Reviewed: Modern Country

I’m a massive fan of interiors inspiration books and so I was happy to receive Modern Country for review recently. Normally I wouldn’t classify my style as ‘country’ at all, but if you feel the same definitely don’t let this put you off exploring this gorgeous collection of stunning homes.

I was really pleasantly surprised to find a collection of homes that ranged from eclectic to modern to rustic, salvage and industrial takes on relaxed country style.

It’s a perfect gift for those interiors lovers you may know and the publishers have arranged a special offer for you all…

Reader Offer:
To order Modern Country at the discounted price of £24.00 including p&p* (RRP: £30.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG217.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

It’s definitely worth a look! Have a great weekend readers!


Modern Country is published by Jacqui Small (@JacquiSmallPub)

Florence’s Book club

Welcome to another book club – it’s been a while since we have shared some good reads and I’ll be reading with particular interest today, particularly in the comments as I’m going away soon and could do with some holiday reading. 🙂 Thank you to Alexa and Victoria for providing the reviews this month and do let me know if you have any great reads we should be sharing soon – just send an email to me with a short review.

Longbourn by Jo Baker

My name is Victoria and I am a Pride and Prejudice addict. I’ve read the book countless times. I own the 90s BBC series on VHS, DVD and have it saved on my Sky+ for emergency Jane Austen watching. The recent Keira Knightley version continues to grow on me after a number of re-watches and I’ve also dabbled with the “sequels”, but remain largely disappointed. (As an aside, thoughts on Death at Pemberley this Christmas?)

So it’ll be no surprise that, while searching for some literary escapism on the shelves of my local bookstore, I was hooked by a quote on the back cover of Longbourn by Jo Baker:

“If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats,’ Sarah thought, ‘she would be more careful not to tramp through muddy fields.'”

This isn’t a sequel where we follow the characters in to the next step of their lives, although there is a little glimpse of life post Lizzie-Darcy nuptials. Nor is it a re-telling of the original from a different perspective, though we do see a lot of behind-the-scenes action around the key events of the original tale. It’s actually a parallel story about the servants at Longbourn, in particular Sarah the housemaid, and their lives, loves, worries, woes and the secrets they hide.

P&P fans should, however, read with caution. The author takes some liberties with one or two of our favourite characters with a shocking-ish plot twist or two (I guessed, not sure if I liked), we see very little of Darcy and Bingley and far too much of the dastardly Wickham and, be warned, as you follow Sarah’s story your love for Miss Lizzie may start to wane just a little.

My main criticism would be that there was a little bit too much back-story devoted to life outside of Longbourn for one particular character where I lost interest slightly but overall, for P&P fans I’d recommend this as a good light read.

– Victoria

Dominion – CJ Sansom

What if Churchill hadn’t become Prime Minister in 1940? Set in 1952, Dominion works on that idea and gives an alternative history of what could have happened if Britain had surrendered to Nazi Germany in 1940 and instead become, in essence, a Nazi satellite state. Within a few chapters of the book, Britain is a place where press, radio, speech and the streets are controlled by the state and subject to violent police and sometimes Gestapo rule and where there is an ever increasing move towards anti-Semitism.

The story focuses on David Fitzgerald, a disillusioned civil servant who becomes a spy for the resistance and is tasked with helping an old university friend escape a mental hospital with a secret that could change the balance of power all the while keeping his actions secret from his wife.

Interwoven with actual events and real people, it’s an incredibly thought provoking book about one of the many alternatives to what could have happened if Britain hadn’t continued the war effort. It’s part spy thriller, part love story, but also part what could have happened. Maybe it’s coming from a Jewish family, or some of the current rhetoric from certain political parties but it really made me think about undercurrents of thought that sit in society and can easily come to be accepted and mainstream beliefs.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

I’d recommend you start this book with a lot of tissues close by. And also probably some chocolate to hand. The Fault in our Stars tells the story of Hazel, a 16 year old cancer patient who attends a support group (somewhat unwillingly) and meets August Waters, a 17 year old amputee and ex basketball player.

It’s billed as a young adult book but I don’t think anyone would struggle to relate to the characters or the experiences through the book which although ultimately are a story about death, actually are more about life and living and taking chances. John Green writes beautifully and has a way of making you feel for all the characters from Hazel’s parents to Hazel and Augustus themselves, without making you feel pity. And don’t worry; some bits will make you laugh as well as cry.

– Alexa

Have you read anything good lately readers?


Decorate with Flowers: Reviewed

At this time of year as spring blooms come into stores I’m always looking to brighten up the house with fresh flowers. Add to that the instantaneous transforming effect they have on any space means I’m using them more than ever at the moment to improve some of our work-in-progress rooms. As a result I was delighted to be asked to review and share with you the new book by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring, Decorate with Flowers.

Now, I am an absolute sucker for a coffee table book and this one is so pretty it is definitely deserving of the title. The photography is beautiful, the colours and the flowers are super pretty and the best thing about it is that the ideas are accessible.

There’s no stuffy flower arranging tutorial here, just loads of simple ideas for displaying fresh flowers in your home and inspiration for using many items you might already have as containers. It’s a fresh look at flowers.

Holly and Leslie have used the homes of some famous bloggers (like that of Victoria Smith of SFGirlbyBay shown above,) and some of the photography is studio shot, along with some simple DIY’s the help you make the most of your blooms.

I loved the book – every thing from the design and photography to the friendly accessible tone and easy to implement ideas. It’s definitely worth treating yourself to and would make a gorgeous Mothers Day gift too.

To order Decorate with Flowers at the discounted price of £16.00 including p&p* (RRP: £20.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG109.

I hope you like it readers!


*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker & Leslie Shewring, published by Jacqui Small @JacquiSmallPub

Christmas Gift Guide #6 – For book lovers

Today is our final gift guide, brought to you by Gemma who has rounded up some unexpected gifts for book lovers… I hope you all get your shopping finished this weekend if you haven’t already! x

1.       Kate Spade dictionary Ipad cover.  This is an excellent gift for two reasons: 1, it’s Kate Spade and therefore has serious fashion cred and a chic design, and 2, it makes it look like you’re reading the dictionary.  Plus, it’s a zip-around folio style so you can store papers and cards in it easily – great if your recipient is using an Ipad on the go or for work.  Plus, it’s pretty unisex which is always good.

2.       ‘Well Read’ T-shirt.  With a statement, Zoe Karssen-esque vibe without the high price point, the other thing that makes this tee so fab is that Every Well Read t-shirt purchase provides 4 new books for First Book, a non-profit organization that provides new books to schools and reading programs for low-income families. Having ordered a few Palmer Cash t-shirts in my time, I can tell you that they wash and wear well, too.

3.       Keeping a handwritten book journal is a lovely thing to do – yes, you can keep one online with, but there’s something satisfying in seeing handwritten entries.  I think a book journal makes a particularly good present for teenagers.

4.       The perfect present for Harry Potter lovers, coffee lovers, and those who love a good pun.

5.       I know, I know, Etsy is riddled with prints of quotes and literary posters.  But I do think that this one is one of the best and would make a great gift for a partner, or even for a Christmas wedding.

6.       These candles may actually be the best book lover present ever invented.  Organic  Booklover soy wax candles in book lover fragrances like ‘Oxford Library’, ‘Bookstore’, and the one that I’m desperate to buy – ‘Butterbeer’.  I also love the quirky design aesthetic – a great present for that cool friend who’s hard to buy for.

7.        Know someone bookish who’s expecting a baby? Or maybe they’re a child at heart? Either way, these postcards make for a gorgeous gift.  As well as being great for fans of retro design, I think they’d make a fabulous frieze in a nursery.

8.        Know someone who’s a big fan of dystopian fiction? Brighten up their January with this Folio Society tote bag – strong, sturdy and just the right size for a trip to the library and perfect for literary types.

Now you’ll probably have noticed straight away that there are no actual books on this list.  Never fear though, we have big plans for Florence’s Book Club to resume in the New Year – bigger and better than ever.  If you simply can’t wait for Christmas reading recommendations, or you need insider suggestions of a good book to get a friend for Christmas, leave your question in the comments and I’ll pop back through the day with suggestions.

Happy bookish Christmas,

love, Gemma C-S

ps, if you’re my husband and reading this, I’d like to remind you that I’ve been very good this year. 😉

PPS! Other Gift Guides…
For the hard to buy for (Rebecca’s list)
For Mums everywhere
Stocking Fillers
For Home lovers
For Mini-me’s

Florence’s Gift Guide #5: Beautiful Books

It’s official. I’m a book addict, but my favourites to receive as gifts are cookery and interiors books, the kind of coffee table beauties that are full of gorgeous imagery and inspiration. As many of these books are cheaply available online for around the £10 mark, I decided to forgoe a stocking filler gift guide and round up my favourite recipe and decor books that I’ll be giving and would like to receive this Christmas.

For Foodies…

  • I’m ALWAYS looking for recipe books that lean towards sharing food. I love having friends over but rarely make fussy food prefering big plate options, and one pot solutions that everyone can dig into. Jerusalem by Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi looks like just such a book and is causing a real stir in the Christmas market this year so it’s on my lust-list.
  • I only discovered the Great British Bake Off this season and got totally addicted. Everyone loves Mary but it’s Paul’s critique and exacting standards that made me want this book. Paul Hollywood, How to Bake
  • I spotted this book on the shelf in the Bertinet Bakery in Bath. I mean, how could you not notice that stunning front cover image? I suspect this would be of the variety of cookery books that I buy mainly for the beautiful imagery, however there are many recipes that look do-able for the keen baker or wannabe pastry chef. Pastry, Richard Bertinet
  • If you’re a regular in the food section at book stores you might have seen Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros, an equally stunning book to this more recent release. I hesitated to buy her books before, fearing I wouldn’t want to attempt the recipes, instead just staring at the pictures, however this book focuses on Italian food – my favourite. Tessa now lives in Tuscany so my mouth waters at even the thought of what this book may contain and it’s more than pretty enough to display too. Limoncello and Linen Water by Tessa Kiros.
  • Lastly, not pretty (what happened with this cover I don’t know as the styling of his books is usually fantastic,) and rather omnipresent this Christmas is Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals. I have several Jamie Oliver books and they are without doubt the most relied upon and turned to books in my kitchen. For that reason this has to be a no brainer. Although I’ve heard 15 minutes is more than optimistic for some of the recipes and omits time-consuming prep, I know it would contain recipes that would become staples in my home.

For interiors addicts…

  • First up, Decorate Workshop: A Creative 8 Step Process for Transforming Your Home by Holly Becker. Holly’s second book, this one rather than telling you what to put in your decor projects, advises on how to approach re-decorating and designing your home. Many people struggle to translate inspiration into an actual room and this book shows you how.
  • American Modern, Thomas O’Brien. This book isn’t one you’ll find on the bestseller lists, but it was given to me by a friend and remains my favourite interiors book. With a thorough insight into many American homes in their entirety, I am always inspired when I flick through it’s pages.
  • Another older choice but still relevant, Domino: the Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy, is perfect for the coffee table but full of inspiration. I bought a special edition Domino magazine whilst away and just loved the approach to design, decor and styling so have renewed interest in this book which is on this years Christmas list 🙂
  • If you have a friend who has just bought their first home or is in the midst of renovation project, Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love: is a great book. Full of DIY ideas from super bloggers Sherry and John Petersik who have documented their own renovations on the synonymous blog.

Readers, I would love for you to share any thoughts on my selection – do you own any of these books and are they a good gift choice or do you have any other suggestions to add to my list? Are you also coveting any of them?


Found: What should I read next?

As I’m on holiday, it seemed an apt time to share a website I found recently called What Should I Read Next? One of the things that gets chief importance on my holiday packing list is planning my reading material. I have a fear of being stuck with nothing to do on holiday and so you can see that Florence’s bookclub was not an entirely self-less series idea 😉 – I love that it provides new ideas for my reading list and sometimes things I wouldn’t have normally tried.

So when I found What Should I Read Next? I was intrigued. Put in your favourite book or a recent read that your enjoyed and it gives you 20 similar books that you should enjoy.

I tested the theory with Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – one of my favourite books. Inevitably, some of the listed titles I had already read, Birdsong for example. Interestingly though, it did throw up some of those ‘I’ve been meaning to read that,’ books and I thought it was worth sharing.

Head on over this morning, plug in your favourite and let me know in the comments box what it came up with, or if any on my suggested reading list are particularly good! 🙂


The Summer reading list…

Hello Findettes… Gemma here!

I’m stripping this post back to basics.  See, I read a LOT.  I’ve also just discovered that I’m a speed reader, apparently, and I normally get through five to seven books a week.  I live for fiction, and I’m not afraid to be seen on the train with a Penny Vincenzi.  However.  The first draft of this summer reading list would wallpaper our flat.  So I’ve stripped it back to five books, and five only. I’ve tried to avoid things that are getting a lot of press at the moment and instead categorise them into the five different things I’m looking for in a holiday read at the moment.  (I’ve was told I could only take five with me to Spain on holiday.)  I’m also not going to tell you too much about the plot of each – what’s the point? I hope you’ll find something here you’d like to try for yourself. Here goes!

1. “Literary fiction” which is easy to read.   Maybe you’re going on holidays this year with a scarily-well-read friend, colleague or in-law.  Maybe you are just a bit fed up with the standard of free books available on the kindle.  Whatever the case, Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman, is impossible to put down and in my humble opinion, he was robbed of the Booker prize for it.
Harri, the 11 year old protagonist, is a Ghanian immigrant living with his family on a council estate.  Moving between Harri’s adaptation to life in the UK and his small daily triumphs and tribulations and a broader perspective on modern-day gang culture, it is hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.  If you’ve not already, read it now before the TV series comes out. (the BBC have commissioned an adaptation directed by Adam Smith of Skins fame.)

2. Something your boyfriend/husband/dad/brother can borrow from you: The Other Hand, by Chris Cleeve, (published in America as Little Bee) is so good, so funny, so powerful, easy to read and yet so quirky and insightful into various issues, including that of working mums, that I find it very surprising that it was written by a man.  This book will definitely spark discussions between you and whoever you’re on holiday with, so make sure you time the lending of it carefully – I finished it in one sitting and then stood over Mr C-S while he read it so that we could talk about it.  Little Bee is a young Nigerian refugee who comes to England and stays with Sarah, a magazine editor and her Batman-obsessed son Charlie.  I should warn you that it is also devastatingly sad at times, but the more beautiful for it.  Oooooooh! Alert! I have just discovered that Chris Cleave has a new book coming out in a week’s time, called Gold, which is about Olympic Speed Cyclists. If you had said to me this morning ‘Gemma C-S, what is the one topic you are most unlikely to want to read a book about while you’re on holiday?’ That’s probably what I’d have answered.  But now? Well, I’ll be outside the bookshop before it opens with sweaty palms (which isn’t actually an uncommon occurrence.)

3. Alternative reality science fiction aimed at teenagers, or, the new Hunger Games.  Ugh. How many times lately is a book hyped as the new Hunger Games?! Too often for my liking. The Chaos Walking Trilogy series, by Patrick Ness, actually came out a couple of years ago, before HG, and for my (pocket) money, is better written and just as gripping.

It too is set in a dystopian world, it too features a strong male and female protagonist, and also deals with themes of war, good and evil, redemption and gender politics. In three volumes, it follows the story of Todd Hewitt and Viola Eade whose relationship unfolds against a society in turmoil.  Oh, and it includes an incredibly loveable dog.

4. Crime fiction: Through my teen years I read crime fiction voraciously, the gorier the better. These days though I find my tolerance for American whodunnits has waned a little, and I’m more likely to enjoy something from this side of the pond.  If you’ve never read them, can I recommend Kate Atkinson’s frankly phenomenal Jackson Brodie books, but entry number four on this list actually goes to the Isabel Dalhousie series by Alexander McCall Smith.  Featuring a Scottish philosopher who occasionally dabbles as a sleuth, they are heart-warming and funny detective stories which feature flashes of razor sharp insight into the human psyche.

5. For those who were obsessed with Judy Blume as girls: Did you know Judy Blume has written for adults too? Travelling to Paris a couple of weeks ago I took Summer Sisters.  It was a good, solid, engaging read and having a ‘new Judy Blume’ to pack in my case made me beyond happy.  Following the friendship of Vix and Caitlin throughout their childhood and into their adult years, it has a distinct Jodi Picoult-esque flavour to the narrative with the authentic Blume voice which made us all devour books like Are you there God, it’s me, Margaret, and Deenie.  Also, it’s mainly set during summer holidays on Martha’s Vineyard. Perfect summer reading.

Now, as I’ve said, this is just a tiny selection of what I’ve been reading this summer.  Please leave us your suggestions of what to line up for or what to avoid!
What’s your favourite book of all time?

Gemma C-S

PS. If anyone’s interested, here’s the speed reading test I took, via Stylist Magazine.

Florence’s favourite: Gardening books

This morning, I thought I’d share some of the sources of the wealth of knowledge I’ve accumulated on gardening. Most of that came from books over the years and I love getting a recommendation for a good book. It’s also a little distraction from the dismal weather we’ve been having (bonus Florence points if you’ve secretly been looking out of the window thinking how good it is for your garden!) that will get you ready for next month’s warmer weather and gardening boom time.

So here goes…

  1. The Flower Expert – Dr D G Hessayon £6.19. Growing up, this was my bible. I used to read this book, cover to cover, every year when I was deciding what to plant. It tells you what conditions a plant likes, the size and spread it grows into and what sort of plant it is. It’s part of the best-selling Expert series with a book on nearly everything you could need and you can’t go far wrong with them. Must buys for the garden enthusiast or beginner!
  2. The Kitchen Gardener: Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg – Alan Titchmarsh £13.00 I got this one more recently, when we got the allotment. Arranged year by year with list of jobs to do, what to sow and when, and chapters on how to arrange your vegetable garden and rotate crops etc, it’s a great one to turn to for reference.
  3. Alan Titchmarsh – The Gardener’s Year Similar to the Kitchen Gardener, this is a month by month guide to your garden. Think of it as an old friend or taking the place of your grandad and his green thumb which could make anything grow. I love Alan’s books because he’s so no-nonsense and easy to read. No pretences and he has a healthy attitude to just getting on with planting.
  4. Small Garden – John Brookes £11.04 This last two were purchased when we moved into our house. John Brookes is a fantastic garden design writer and a name to look out for if you want to buy a gift you know will be decent. This collection of small garden inspiration is a real treat if you think your garden isn’t big enough to do anything with.
  5. Planting a Small Garden: Simple steps to success (RHS Simple Steps to Success) – RHS £4.89. Taking more of a practical approach, this book has lists of plants perfect for small gardens, from trees that won’t overshadow your patio spot, to plants for tricky shady borders or damp patches. It’s all easy to read and with loads of gorgeous gardens to feed your ideas!

So tell me, how does your garden grow this April?


Florence’s book club: The Language of Flowers

This afternooon it’s Florence’s book club, returning with Rachel’s review of The Language of Flowersby Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I have a copy at home waiting for me to have spare time to read it and I’ve got high hopes so I’m looking forward to hearing what any others of you might think who have read it.

The next book is introduced at the bottom so make a note of it!

I really wanted to read this book. I’d heard lots about it, read good reviews by people whose opinion I trust plus a book about flowers and language, perfect. Yet…Like Victoria, our heroine, I was a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes loving it, sometimes bored, sometimes wondering what on earth could happen next and why was she spoiling something good in her life? It often felt that Victoria’s life seems to be getting better, have shoots of promise, making friends, working as a florist and then bang! Something else comes along and throws her story into another direction.

“I had loved, more than once. I just hadn’t recognised the emotion for what it was until I had done everything within my power to destroy it.”

The Language of Flowersis set in present day America, somehow I’d miss read the name Victoria and the role of the language of flowers in Victorian times, to think this would be a story passing between today and the Victorian era. It moves between the present day and probably 10 years earlier. Victoria’s traumatic life, unwanted from birth, sent from foster home to foster home until she turns 18 and has to fend for herself. From the beginning we know that she has been loved once but something terrible happened, this part of the story is slowly unravelled for us. We also know that somewhere along her journey she has discovered flowers, and the language of flowers.

“Now, as an adult, my hopes for the future were simple: I wanted to be alone, and to be surrounded by flowers. It seemed, finally, that I might get exactly what I wanted.”

I absolutely loved reading it in spring time as my new garden was coming to life. To feel and smell the flowers, see the buds of new life popping out whilst reading about characters who live, breathe and love flowers. To learn about the different meaning of flowers, at the back of the book is ‘Victoria’s Dictionary of Flowers’. Victoria uses flowers to communicate. Her skill as a florist is partly in understanding her customers, their loves and lives, and choosing the flowers to express their hopes and dreams for when words have run dry, or when planning a wedding. There is a recurring theme about misinterpretation of definitions, how things aren’t always as they appear, meanings, and life, are not all as they seem. A rose is a rose is a rose…

“What does she mean, ‘A rose is a rose is a rose’?” I asked….
“That things just are what they are,” he said.
“’A rose is a rose.’”
“’Is a rose,’” he finished, smiling faintly.
I thought about all the roses in the garden below, their varying shades of colour and youth. “Except when it’s yellow,” I said. “Or red or pink, or unopened or dying.”

If you are planning a wedding, or recently have, flowers are important to you and are perhaps a worrier, now may not be the time to read this book. Some of our favourite wedding flowers appear to have uncomfortable meanings. This could also make planning your wedding flowers more fun, interesting or just add a different dimension. Or you could keep this in the world of fiction.

My final thoughts, when I was enjoying the story, had had a tough day at work, my brain and emotions ached from working too hard my first thoughts on commuting home were ‘oh good I can escape into The Language of Flowers – above twitter, blogs, and that says a lot about a book.

To try a development of Florence Finds Book Club and following on from conversations at Florence Finds London Afternoon Tea I wondered about whether to open up the discussion more. Please share your thoughts on this book but also any other novels about flowers or gardens that you’ve read and we can create a selection of recommended novels about flowers and gardens.

I don’t know about you but I like to read books about men and women, books set in the modern day to the distant past. I like reading a book that then prompts me to find out more about the subject by reading other books. This leads to our next Florence Finds Book Club. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. I don’t know very much about it but do know it’s about Ernest Hemmingway and his marriage, written from the perspective of his wife. I’m looking forward to finding out more about him, being tempted to perhaps read his autobiography A Moveable Feast and maybe being nudged into reading one of his novels. If reading this book doesn’t appeal then please think about fictional books you’ve enjoyed that are based on real people for when we meet again.

So, it’s time to hear from you! Have you read The Language of Flowers? Or can you make a similar recommendation? Maybe you love a certain flower for it’s meaning or chose/are choosing your wedding flowers for that reason? I’d love to hear…


Florence’s Favourite… Cookery Books

This afternoon, I thought I’d try something new, another round up, but with some serious audience participation.

A little while a go I wrote about the Great British Bake-Off Cook book and a few readers mentioned that they would like to hear about peoples’ highest rated cook books. It made me think, a ‘favourites’ feature would be great… I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours 😉

So these are Florence’s Favourite (and recommended) top recipe books, please pitch in with your tried and tested favourites in the comments box. (I’m thinking they would also make great Christmas presents…)

Jokes about how to boil an egg aside, Delia’s how-to books are like a kitchen bible for me. Whenever I need to figure out a basic technique, am unsure of cooking times for a roast joint, or need a basic recipe, for meringue for example, this is the book(s) that I come back to time after time. I jest not when I say Delia even taught me to bake bread.

My favourite recipes are often sharing dishes. We regularly have friends over for casual meals in the week, nothing fancy, just one-pot-wonders that feed more than 2 of us anyway and make for a relaxed catch up. Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends by Rachel Allen, (I’d recommend Rachel’s Favourite Food equally) is full of them, along with occasion foods and menus for impressing your husband’s boss, light bites with girlfriends and Christmas foods. I’ll take her kitchen too.

No list of cookery books is complete without Jamie Oliver and Jamie’s Dinners is another of those well worn books in my cupboard that I turn to time and time again for recipes like Jools’ favourite Stew, Jamie’s Lasagne and Aubergine and Mozarella Pasta. Jamie’s Italy is also a favourite, mainly due to my obsession with Italian food.

Everyone has got it, but you can’t beat the Hummingbird Bakery book for baking. My sister thinks the recipes are a bit hit and miss, but every one I try comes out a cracker and it’s a go-to for desserts when we’re entertaining, as well as Sunday afternoon baking adventures.

These are not just the books I own, or have been given (I have tons more) but the ones I turn to day in day out and find reliable too. They come with Florence’s official seal of approval!

Do share your favourites and feel free to agree or disagree with my choices. I’ll look forward to finding some new favourites!


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