscuits, cakes and jams. It's not a coffee table book to show off with, but I personally think it's delightfully retro. Maybe even quaint. The reason I haven't given it five stars is because at the beginning, there is a chapter about the history of afternoon tea; how to make the perfect cup of tea and tea etiquette. Whilst the book is about afternoon tea, I found this chapter staid and long-winded. A more concise intro with a few more recipes added to the book instead, would have been preferable.
I bought the book for the following recipes: Fat rascals, coconut macaroons, chocolate chip walnut cake, sticky gingerbread, battenberg, buttermilk scones and soul cakes. The recipes work well and the instructions are easy to follow. There are over seventy recipes in the book, including: leek and bacon tarts, potted cheese, salmon mousse, barm brack, curd tart, Tinker's cakes and victoria sponge. If you want to backlash against all the band-wagon jumping, over-iced, sparkly, mini-portioned cake books, then this is the one for you. It will stand the test of time and be used for years to come. The type of baking that will never go out of fashion!!