The Travelling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones

"Travel broadens the mind, but the mind can always travel."

Title - The Travelling Tea Shop
Author - Belinda Jones
Publication Date - May 22nd 2014
Publisher - Hodder and Stoughton 
Format - eBook
Pages - 336

The blurb

Laurie loves a challenge. Especially if it involves anything beautiful, baked and frosted. The brief is simple: With three other women, Laurie will board a London bus - kitted out as an English tea shop - on a deliciously different road trip of the USA. 

Their mission: To bring home-grown classics like Battenberg, Victoria Sponge and scones to the land of cupcakes, whoopie pies and gold-leafed chocolate sundaes.

And to show them how a real cup of tea is made. All of the women have their own secrets and heartaches to heal. As well as a grand appreciation of cupcakes, there's also the chance for romance...

But will making whoopee lead to love? 

All aboard for: New York - Connecticut - Rhode Island - Massachusetts - Maine - New Hampshire - Vermont.

Becca's thoughts

I found The Travelling Tea Shop to be such an enjoyable read, I felt like packing up a little suitcase and travelling the USA, tasting the treats and delights that Laurie and the gang have. It was such an adventure and  it really opened my eyes to the delicacies of the United States. I'm just dying to get out there and try them all for myself now!

In The Travelling Tea Shop, the reader joins Laurie, Pamela, Gracie and Ravenna as the group travel around the USA, swapping recipes, tasting recipes and adding them all to their collection. From adorable cupcakes to delicious chocolate sundaes, I was left feeling like I needed to race to my nearest bakery and buy everything. Not only are Pamela, Gracie and Ravenna related, but Pamela is also extremely famous for her baking and kitchen capabilities, which gives Laurie a push to impress her. She's noted down all the places where famous and well-known delights have been created, researched the stories behind them and planned a route for their adventure to follow upon. With their London double-decker bus and a stroppy teenager tagging along, Laurie takes the three women on a tour of some of the greatest sweet creations in the USA, visiting some of the most fabulous places and even stumbling upon a handsome man along the way. What ensues is a smile-inducing trip with some detours (emotional ones too!), flour explosions and cake baking. 

One of my favorite things about The Travelling Tea Shop was the whole travelling aspect of it. Each place that the women stopped off at was brilliantly brought to life by the author, the settings, the smells, what the characters could see. I could picture every single tiny detail in my head which in turn gave me a HD image of where they were. New York, Maine and even Rhode Island. I have never been to any of these wonderful places in my life, but after reading this book, I feel like I've been to these places before, that's how amazing and clear Belinda's details are. She is magnificent at creating a perfect image in the readers head and I loved it dearly. There must have been tons of research put into each place because Laurie was able to indulge the reader in adorable little tidbits of history, for example, when they were visiting in Maine, it was noted that Stephen King had set most of his books in the area, and I for one am a HUGE Stephen King fan so this was brilliant in my eyes! Seriously, it felt to me like I was travelling along with them, soaking up each and every story that Laurie decided to tell. 

Of course, if you're a cake/dessert lover, then whilst reading The Travelling Tea Shop, you'll probably feel the urge to pop out and divulge in some tasty pastry treats. There were all manner of sugary delights included in the story and it really opened my eyes to the hundreds of different cakes that have originated from all of these different places. Belinda's main character Laurie knew cakes like the back of her hand. She was incredibly knowledgeable in all aspects of baking and I felt like I was dealing with a true pro. Needless to say, I read the majority of The Travelling Tea Shop with a rumbling stomach and a craving for my own favorite treat, Cinnamon buns!

Besides all that, The Travelling Tea Shop was an exciting, sometimes humorous read that had me giggling and licking my lips. I felt like I had been transported onto a magical mystery tour alongside Belinda's colorful and lovable characters. They were so like-able and easy to love and I felt a little sad as I turned the last page and said farewell to them all. Belinda wrote fluently, allowing me to turn the pages with ease and completely understand what was going on in the plot. The characters, the smoothness of the story itself and of course the aspect of cakes made The Travelling Tea Shop a gloriously fantastic read that I really, truly enjoyed until the very last page.

Becca's Books is rating The Travelling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones with a gorgeous 5*s! Every single crumb was eaten, I can assure you! ;)

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