This review has been a long time coming (it’s been in my drafts for weeks), but work took over my life completely during the month of July. Now that our end of the year show has come and gone and I’m officially on vacation, I have time to tell you all about the cookbook “Royal Teas”!
Let’s see who this book is for!
By Mark Flanagan and Kathryn Cuthbertson
“There is no more quintessentially British tradition than afternoon tea, and nowhere is that tradition taken more seriously than at Buckingham Palace, where 30,000 afternoon teas are served every year at the summer garden parties.
Inspired by this British institution, and following on from the success of A Royal Cookbook, Mark Flanagan, the Royal Chef, shares an insight into the royal kitchen’s repertoire of tea-time treats. Recipes and clear instruction will guide you through making pastries and savouries, biscuits and show-stopping cakes, from a springtime picnic to a festive Christmas tea, all with the royal touch.”
Spoiler alert: me. “Royal Teas” is for me. The book couldn’t be more for me if it tried. Look at my happy face after I made a handful of Royal Tea Recipes:
In summary, I made:
- Spring Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Summer Berry Tartlets
- Autumn Miniature Chicken Pies
- Winter Sables aux Confiture (Jammy Dodgers)
Apart from me, “Royal Teas” is for you if:
1. You want an inside look into the Buckingham Palace Kitchen and what the Queen eats.
The recipes are all by Mark Flanagan, the Royal Chef at Buckingham Palace, and the pictures are (ostentatiously) taken in Royal Palaces. So truly, this is a way to see what the British Royals eat and maybe even eat like they do!
(Only thing is that without a personal Mark Flanagan, you have to make the food yourself, which shouldn’t be too hard since the recipes in this book are surprisingly easy!)
2. You like Pretty books.
Every problem I had with “The Royal Heritage Cookbook” is not present here. “Royal Teas” is a good-looking book throughout. The design is lovely, the pictures are delicious (EVERY RECIPE HAS A PICTURE), and it’s just a pretty cookbook overall.
3. You like traditional British and French Cuisine.
If I were to describe this cookbook it would be heavy on the French influence with staple British flavors and occasional Italian dishes. It’s a very specific, somewhat old school, type of food, but if you’re into that style, this cookbook is definitely for you.
“Royal Teas” is not for you if:
1. You like nutritional information in your recipes.
*Sigh* Once again, there is none. Or cooking times, for the most part. It’s a bit of a free for all, as far as detailed recipes go.
2. You like ALL Afternoon Tea Classics.
Crumpets, scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream, an assortment of cakes and cookies are all present in this book. Do you know what’s not? Sandwiches. At all. There’s not a single sandwich recipe in this cookbook, and as someone used to the three-tier afternoon tea, this was a shock to me.
There are other savory recipes, but no sandwiches, so don’t pick up this book if you think you’re getting that.
3. You want a history lesson on British Royal eating.
“Royal Teas” includes a short introduction on the history of tea and afternoon tea in England and the Royal Court, but apart from those few pages and a handful of anecdotes throughout the recipes, there really isn’t a lot of insight into the British Royal Family to be found in this cookbook. You’ll see what the Royals eat, what food is in season when and not much more.
(If you’re looking for that, Royal Cookbook, also from Mark Flanagan and the Royal Collection Trust, is the book you’re looking for. It only includes about 13 recipes, but it details the history of every dish, the china it’s served in and all the lovely details that go into Royal eating.
Considering I already own that book, it’s definitely a stay tuned.)
Was “Royal Teas” for me?
“Royal Teas” fills all of my Cookbook requirements:
1. It’s pretty. By now, my dear readers, you know how I feel about pretty things, and the design of this book is beautiful. Delicate and Royal without being exaggerated, it’s a pleasure to leaf through. (Which I have done many, many times, even if I’m not going to cook anything.)
2. Every recipe has a picture! Hallelujah! A cookbook editor that finally understands that people are more likely to cook when there are delectable pictures accompanying the recipes!
3. The food is relatively simple, seasonal, and gave me a look into what Buckingham Palace eats for tea. Was I disappointed that there were no finger sandwiches to be found? A little, but the book more than made up for it with other savory delights.
4. There are no bad recipes. Food, like everything in life, ultimately comes down to taste, and my palate aligns with this type of food. The recipes from this book, a mix of British and French cuisine, sprinkled with Italian flavors, were all interesting to me. I ended up making the ones that were more “traditional”, but there’s a dozen more than I want to make in the future.
5. I didn’t have a single cooking dud. This may be the first cookbook review I’ve ever made where all the recipes came out delicious and beautiful.
I love this book!
Until the next 2 Weeks Of (which isn’t going to be food bases, shocking!)