book review

The Shropshire Cook Book

I have been sent a review copy of the latest cook book to feature Shropshire restaurants, cafes and producers, The Shropshire Cook Book.

Shropshire Cook Book

I love Shropshire. I was born and raised here and although I have tried to move away a couple of times (Cardiff for Uni and Broadstairs for love) Shropshire has always called me home (thankfully the man I moved to Broadstairs for is also Shropshire born and bred so I met with no argument). It’s an unassuming county, and there have been many times when people have asked me where I live and my response has been met with blank stares. It’s a county that hides its light under a bushel. The countryside is breathtaking, with its valleys, hills, meadows and farmland. It has some wonderful market towns with thriving independent shops and restaurants and the facilities on offer in Telford to growing families are second to none.  I doubt you will ever get me to move from Shropshire again.

This cook book is a treasure trove of local restaurants and producers, some of which I am familiar with and have tried and some which are now on my list of things to do. The book showcases the people behind the business, their background and ambitions and then gives one of their recipes, so that you can get a taste for their cooking style at home.  This book is more than a recipe book, (although there are 35 recipes within its pages) it’s also about encouraging you to venture away from your own kitchen and to try some of the restaurants on your doorstep or to incorporate some of the local produce available from the farm shops and the producers that are making the county proud.

What this has highlighted for me is how wonderful the food scene is in Shropshire. You can sometimes take these things for granted, but when you see all of these wonderful chefs and producers gathered together in one book it really proves that Shropshire has a wonderfully vibrant food culture that we can be very proud of and I know that there are many more out there that haven’t been included here. A comprehensive directory would run to many, many pages.

This is a great book for those that are planning a visit to the county as much as for the local that wants to explore more of the wonderful eating opportunities that are abound in this beautiful county of ours.

There are other books in the series too, covering other counties and cities, so it might be worth a look to see if your region has a similar book available to introduce you to some restaurants and producers that you aren’t yet familiar with.

The Shropshire Cook Book is available for £14.95 from the restaurants and producers featured in the book as well as selected gift shops and book shops. You can also get it direct from the publisher.

I was sent a review copy for the purposes of this blog post. All opinions are my own and are honest. 


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My Family Kitchen – Book Review

Sophie Thompson Family Cookbook

I was kindly sent an advance copy of Celebrity Masterchef 2014 winner and actor  Sophie Thompson’s new cookbook ‘My Family Kitchen’ to review. Released today, the book shares recipes from four generations of Sophie’s family. Every recipe has an introduction written in a friendly style explaining where or who the recipe comes from. She makes her Uncle James’s remote Scottish cafe sound very appealing with the paddles of the mixer forever beating chocolate or orange cake. I have an image of a steamy room filled with the scent of baking cakes and a comforting cups of tea on tap. Lovely.


The book is full of pictures of Sophie’s family and photos of passed down hand- written recipes. It is a comforting book, making for a good read on a rainy day. The recipes are all easy to follow and there are lots that appeal. My youngest was really taken with the book and read through it on the first day making selections for us to get cooking. We made the brandy snaps that very day.

Brandy snapsAnd we have made them again since.

We made the courgette fritters too, using yellow pattypans, a very good way of using up the glut.

courgette fritters

Another recipe that appealed to the youngest is the one for Coconut Boobie Cakes ( I have no idea why!). We haven’t made them yet, but I am sure we will.

coconut boobie cakes
Coconut Boobie Cakes

Sophie’s book is one which I am sure we will dip into again and again when we are cooking together as a family.

I was sent a free copy of the book for review purposes. All opinions are my own and are honest. 

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