Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Tea With Bea" from Bea's of Bloomsbury

It was the sort of moment that makes me nervous. A friend and I were at lunch a few weeks after Christmas and she was apologizing for the lateness of my Christmas gift. I happen to *like* late gifts, because it helps extend the holiday season, but then my friend had me look down in the bag and I realized it contained a book. As I started to unwrap it, she said, "Promise me something before you open it." I said, "OK ... what?" "If you've already got it, you'll tell me." My heart sank as I agreed, because chances were good this would be a duplicate of one of my many tea books. So I was more than a little happy when I removed the tissue paper and found a book that existed only on my Amazon Wish List, "Tea with Bea."

Bea Vo, who was born in the D.C. area, graduated from Cornell, studied at Le Cordon Bleu and opened London's Bea's of Bloomsbury in 2008. Bea's has been noted for having one of the best afternoon teas in London. She writes that she was initially hesitant when asked to write a cookbook, figuring "all of the greats have already covered almost every single possible recipe and technique there is to think of that we currently use in our own kitchens." But then she realized "cookbooks aren't just textbooks—they are a reflection of a particular chef's point of view," and readers will be glad she decided to go ahead with the project.

Oh, my, do these recipes look terrific! They range from perfect little squares of Lavender Shortbread to Ultimate Afternoon Tea Scones, a decadent Frangipane Raspberry Cake, a sweet and tart Key Lime Pie and some fine looking Doughnut Muffins (a doughnut lover, she shares my love of Krispy Kreme!). She also offers tips on preparing "perfect tea" and "perfect coffee," and her tips on baking are both helpful and fun to read.

If you don't happen to have any more belated Christmas gifts on the way, I say just go ahead and gift this book to yourself!

16 comments:

Frivolitea said...

That sounds like a wonderful book, Angela. Thank you for the review. (And now that I know you have one, I am going to take a peek at your Amazon wish list!)

parTea lady said...

Tea With Bea is a nice book that I've already gifted myself with. :-) I've been wanting to try that Lavender Shortbread recipe.

Linda J. said...

Tea with Bea is not on my book shelf. Thanks to your review, it soon will be.

Martha said...

I'll have to look that book up -- I also adore tea books and you've been a bad influence (BIG GRIN!) --

Denise :) said...

I'm not sure what's pictured on the cover, but I sure would like the recipe for it! Wow! Martha above is right ... you've been a *terrible* influence on me with my tea book lists!! :)

Rosemary said...

If the recipes and photos inside the book look anything like that cake on the cover, I'm sold! What good friends you have!

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

What a great recommendation- it too is on my wish List - sounds heavenly.

I would love to GO there and see for myself that tea, let's do it together, shall we?

(Dream big I say.)

What a lovely gift from your friend.

Joy said...

Ooh, I want some lavender shortbread right now. May have to add this book to my Amazon wish list!

Steph said...

Even the cover looks luscious!

Ruth...Time Was Antiques said...

I don't have that one either...but I'm off to Amazon to check it out! Wonderful!
Cheers!
R

Lavender Cottage said...

Hi Angela
Well...I did look at this book in Chapters around Christmas and figured I didn't need any more books. I guess I'll have to take a second look at it now. :-)
Judith

Deberah Williams said...

I must say that the cake pictured on the cover looks absolutely sinful!

yearbythesea said...

I always love reading your book reviews and learning about new tea books. I'd seen this, but wasn't sure whether or not it would be worth adding to my collection - now, thanks to you, I've decided the answer is yes!

Beth Rang said...

That book is on my Amazon wishlist too! It looks heavenly.

Marilyn said...

That cake on the front of that book is enough right there to tempt me to buy the book. It is gorgeous. The Lavender Shortbread also sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds wonderful - the cake on the cover is a keeper!
Joanie