Pairing books with tea (The Scarlet Pimpernel)

IMG_0016.jpeg

Who is the Scarlet Pimpernel? He is an English aristocrat who makes it his mission to rescue French aristocrats from Madame la Guillotine. He doesn’t do this alone. He has a secret league of 19 aristocratic young men assisting him in snatching French aristocrats from certain death and escorting them to England.  The league is so secret that even the Scarlet Pimpernel’s wife doesn’t initially know about her husband’s alter ego.

The first book in the series, The Scarlet Pimpernel, was written in 1901 and became a play in 1903.

“They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demmed elusive Pimpernel”

Baroness Emmuska Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel

Which tea goes well with The Scarlet Pimpernel? I think a French tea would be perfect. The Scarlet Pimpernel is so good at evading the French authorities and saving the aristocrats from right under the noses of the French authorities, that I can imagine him drinking a cup of French tea while silently laughing to himself. Paris Earl Grey by Mariage Frères would be perfect. What do you think?

Happy reading and happy tea-drinking!

xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Sophie Kinsella’s Christmas Shopaholic)

IMG_5862

I recently read Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. It’s the latest in her hilarious Shopaholic series featuring the hijinks of Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) and I talked about it here.

Christmas Shopaholic was a lovely, funny and festive read. As you know, I love pairing books with tea and in honor of Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) this book should be paired with a good English tea, preferably at a proper Afternoon Tea. All while wearing an outfit Becky would be proud to wear.

Since Becky is a certified shopaholic, the perfect tea pairing is the Harrods Earl Grey. Becky spent countless hours shopping at Harrods so it makes sense to also fortify ourselves with Afternoon Tea at the Harrods tearoom before continuing our shopping expedition.

no-42-earl-grey-50-tea-bags_000000000001861744.jpg
Image via Harrods.

And you can’t go to Afternoon Tea without a Becky-approved outfit. Ok you probably could, but why not deck yourself out? I think dressing for occasions makes life more funner. (I know that funner is not a word…)

IMG_5903.jpeg
My outfit at a recent Afternoon Tea. I wore a navy polka dot dress by Eliza J, pink shoes and my beloved Karl Lagerfeld quilted shoulder bag.

Also, because I’m not ready to let go of Becky’s world, I created a Pinterest board for this book and tea pairing. Hope you enjoy it!

xoxo, Jane

PS. You can also find me over at Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Pairing books with tea (Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight)

AgnesMoorjpg.jpg

This week’s tea and book pairing is for a very sweet story, Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole. It’s a short love story featuring Agnes Moor, a black woman who has a position at the court of King James IV (Scotland) as the “favorite.” The King and Queen consider her their “exotic.” But Agnes is so much more than just something to show off. She is extremely intelligent, brave, beautiful and poised. She also speaks Gaelic.

This story has it all. There is a jousting tournament, a knight in shining armor (known as “The Wild Knight”) and a happily ever after. This is an interracial romance set in the Scottish Highlands and it’s really a must-read because I don’t know of any other story like it, plus the character Agnes Moor is inspired by a real woman.

BreakfastBlendTea
Tea image via Fortnum & Mason.

It was fun to decide which tea to pair with this book. I think Fortnum’s Breakfast Blend goes well with this story because Breakfast Tea was first blended in Edinburgh* and the story is set in Scotland.

Happy Reading!

xoxo, Jane

*Queen Victoria enjoyed drinking this blend during her trips to Scotland and it soon became popular in England.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. Thank you for supporting my book-loving blog. xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Encyclopedia of the Exquisite)

IMG_4617.jpeg

Today’s book/tea pairing is for an encyclopedia!

When you were a kid, (and I’m talking to those of you who were around long before Wikipedia) did you read encyclopedias for fun? I totally did! I couldn’t get enough. There was just so much about the world to read and learn and the encyclopedias made it so easy, everything in one place. 

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite – An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins is just what the title says, an encyclopedia of elegant delights.

From the front flap:

Taking a cue from the exotic encyclopedias of the sixteenth century, which brimmed with mysterious artifacts, Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’s Encyclopedia of the Exquisite focuses on the elegant, the rare, the commonplace, and the delightful. A com­pendium of style, it merges whimsy and practicality, traipsing through the fine arts and the worlds of fashion, food, travel, home, garden, and beauty.

Each entry features several engaging anecdotes, illuminating the curious past of each enduring source of beauty. Subjects covered include the explosive history of champagne; the art of lounging on a divan; the emergence of “frillies,” the first lacy, racy lingerie; the ancient uses of sweet-smelling saffron; the wild riot incited by the appearance of London’s first top hat; Julia Child’s tip for cooking the perfect omelet; the polarizing practice of wearing red lipstick during World War II; Louis XIV’s fondness for the luscious Bartlett pear; the Indian origin of badminton; Parliament’s 1650 attempt to suppress Europe’s beauty mark fad; the evolution of the Japanese kimono; the pil­grimage of Central Park’s Egyptian obelisk; and the fanciful thrill of dining alfresco.

Cleverly illustrated, Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is an ode to life’s plenty, from the extravagant to the eccentric. It is a cele­bration of luxury that doesn’t necessarily require money.

IMG_4619
The book is gorgeous, even without the beautiful cover.

Some of the encyclopedic entries are about: Painted Ladies, Red Lipstick, Tea and Quintessence. It is such a beautiful book, both inside and out. The cover is gorgeous and the book has whimsical illustrations to accompany the entries. I’ve owned Encyclopedia of the Exquisite since 2010 and I still take it off my bookshelf to reread an entry or two.

So, which tea do we pair with this gorgeous, lovely book?

IMG_4633.jpeg

This book is unique and has interesting entries that make you want to keep reading and learning. I think the perfect tea pairing is with Fortnum’s Chai. The sweet spices in Chai match the exotic entries. Plus, Chai is a tea that is perfect for any time of day. Just like reading this book!

What do you think of this tea pairing?

xoxo, Jane

 

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. Thank you for supporting my book-loving blog. xoxo, Jane

 

 

Pairing books with tea (Lessons from Madame Chic)

IMG_4429

Lessons from Madame Chic is a stylish and uplifting memoir of living an inspired life. It’s the first book in a three-book series. The overarching theme throughout the series is to enjoy the very best, every day.

I really love this series. For example, one of the lessons is to employ quality over quantity. It’s better to have a ten-item wardrobe of quality items than 100 poorly-made pieces that won’t last a couple cycles in the wash. A really good lesson, I think.

IMG_4424

So, which tea would pair well here? Well, there is only one tea I would pair with this stylish book and that would be my absolute favorite tea, Fortnum’s Countess Grey. I’d say Countess Grey is all about enjoying the very best, every day.

What do you think of this pairing?

Also, in case you missed it, my review of Madame Chic can be found here.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. Thank you for supporting my book-loving blog. xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Désirée)

Désirée by Annemarie Selinko is a novel based on real events as recounted by one woman, Désirée Clary. It’s an epic, fictionalized biography of Désirée, the one-time fiancée of Napoleon. (I very briefly talked about this book here.)

Clary

Désirée lived a very interesting life through some turbulent times in France. She began life as the daughter of a silk merchant and ended her life as the Queen of Sweden.

After Napoleon broke her heart to marry Josephine, Désirée moved on by marrying the tall and dashing Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a decorated Marshal in Napoleon’s court.

Through her marriage to Bernadotte, Désirée became Queen of Sweden because Sweden picked Bernadotte as their next king. Bernadotte reigned as Charles XIV of Sweden. (Talk about the ultimate get-over-him plan. Ladies, next time a guy breaks your heart, marry a king!)

This part isn’t in the book, but Napoleon hoped that Bernadotte would enact Swedish laws that favored France. Much to the anger and dismay of Napoleon, Bernadotte refused to be a puppet king. He even used his personal fortune to pay Sweden’s national debt. (As an aside, the illustrious Bernadotte line continues to reign in Sweden today.)

Désirée_Clary1807-Robert_Lefèvre.jpg
Désirée Clary, 1807. Wikimedia Commons

The book is completely engrossing and written entirely in the form of diary entries. It’s a mixture of historical fiction and historical gossip sessions. Désirée is completely relatable even though it’s nearly impossible to relate to a young, rich French socialite. I think her diary entries (her gossip rants, her worries, her funny anecdotes, her undying devotion to her child) make her endearing to the reader.

Also, Paris is very much a main character in this book (before the move to Stockholm, that is) and her diary entries are sprinkled with Parisian locales and addresses. Of course, the book was made into a movie. Marlon Brando played Napoleon.

Laduree Tea

I think the perfect tea for this book is by Ladurée. Ladurée is a decadent Parisian tea and Désirée, for her entire life, loved everything Parisian. I think Désirée would approve of this pairing. You can take the girl out of Paris, but you can’t take Paris out of the girl.

What do you think of this tea pairing?

xoxo, Jane

PS. In case you feel like going down a rabbit hole, my other posts in this series can be found here.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (The Time-Traveling Fashionista)

71jpYNLay5L.jpg

The Time-Traveling Fashionista is a YA series of three fashionable books by Bianca Turetsky. In the first book of the series, The Time-Traveling Fashionista On Board The Titanic, we are introduced to our main character, Louise Lambert, a young teenage girl living in an old rambling Tudor house in Connecticut with her American father and British mother.

Louise has one true love: vintage fashion. Thanks to her well-read tome, Shopping for Vintage: The Definite Guide to Fashion,* Louise knows more about vintage fashion than the average young person.

When Louise receives a mysterious invitation to an exclusive, invitation-only vintage sale, she accidentally discovers a time-traveling portal via the vintage dresses.

Where does it take her? Onboard the Titanic! While onboard, she encounters several adventures with her new friend Anna, a lady’s maid. But the real questions are whether she can return home before the ship sinks and if Anna can be saved.

I won’t give it away, but I will say that it is a delightful read with gorgeous illustrations.

51qw3vfSVKL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

My own fascination with vintage fashion makes me daydream about the history of the clothing and who previous owners might have been. I own several vintage clothing and accessories that belonged to my late mother. They are very special to me because she loved her clothes and took good care of everything she owned. She was very poor as a young lady, so I know it was a sacrifice to buy the things I ended up inheriting. This book series resonated with me because Louise is mindful of the history of clothing.

The other two books in the series are The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette and The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile.

51EguTb0UML.jpg

I’m breaking my tea rule because this book (the entire series, actually) needs a big mug of hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream. I recommend Fortnum’s Hot Chocolate! It’s not the fine-powdered inexpensive chocolate. It’s large chunks of chocolate pieces which require milk (not water). Enjoying a decadent cup of Fortnum’s hot chocolate is perfect for this fashionable and adventurous series.

Fortnum's Chocolate*Not a real book, but for something similar try Vintage Paris Couture: The French Woman’s Guide to Shopping or The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping: Insider Tips, Helpful Hints, Hip Shops.

xoxo, Jane

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. xoxo, Jane

 

Pairing books with tea (Miss Buncle Married)

51mCz8A73uL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I felt really happy after I finished reading Miss Buncle Married. This is the wonderful sequel to Miss Buncle’s Book (a very hilarious read!). In the sequel Miss Buncle (now Mrs. Abbott) has a new village to explore and more opportunities for hijinks. Even her lovely new husband can’t stop her misadventures!

D.E. Stevenson wrote this dedication to the sequel: “Dedicated to those who liked Miss Buncle and asked for more.” I’m so glad she wrote this sequel. It’s an enjoyable, happy read. Even the cover is a sunny color.

If you need something uplifting and funny and wholesome to read this summer, then I suggest you pick up a copy of Miss Buncle Married. And when you do, enjoy it with a cup of Fortnum’s Afternoon Blend.

2002664

Why Afternoon Blend? Because reading this book is like taking a walk through a field of flowers on a sunny afternoon (and while holding and sipping out of a dainty, flowery teacup, why not!). If I sound cheesy, I can’t help it. Books (and tea) make me happy! xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Debrett’s Handbook)

I like reading etiquette books for fun. (Plus I like my characters to behave properly, at least the non-villain ones). This made me wonder which tea might match my favorite manners book, Debrett’s Handbook.

Pairing books with tea.png

I think Fortnum’s Royal Blend would match Debrett’s perfectly. Royal Blend is one of Fortnum’s best-selling teas and was created for King Edward VII in 1902. (Ironically King Edward VII broke too many etiquette rules, but I suppose if you are a monarch you can break any rule you want.) So, be sure to brew yourself a good cup of Royal Blend next time you crack open your dusty old copy of Debrett’s. Happy Reading!

Pairing books with tea (Nine Coaches Waiting)

white book beside white mug
Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com

Time for our weekly game of matching a good cup of tea to a good book!

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart is a riveting suspense novel that had me at the edge of my seat. I was never relaxed during the reading of this book because I was scared something bad was about to happen. Mary Stewart is the master of romantic suspense!

The book’s heroine, Linda Martin, travels to France to work for a French family, the Valmy Family. Except she discovers the family may be hiding a sinister secret. Oh, and there is a strong, tall, sexy hero. His name is Raoul.

IMG_4277.jpeg

So which tea do we pair with a book set in France, has plenty of suspense and a handsome love interest?? How about Mariage Freres’ Earl Grey D’or? Obviously we have to sip a cup of dark, French tea for this suspenseful romance novel. Do you agree? xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Belgravia)

IMG_4248.jpeg

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes (of Downton Abbey fame) is a saga of a story that encompasses the lives of two families. One family is from “old money” and the other from “new money.” Both families reside in Belgravia. What I loved about this novel is that the vivid descriptions and scenes of Belgravia jumped out at me.

IMG_4243 2.jpeg

So which tea would pair well with this book? What about Twinings Lady Grey tea?

It’s light and flavorful and not too strong. Perfect for those drawing room scenes for both families. I can almost imagine the characters sipping Twinings Lady Grey (even if Lady Grey wasn’t invented until the 1990s) out of their Royal Albert teacups (again, Royal Albert wasn’t around then either but we are just having fun here). So I think this tea would make a great pairing with our book today. But what do you think? xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Jane Thynne’s Black Roses)

blur-books-ceramic-176103

Black Roses by Jane Thynne is the first in a series set in pre-war Nazi Germany. It’s intense, nail-bitingly suspenseful and slightly romantic.

The main character, Clara Vine, moves to Nazi Germany from England to further her acting career. She is a talented actress but for some reason is not able to make the cut in England.

Upon the suggestion of an acquaintance, she relocates to Berlin to find work at the famous Babelsberg Studio. Once there, she unwittingly gets entangled with the inner circle of the Nazi wives. This proves to be of interest to British intelligence and soon they recruit her to spy for them.

IMG_4220.jpeg

I love this series. It’s riveting. It has everything I want in a book: a strong woman, espionage, romance and history. I am waiting with great impatience for the next book in this series.

Which tea would go well with this book? How about Twinings China Rose? Clara is English. Twinings is a great English tea company. And China Rose tea is infused with roses. I’d say it’s a perfect match. What sayeth you? xoxo, Jane

PS. I also created a Pinterest board for this tea pairing because of course.