The Vintage Tea Party – Angel Adoree
What they say:
Vintage Patisserie is a vintage hosting company offering bespoke tea parties from a bygone era, delivering everything from music, makeovers and – of course – a customised menu of tea party treats that elevate any function into a swanky soiree. The Vintage Tea Party Book embraces the style and class of the trendy London Vintage scene and illustrates how to beautifully recreate the tasty treats and classic styles at home. With a unique mixture of recipes and feature spreads with accessible tips on hairstyling, makeup methods and where to collect vintage china — The Vintage Tea Party Book has it all.
I feel very torn as to how I ought to review this book.
I hadn’t realised that I was buying a recipe book; I had imagined that there would be some recipes included but expected more information on styling, tradition and etiquette. The latter two are barely mentioned and I thought the brief pages on styling could have been done better.
For example there is a really interesting section which shows you how to recreate vintage hair styles. The finished results are showed as beautiful photographs but the instructions are illustrations which I found difficult to follow.
There are a couple of craft projects aswell, but most are paper craft rather than anything more permanent; ‘photocopy this onto this’, where are the notes on vintage tablecloth fabrics, napkins etc? There are instructions on how to make 3 different styles of apron, but again I found that the instructions are difficult to follow
Over 90% of the pages of this book are filled with recipes; as I said perhaps if I had known this I wouldn’t have felt disappointed. In addition, many of the recipes contain fairly expensive ingredients. That said there is a place for such a recipe book – it is nice to have some more flamboyant dishes as part of your culinary artillery and I have never before stored such an incredibly stunning book in the Kitchen!
I’m sorry that I cannot rave about this book, as there are few autobiographical pages about the author that illustrate what a sweet, hard – working and fabulous lady she is. In many ways the book is a triumph; the look perfectly captures the ‘vintage scene’ and is worth a look just for the quirky illustrations.
In all honestly it is probably my lofty expectations that have caused my lack of enthusiasm. This book would make a tremendous gift!! If you are buying it for yourself, buy it as a posh recipe book and you will not be disappointed!
UPDATE: Since writing this review I have had the opportunity to make some of the featured recipes and read a number of other vintage themed books. I now fear I may have been a little harsh in my critique of the Vintage Tea Party Book.
I maintain that the illustrations for the hair-sytles and sewing projects are difficult to follow, but in comparison to some other Vintage books, the quaint imagery and amusing anecdotal information are indeed superior.
Not all of the recipes require expensive ingredients as I had first thought. Although the final product is more often more grand then those of other recipe books, there are a number of things you can make with fairly cheap ingredients, such as Croquembouche.
More and more I have come to appreciate the photography and styling in this book as I return to it time and time again.
I have said before that the merit of some books lies in their longevity and their ability to draw you back into their pages; this is one of those books.