Pairing books with tea (Writers as Readers: A Celebration of Virago Modern Classics)


Writers as Readers: A Celebration of Virago Modern Classics is a book I’d categorize as slow reading. A book to be enjoyed with the seasons, not to be read in one sitting from beginning to end. It’s a lovely collection of wonderful writers writing about other writers.

Some of the writers writing about writers are Angela Carter writing on Charlotte Brontë, A.S. Byatt writing on Willa Cather and Penelope Lively writing on Edith Wharton. It’s a beautiful hardback. I love owning it and reading the entries.

I’d pair this lovely book with a good cup of Fortnum’s Countess Grey. Countess Grey is ideal because of its light and delicate flavor, which makes it perfect for slow reading.

Countess Grey goes with so many good books, doesn’t it?

xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links #47


Grab a cup of tea and enjoy some light reading. I’m drinking (above) Fortnum’s Countess Grey, my fave.

22 Pearl Studs, Necklaces, and Bracelets for All Occasions.

1990: Mr. Havel goes to Washington.

Best Probiotics for Women. Admittedly, I bought mine at Trader Joe’s.

The European Union is itself a Lotharingian invention by Simon Winder.

15 Places to Stay in London Based on Your Personal Style.

An oldie but a goodie, Ginevra de’ Benci.

Researchers May Have Recreated Cleopatra’s Perfume.

I wrote two Harlequin romance book reviews this week, here and here.

I am beside myself from excitement for the Miss Fisher movie!

I hope you have a fabulous day!

xoxo, Jane

This week’s library loot


I’m currently reading The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson (outstanding) and I also borrowed two classic Sandra Brown books (I’m going through a serious Sandra Brown phase) and a fun children’s book, Bad Girls Throughout History. I recommend it for all ages, though. We are never too old to learn about incredible, fearless women.

What are you currently reading?


I also enjoyed a lovely cup of Fortnum’s Royal Blend today. It was a change from my usual Countess Grey.

Have a great new week!

xoxo, Jane

A fun little Q&A

Hi, friends. So, I was inspired by kitty marie’s reading corner to do this fun Q&A.  Thanks for humoring me!

close up photo of assorted books
Photo by Leah Kelley on

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

Any Jane Austen novel.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with one book character, who would you choose?

Anne Elliott from Jane Austen’s Persuasion because she is the nicest and is never judgmental. Plus Captain Wentworth would miss her a lot and come rescue us anyway.

Vaclav Havel
Not book-related, but I just love this quote by Vaclav Havel and it’s more true today than ever.

If you wrote a book, what would its genre be?

I do write books. I’m a romance and women’s fiction writer and working towards publication.

What is your favorite book?

Persuasion by Jane Austen. (I wrote about my love for Persuasion here.)


What is your favorite coffee flavor? (Or another type of drink, if you don’t drink coffee.)

I am a tea connoisseur and I love Fortnum’s Countess Grey best of all. It’s a softer, lovelier version of Earl Grey.

My precious copies of Persuasion and Jane Eyre.

What is your least favorite book?

I had to think about this one and it’s Catcher in the Rye. It kind of left me feeling depressed. I prefer uplifting stories.

Is there any book coming out this year that you’re looking forward to reading?

I have so many books on my TBR shelf that I don’t dare look ahead to what’s being published next week or next month. I need to give my TBR shelf a little TLC.

What completed book series would you like to see one more new volume for? 

Harry Potter. A girl can dream.

What genre do you read the most?

Romance and women’s fiction. But I read a lot of nonfiction too. Usually biographies.

Thanks, Kittie Marie, for the great questions and inspiration! This was super fun! Feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments. I love getting to know my readers!! xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Persuasion)

person holding white ceramic teapot on white wooden surface
Photo by on

It’s time for another book/tea pairing.

Jane Austen’s Persuasion is one of my favorite novels. It has all the elements I love in a romantic novel: love lost and love found, a returning hero, an “older” heroine (mostly because I was “older” when I married), ridiculous, over-the-top family members (because we can all relate) and a very romantic letter. What’s not to love about this novel?

(c) Fortnums

It’s no secret that my favorite tea is Fortnum’s Countess Grey. I’m not kidding when I say I want to live inside Fortnum’s. Can you just lock me in there and throw away the key? Anyway, it only makes sense to pair my two favorites together. So, next time you read Persuasion, brew yourself a cup of Countess Grey. I’m sure you will find it a perfect combination.

Embed from Getty Images

Austen’s last novel, Persuasion was published in 1818. In this scene, Captain Wentworth gives Anne Elliot his note of declaration. (Photo by Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images)

PS. Here is the Pinterest board for this pairing.

Let’s talk about tea!

(c) Fortnum & Mason

I’ve talked about Fortnum & Mason before here and here. But today I want to talk about my favorite Fortnum’s tea. 

The English-speaking world divides roughly into two main camps – one camp swears by tea, the other coffee. Occasionally, each camp swears at the other. At Fortnum’s we maintain a strict neutrality. Here harmony reigns – for here you will find the best of both worlds.

Fortnum’s The Cook Book

My favorite Fortnum’s tea (and probably favorite tea in general) is Countess Grey. It’s delicious, citrusy and airy. It goes well with a little bit of sugar and a little bit of milk.

I’m a huge tea snob and will not drink tea if the water is not boiled. I’ve learned to stay away from tea in most American restaurants because they use hot water instead of water that’s boiled. Yes, I can tell the difference. I told you I was a tea snob.

Fortnum & Mason instructions: For every cup you wish to make, add a rounded teaspoon of leaves to your pot. Add freshly-boiled water, brew for 3-5 minutes, place your strainer over your cup and pour. For tea bags, simply brew in your cup for 3-5 minutes, remove and enjoy.

I’m going to make a cup of Countess Grey right now. Do you have a favorite tea?

xoxo, Jane