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A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere

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A Literary-Inspired Cookbook for Voracious Readers at Teatime

Tea and books: the perfect pairing. There's nothing quite like sitting down to a good book on a lovely afternoon with a steaming cup of tea beside you, as you fall down the rabbit hole into the imaginative worlds of Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Sherlock Holmes . . .

Fire up your literary fancies and nibble your way through delicate sweets and savories with A Literary Afternoon Tea, which brings food from classic books to life with a teatime twist. Featuring fifty-five perfectly portioned recipes for an afternoon getaway, including custom homemade tea blends and beverages, you will have everything you need to plan an elaborate tea party. Cook up and enjoy:
Turkish Delight while sipping on the White Witch’s Hot Chocolate from The Chronicles of Narnia
Drink Me Tea with the Queen of Hearts’s Painted Rose Cupcakes from Alice in Wonderland

Eeyore’s “Hipy Bthuthday” Cake with Hundred Acre Hot Chocolate from Winnie the Pooh
Hannah’s Sweet Potato Bacon Pastries and Jo’s Gingerbread from Little Women
Tom Sawyer’s Whitewashed Jelly Doughnuts from Tom Sawyer
And more!

Accompanied with photographs and book quotes, these recipes, inspired by the great works of literature, will complement any good book for teatime reading and eating.

270 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 5, 2018

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About the author

Alison Walsh

2 books38 followers
Alison Walsh first began cooking as a way to stretch her post-college paycheck, and her love of cooking grew. In 2014, she combined her love of food and books into Alison's Wonderland Recipes (WonderlandRecipes.com), a food blog dedicated to book-inspired recipes. She guest writes for Real Life at Homeand her recipes have been featured on MuggleNet, the number one Harry Potter fan website.

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5 stars
215 (28%)
4 stars
246 (33%)
3 stars
192 (25%)
2 stars
66 (8%)
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23 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 206 reviews
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
309 reviews2,373 followers
February 6, 2018
I've been looking for a book just like this! My book club mates (babes!) always try to match the menu to the book when it is our turn to host. This can get a bit sketchy sometimes, but usually we can come up with a snack or full-on dinner when needed. Example: Nigerian pounded yam and fried plantains when we read AMERICANAH was a no-brainer, but a lot of books don't lend themselves well to food-interpreting (ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS). It's still fun to try.

Should you be reading a classic, and YES! everyone should read the classics, this is the book for your party! It is chock full of recipes, anecdotes and photos for readers/cooks. It is absolutely charming! Anyone fancy a blood orange scone (Sherlock Holmes), how about a Delicious Death Chocolate Cake (A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED by Agatha Christie)?

I love this book and I think any lover of books would find it worthy in their home library!

Thanks very much to the publisher, author and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book!
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,127 reviews104 followers
December 5, 2020
Although I have certainly found the general concept of Alison Walsh’s A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere appealing and also rather nicely literature based (with ample direct quotes from the novels on which the author’s recipes are based), as to the actual tea party recipes themselves, truth be told, but I have personally not at all been impressed. For while many of them do appear visually tempting as to the end products (and that I do appreciate the inclusion of photographs for the vast majority of Walsh’s recipes), considering that MOST of the novels featured in A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere are children’s books, are novels written and conceptualised for younger readers, that far far too many of Alison Walsh’s included recipes involve both complicated lists of ingredients and equally thus instructions, well, I for one do think that this kind of makes A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere not really all that suitable for having children try their hands at cooking (or even helping out) and indeed, even adult cooks, especially if not so confident in the kitchen, could or perhaps even would find many of Alison Walsh’s recipes complicated and as such likely also frustrating to reproduce.

And yes, this is also the main reason why I am only going to be rating A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere with but two stars (since truthfully, except for perhaps the raspberry cordial recipe based on L.M. Montgomery’ Anne of Green Gables most of the other featured recipes look either not all that appealing taste wise to and for me or like I need to be a master chef in order to even attempt them).

EDITED TO ADD: But after just checking on the raspberry cordial recipe, Alison Walsh actually and to my dismay and anger claims that Anne of Gables was written not by Lucy Maud Montgomery but by Frances Hodgson Burnett (who penned The Secret Garden). And NO INDEED, I cannot and will not accept that kind of a literary mistake and have therefore just lowered (and with no feelings of guilt whatsoever at that) my star ranking for A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere from two to only one star (as no, these kinds of errors really should not happen, and honestly, where was the editor to not have caught this, especially since in the bibliography, Anne of Green Gables is in fact listed with the correct author, as having been written by L.M. Montgomery, so indeed and from where I stand, that mistake should really have been noticed and changed).
Profile Image for Alisha.
1,003 reviews64 followers
March 3, 2018
I was able to get an early look at this thanks to NetGalley. It's a fun cookbook with sweets and savories from many favorite childhood and/or classic books. Even though I'm not familiar with all of the books mentioned, the recipes stand on their own and many of them sound (and look) quite tempting.
For example, the "apple of life bites," which consist of apple disks, bacon, creme de brie, and pecans...yumm!! Or the sweet potato bacon pastries inspired by Little Women. Or the poetical egg salad sandwiches from Anne of Green Gables. Or the blackberry lemon sweet rolls inspired by A Little Princess. I am making myself quite hungry...
Anyway, it's a very nice book with great pictures of most of the recipes. I think anyone with a flair for themed parties would love it. Or anyone who loves yummy food in general!
Profile Image for Lara Maynard.
373 reviews151 followers
April 9, 2018
This is a cute book, the type of thing that would make a nice gift book for a reader. Maybe give the book with a copy of one of the classic books mentioned and the ingredients to make one of the associated recipes!

I made the London Fog Latte inspired by Sherlock Holmes and really enjoyed it, so I've made it several times since, adjusting things a bit to my own taste. (I brew the tea a bit longer and add a bit less honey. Also a safety note: the hot liquid in the bender is gives off quite a bit of heat and steam, and will want to explode the cover off of the blender. I recommend putting a tea towel over the top and hold it down tightly while blending to avoid major mess and potential burns.)

I've even started inventing my own tea lattes now, and have earmarked several more recipes from "A Literary Tea Party" to try.

I read a digital copy of #ALiteraryTeaParty from the publisher via #NetGalley.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
789 reviews
September 6, 2019
2.5 stars. Just ok. Really liked the idea but the recipes were so so. I don’t like recipes that rely on store bought ready made items I prefer to make it from scratch. I was also very confused about the tea area. I thought she was going to have tea blends we could make ourselves. But it looked like you needed to buy About 20 different teas and use those as the basis of the mixes. Chestnut tea? Strawberry tea? Cream tea? Not at the local piggly wiggly I can tell you. I was expecting something like start with black tea leaves add citrus peels or other aromatics...just normal kitchen items.
Profile Image for Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard.
859 reviews152 followers
June 5, 2018
This lovely collection of literary-inspired recipes for savories, breads, and desserts is inspired by familiar children’s and high school classics. Enjoy a hearty Deeper’n Ever Turnip’n Tater’n Beetroot Pie (served to the moles in Redwall), Savory Apple Rose Tartlets (a rose was The Phantom of the Opera's calling card), or Miss Marple’s “Pocket Full of Rye” Tea Sandwiches. Feast on Blood Orange Scones (for “The Five Orange Pips” in Sherlock Holmes’s fifth case) or Beorn’s Honey Nut Banana Bread (inspired by The Hobbit—though it does puzzle me where Beorn would have acquired bananas!) Finally, delight your palate with Jo’s Gingerbread (Little Women), Candied Flower Cookies (inspired by The Secret Garden), or Delicious Death Chocolate Cake (Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced.)

The food recipes are fairly clear, and range from simple (deviled eggs, bacon-wrapped dates) to more complex (lavender lemon eclairs.) While most can be made with commonly-available ingredients, pans, and utensils, a few require more esoteric tools, such as a mandoline, or ingredients you will only find in an upscale or gourmet grocery store.

There are a few tempting non-tea beverages included, from Hundred Acre Hot Chocolate (flavored with coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel sauce) to a nonalcoholic Raspberry Cordial such as the one Anne of Green Gables thought she was serving Diana.

Alas, the tea blend recipes may prove more difficult to replicate, particularly if you’re not already a tea aficionado. After reading the entire section, I realized that all or at least most of the ingredients are loose teas, but if you’ve skimmed past the first paragraph in the “Note about Tea,” that isn’t entirely clear. And unless you have access to a specialty tea shop or are willing to buy your ingredients online, you will find it nearly impossible to come up with some of the suggested teas in “teaspoon” form, though you might luck out and find teabags. The author does give a little guidance on brewing tea, but not nearly enough for a novice. However, longtime tea lovers (like me!) will have fun recreating the suggested blends.

Finally, cooks who prefer metric measures can relax; there are two handy conversion tables at the end, one for quantities and the other for oven temperatures.

All in all, while there are a few recipes that made me lift an eyebrow—Hercule Poirot did love chocolate, but his teas were always “tisanes” or herbal teas, never maté—I heartily recommend A Literary Tea Party for anyone looking to throw a literary party, or just curl up with a cup of tea, a good book, and the perfectly-paired snack.

Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard.

FTC disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.
Profile Image for Jessica.
363 reviews4 followers
March 19, 2018
I requested this book from NetGalley because it contains two things I love: books and cooking/baking. The ARC copy also has a really pretty illustration for the cover page, much more so than the final book cover in my opinion.

(Re)Creating recipes from fictions is not a new idea. In this book, the author tries to set herself apart from existing books and online blogs of the similar nature by focusing on tea time finger food, snacks, and drinks. She also offers theme party ideas based on her recipes. I think her concept for this book has a lot of potential but the execution is seriously lacking.

For one, it is quite evident that she does not have an extensive background in baking. As most of her recipes are built upon standard beginner (basic) recipes, I could 't help but wanting to make small changes to improve her creations,.Second of, often, it's difficult for me to make the connection between her idea and the book that the recipe is based of. Many of them feel like quite a stretch to fit the theme of the book.

That being said, there are still few recipes interesting enough that I would like to try myself. What I think is the most impressive In this book, though, is her homemade tea blends. Just by reading about these tea blends on paper, I feel infused in the amalgamated aroma of various types of tea. It is warm, comforting, and feminine. Now those are definitely worth a try.

I wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone. For something similar, I highly recommend checking out Binging With Babbish (Yourube or book).
Profile Image for Beth.
934 reviews21 followers
January 19, 2018
For literary lovers, fun foodies and creative party planners, this book is a cool must-have. The recipes are all for tea-time-appropriate snacks (savory and sweet), custom tea blends, and fun non-alcoholic drinks based on beloved books. Be Alice, having "bread and butterflies" and drinking tea with the Mad Hatter; step through the wardrobe and have a bite of Turkish Delight; or cook up a hearty afternoon snack fit for Hobbits and Dwarves alike.

*Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jewlsbookblog.
2,133 reviews67 followers
February 4, 2019
*February 2019 -For Super Bowl, I pulled out the tried and true mini cherry cakes! Still a favorite!*

This book was an interesting and engaging marriage of food in literature. Each recipe begins with a brief quote that somewhat correlates to the story they came from. The recipes range from a nice selection of flavored teas, cider, and hot chocolates to savory pies and bite size cakes and muffins. The most challenging-at least for me-was the candy making...does goop count?!

I tried a few of the simpler recipes and was pleased with the results. From the Chronicles of Narnia, the Apple of Life Bites were an easy-to-make, tasty mix of tart apple, creamy Brie, and salty bacon pieces. And I couldn’t pass up The Borrower’s Arriety and her mini cherry cakes because the picture of these dainty cakes was too cute! Super simple to make, the cherry preserves were layered with a scrumptious Devonshire cream (recipe included) and melt-in-your-mouth buttery pound cake (store bought per recipe) that was irresistible! My husband loved them! Having said that, the recipe was also easily interchangeable with fresh strawberries and strawberry preserves-yum! **And yes, I took a picture of these little beauties to prove how quick and easy it was to make them!

A Literary Tea Party was brilliant fun! Alison Walsh took a neat perspective of food in literature and gave them modern appeal. The common theme gave me a fresh perspective on old favorites and a desire to see for myself what’s lurking in the ones I’ve yet to crack open. I also appreciated how the recipes/portion sizes would work well as appetizers for any type of occasion! I will definitely be adding this book to my cookbook collection!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Marina.
363 reviews28 followers
March 25, 2018
Cometh the hour, cometh the cookbook. I was delighted to open this book and almost immediately find a new idea for my Easter party next week. (Cracked China Devilled Eggs – so colourful and pretty.)

This is a book of literary-inspired tea-time recipes. Some recipes are directly related to foods eaten in the stories; others are just inspired by them ( eg Star Crossed Focaccia for Romeo and Juliet ).

I recently read a cookbook with a similar premise to this: The Little Library Cookbook by Kate Young. (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) Interestingly, both authors used much of the same literary inspiration but came up with different recipe ideas. Whereas The Little Library Cookbook has many biographical notes, the notes in A Literary Tea Party are shorter and more focussed on the books. The foods are fancier, more novelty and less everyday. The photos are colourful and plentiful.

Unlike The Little Library Cookbook, A Literary Tea Party is focussed on ‘afternoon tea’. There are ideas for themed tea parties. I found the section on tea blending a bit confusing- first, I was worried by the tea recipes including 1 tsp chocolate and 1tsp of vanilla – then saw the note saying that these refer to flavoured tea blends. Really? Where do you get these? Do I want to know? I’m sure there are many flavoured tea enthusiasts out there who will love this. However, I found the non-tea alternatives much more appealing.

I do like this book. Many of the foods (such as Princess Sara’s Rose Cake and Arietty’s Mini Cherry Cakes) do look quite special. And although it seemed at first glance to be similar to The Little Library Cookbook, I’d be happy to find room for both of them on my (digital) shelf.
Thanks to Net Galley and Skyhorse Publishing for this review copy.
Profile Image for Critterbee❇.
924 reviews67 followers
April 2, 2018
Taking inspiration from the literary worlds of Pooh Bear, the Phantom of the Opera, Sherlock Holmes, Alice's Adventure in Wonderland and more, A Literary Tea Party is a whimsical collection of savoury and sweet recipes for themed tea parties.

Think 'Star-Crossed Focaccia' inspired by Romeo and Juliet, 'Candied Flower Cookies' from the Secret Garden, and 'Arctic Trail Coffee Muffins' from White Fang.

The treats included have difficulty levels that range from easy to moderate; there are some candy recipes that seem a bit more challenging. The photographs really do a nice job of showcasing the nibbles, and there are book quotes that identify the inspiration for each bite.

The only issue I had was with the tea recipes. Examples of ingredients for recipes include:
2 tsp chocolate
2 tsp honeybush
1 tsp lavender buds
1 tsp cream
3 tsp toasted mate

There is a note a the beginning of the tea section explaining that all ingredients "refer to teas of that flavor, not extracts or dairy." So, basically you are mixing various types of store-bought tea. For special occasions, it would probably be fine. It seems a bit too specific for an everyday home cook, unless they are a huge tea drinker and keep lavender buds and toasted mate on hand.

This cookbook would be a great help for planning a book-themed party.

*eARC Netgalley*
Profile Image for Katherine.
62 reviews
November 17, 2018
Lovely idea for a cookbook and the pictures are beautifully done. The author is also clearly a book lover and selected some of the best loved books of all time, so points for that.

However, the linkage from the books to the recipes are often times a stretch, and the recipes themselves are mostly far too simplistic to warrant a cookbook by themselves. For example, one of the recipes is literally frozen pound cake, cherry preserves, and devonshire cream. That's it. She doesn't tell you how to make the individual components - just to assemble them.

Overall this book is a disappointment, but at least the pictures are lovely. 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 for the lack of vinegar in her deviled egg recipe. (I know, I'm savage.)
Profile Image for QNPoohBear.
3,004 reviews1,481 followers
May 4, 2021
Alison Walsh blogs at wonderlandrecipes.com. She wrote this book as a more formalized version of her blog providing more in-depth instructions on making the literary treats. There are themed tea party ideas and many of the recipes have annotations to pair them with a custom tea blend. I wish she stated somewhere in the book where the teas can be found. I had to look on her blog to discover she's an affiliate of Adagio Teas.

The sections include savories, (I smiled at the deeper n' ever turnip n'tater n' beetroot pie from The Rogue Crew but some of the others were puzzling, like apple roses from The Phantom of the Opera); breads and muffins and finally, sweets. Sweets is the largest category with lots of varied options like the infamous Turkish Delight from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Arrietty's cherry tarts from The Borrowers (hooray! One of my favorites!) and Jo's gingerbread nuts, a recipe taken from The Little Women Cookbook: Novel Takes on Classic Recipes from Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Friends.

Each recipe is accompanied by a quote from a famous book showing the inspiration behind the recipe. Finally, we have a section of custom tea blends and tea alternatives. Many of these teas sound delicious and I plan to order some samples. Non-tea beverages include 100 Acre Hot Chocolate and Anne of Green Gables raspberry cordial.

While I don't intend to make any of these recipes, the skill level varies. Adults and older children can find things that suit their skill level, especially since the author uses many pre-made ingredients. Kids are sophisticated bakers and chefs nowadays with The Food Network, YouTube and podcasts showing rather than telling. Many of the books included in the cookbook aren't suitable for young children anyway and if kids are interested in making recipes from children's classics there are other cookbooks specific to those stories they could use.

This is a nice book to borrow from the library. I started browsing her blog and used that as a jumping off point for my own literary edible creations. I made a list for an upcoming virtual edible book festival at a local library.
Profile Image for Angel Pickard.
111 reviews3 followers
May 23, 2018
This was a lovely book! The concept and execution are flawless. The premise is that the recipes remind you of literary favorites and it has achieved success in doing so. The guide for a book themed tea party is so fun and well done. I also really enjoyed the "make your own tea" section that allows you to brew a tea to go with a selection. The book is well organized into categories making ease in planning your tea or luncheon. The book ultimately had me thinking about other of my favorite works and how I could re create the food in them to "feel closer to the character and story" which is what Alison Walsh is attempting to help us do with her delightful cookbook.
I was given this book by my friends at Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
454 reviews3 followers
September 21, 2018
Fun recipes inspired by literature, like Alice in Wonderland and Little Women. There are recipes for everything from sandwiches to tarts. There are even tea blends to make. This would be a good book of tea time recipes inspired by a book lover.

Note: I was allowed an advance copy of this book to review. In no way did that affect my opinions.
Profile Image for Robin Bonne.
629 reviews144 followers
February 27, 2018
Scrumptious looking photos of food paired with clever recipe names, book quotes, and tea pairings make for one of the best cookbooks I have had the pleasure of reading. Now I want to throw a tea party!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of the ebook.
Profile Image for Lori Quick.
300 reviews3 followers
June 5, 2018
This was just a fun cookbook to read. I loved going through all the recipes. If I ever wanted to have a themed tea party, this is my go to book. I think it is awesome and highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Nicole.
307 reviews
January 25, 2019
Super cute idea. Unfortunately nearly all of the recipes (except the tea blends) are off limits in this house due to allergy restrictions.
Profile Image for Andrea Wahle.
59 reviews3 followers
March 29, 2018
Have you ever yearned to eat what the characters in your current book are eating?  Or gotten hungry from the descriptions of food in books?  I always wanted to try Maple Syrup snow candy like Laura Ingalls made in Little House in the Big Woods.  Or have Raspberry Cordial with Anne Shirley.  Or something simple like Bread and Jam with Frances the badger.  A Literary Tea Party by Alison Walsh includes recipes for sweet and savory teatime treats and the tea blends to accompany them.  

Like many great cookbooks, this one starts with tips, tricks, and substitutions.  Even when I think I know what I'm doing, these chapters usually teach me something I needed to know or remind me of a better way to do something.  Alison gathers some of her recipes into suggested party themes before jumping into the recipes.  I'm looking forward to a Tea Time Garden Party this Summer with Lavender Lemon Eclairs inspired by The Secret Garden and Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches from Anne of Green Gables.  

The recipes are a lovely balance of sweet and savory.  I did not try any of the savory recipes but the Sweet Potato Bacon Pastries inspired by Little Women sound wonderful.  This might be a nice snack to have while curling up with the new Masterpiece Theater presentation airing on PBS soon.  

I couldn't review a cookbook without trying some of the recipes.  Beorn's Honey Nut Banana Bread from The Hobbit was well received at work.  The cinnamon and ginger add warmth and the banana flavor is not overpowering.  My husband does not like banana bread, but admitted this smelled really good.  No, he would not try it.

I didn't have as much success with the Blood Orange Scones, but I also did not follow the recipe completely.  1/4 cup of blood orange bitters sounded like a lot so I replaced it with fresh blood orange juice instead.  If I attempt these again, I will follow the recipe.

My taste testers loved Long John's Lime Cookies.  These had a nice snap of lime and sweetness from a powdered sugar coating.  The cookies themselves are not too sweet, which made them a great pairing with tea.  These were fast and worked well when we had a potluck during a very busy week.  I mixed the dough, rolled it into a log, and froze it 2 days before the party.  The night before I thawed the log a little, sliced and baked.  These were devoured quickly. 

The most popular recipe I tested were the Arctic Trail Coffee Muffins inspired by Jack London's White Fang.  I've made them several times and have played with the recipe a little to fit my tastes.  I upped the instant coffee (I used Espresso powder) and the spices.  These are wonderfully fresh from the oven with nothing on them, with maple butter as suggested, or with cream cheese.  

The next recipe I will be trying is Blackberry Lemon Sweet Rolls, a treat Sara Crewe from  Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess may have enjoyed.  I did not try any of the homemade tea blends because I wasn't sure where to start.  A list of suggested tea vendors or websites would have been helpful.  

All in all this was a lovely book to read and even better to cook from.  I reviewed an ebook I received from NetGalley but will be buying my own print copy when it is released in June.  I will also be buying copies for my friends with children so they can enjoy some literary teatimes.

#ALiteraryTeaParty #NetGalley
Profile Image for Katie.
134 reviews2 followers
March 17, 2018
The premise and style of this book is incredibly charming. The idea of making food and tea recipes based off of various well-known books is one that's really appealing to me as a bookworm, and the aesthetic design of this book (the pictures especially) is quite whimsical and cute.

The things I liked:
As I said, the style and concept were very well conceptualized and executed, and the pictures look scrumptious. I thought that perhaps more recipes would be direct recreations of dishes mentioned in books, but the majority are the author's interpretation of food mentioned in books, or simply dishes that take inspiration from a book or character. I appreciate that creativity and the fact that it's not too literal.

The recipes are very detailed and information is given about how to approach certain techniques and substitutions. I really appreciate cookbooks being user-friendly, and also appreciate that the author encourages the reader to experiment on their own using her recipes as inspiration.

Things I didn't love:
I did think that this book is not incredibly vegetarian/vegan friendly. There are some vegetarian recipes, but the majority of them prominently feature cheese. I'm not a vegan, but I am a vegetarian and I'm trying to avoid dairy, and that severely limited the amount of recipes I could try without significant substitutions. A strict vegan would have a very hard time finding recipes they could use in this book.

I think for the most part, there was a decent variety of recipes, but I did think a few got a little repetitive. There were quite a few recipes for savory pastries stuffed with vegetables and cheese. Tasty, I'm sure, but I don't need multiple recipes for that, especially given that I don't eat cheese. On top of that, I don't think that on the whole the recipes are particularly healthy-carbs play a pretty significant role. That being said, this book is about whimsical literary food, not healthy food, so that's fine, I suppose.

My biggest issue was with the instructions about how to make the teas to pair with the foods. I was quite excited about that, because I love tea and was interested in how to experiment with their own. I thought that this book might give instructions on what kind of spices could be used to make herbal tea/added to tea leaves to make new varieties of tea. Instead, it seems like every recipe is simply a blend of different kinds of flavored tea mixes. This isn't all that exciting to me, and on top of that, buying 3-4 variety of loose-leaf tea can get quite expensive. I also thought the recipes were confusing, and it took me a while to figure out that "cream" and "chocolate" meant cream and chocolate flavored black tea, not actual cream and chocolate. The fact that the variety of tea is not specified, only the flavor of said tea, means these recipes would be a little tricky to follow, and potentially quite spending.

However, on the whole I think this book is very successful for what it set out to do. It a whimsical marriage of appreciation for literature and appreciation for food and tea, and you could certainly create quite the literary tea party with the help of this book!
Profile Image for Melody Schwarting.
1,441 reviews82 followers
July 16, 2021
A very fun recipe book for the many of us who love books and tea. I recently used this as a springboard for a literary tea. While we only used one of the recipes, we got plenty of ideas for our own menu from A Literary Tea Party.

What I liked most about the book was its list of menus for themed tea parties, including Alice's Mad Tea Party, Aslan's Feast, and Murder Most Delicious: A Detective Tea Party. While most of the inspirations are standard for this type of book--Narnia, Sherlock Holmes, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, LOTR--there were some other choices like The Borrowers, Redwall, and Phantom of the Opera that added a twist. Of course, some inspirations were more faithful than others, but this provided a good selection for different cooks and palates. The savories, especially, went beyond the usual sandwich fare.

The tea blends at the end expect a lot of the reader, including a good amount of knowledge about tea and a lot of ingredients. From the instructions, it looks like one only needs a tea bag and a few extra ingredients, but in practice, you need loose leaf tea, a rather large infuser, and specialty ingredients like peony (I'm assuming dried petals, but it isn't specified) and loose lemongrass. One of the "tea alternatives" is a tea latte, brewed in milk instead of water, but the tea is still there, so...I don't know why it was included as an alternative alongside hot chocolate, apple cider, and, of course, raspberry cordial. (Speaking from a friend's experience, for any interested folk, save yourself some time by using cheesecloth instead of a wire mesh strainer to make cordial. I have yet to see a book like this include a recipe for currant wine, which is what was actually consumed in the book, but ah well, who has time to ferment currants, anyway, especially if the odor of fermentation makes one's stomach feel like post-three-tumblers-full Diana.)

The recipe I used (Dark Chocolate Earl Grey & Lavender Truffles, inspired by Sherlock Holmes) wasn't super clear, and could have been written more forthrightly. The recipe recommended rolling the truffles between layers of plastic wrap, but I opted for using a baggie as a glove since it doesn't stick to itself.

Recommended for literary tea inspiration.
Profile Image for Laurie Garrison .
711 reviews171 followers
September 3, 2018
A Literary Tea Party gives you all you need to host a large or small tea party, but not only that these recipes are also great for everyday baking and cooking right to your own table. Recipes are simple and easy to follow. Oh, and as a tea lover, this book gives you a lot of tea flavors that you’ll love again and again. I was totally surprised how well this book was written.

Put it to you this way, as a book reviewer off of Netgalley we don’t get to keep the book, so I am staying a lot here when I say I myself will be grabbing a copy for myself.

If you love nostalgic, tea, baking and cooking this one is for you.
Profile Image for Rebecca Reviews.
210 reviews19 followers
May 26, 2018
A Literary Tea Party by Alison Walsh is a wonderful literary cookbook filled with fun and easy-to-follow recipes inspired by all your favorite books.

I love reading about what characters are eating and drinking and I’ve always fantasized about how I’d recreate their meals. Thanks to this unique book, I can fulfil my literary foodie fantasies! The book features recipes which are inspired by classic and much-loved literary works like Little Women, The Hobbit and Winnie-the-Pooh.

The recipes range from really simple to fairly complicated. The cookbook is helpfully organized into sections on savouries, bread & muffins, sweets, homemade tea blends and tea alternatives. Another really great feature is that the book has themed tea party ideas so you’ll never be uncertain of what combinations of goodies to have at your party. I especially love that Walsh includes tea pairings with the recipes. She even has some recipes for making your own homemade tea blends. I also really like that she provides recipes for other drinks like cider and hot chocolate in case you’re not a fan of tea.

This book is so charming and well-thought out. I love the little details: each recipe begins with a quote from the book that relates to the recipe and I especially love the cute recipe names. Just imagine yourself enjoying Quoth the Raven tea inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and Anne of Green Gables’ Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches.

I would definitely purchase A Literary Tea Party. The recipes are well-detailed and look absolutely delicious. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet but I have many bookmarked for later experiments. This book would be perfect for the tea, food, and book lovers in your life. Or, snag a copy for yourself and have your own extravagant tea party! I really hope that Alison Walsh will put out more cookbooks just like this because I can’t wait to read and eat some more!

Thank you to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ilana.
977 reviews
March 24, 2018
The tea party scene in Alice in Wonderland is one of the most inspiring literary descriptions of a food-related habit. The cuppa shared around the table is part of a cultural taste habit which where aromatic infusions are a pretext for conversations and sharing.

The literary world has plenty of episodes where the food is elegantly inserted into the stories, more or less delivered with a recipe at the end. Actually, in my experience, this 'habit' of sharing recipes in a literary work is rather a very new occurrence, due probably to the highest interest that food is getting nowadays, representative for a part of the world where elaborated food doesn't represent a luxury any more.

A Literary Tea Party by Alison Walsh is a delight for both of the reader and the foodie. Picking up inspiration from classical literary works as diverse as Romeo and Juliet, White Fang, or the Wizard of Oz, it set up the table for a lengthy discussion about life, works, words and, obviously, taste buds. You can easily organise your themed tea party ideas regardless of the topic of your book club, just to follow the literary inspiration in the picture. There are many recipes to talk about and taste too, many introduced by cute - not too highly elaborated and edited - pictures, but for my hungry eyes, the following caught my eyes: the apple tart inspired by King Arthur's story, the cyclone cookies from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, or the Lover's Tea that Romeo&Juliet inspired. The recipes are easy to replicate, with smart directions, doable by beginner and middle-level baker/cook too.

Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Elley Murray.
1,109 reviews138 followers
May 30, 2018
I love that you can go through the book by category (Savories, Bread & Muffings, Sweets, Tea Blends, and Tea Alternatives) as well as suggestions for themed tea party groupings (Alice's Mad Tea Party, Aslan's Feast, An Autumnal Tea Party...)

I do wish there had been a few more recipes for each literary source so you could have (for example) a Winnie the Pooh themed party., As it stands, the only books that have themed parties in the themed party idea section are Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia, with Redwall having enough recipes to probably be able to do a Redwall party too. I'd want an Anne of Green Gables tea party, and there are only two Anne of Green Gables recipes.
Recipes list a tea pairing if there is a corresponding tea blend. I'd have liked to see some suggested tea pairings in general that aren't customer blends from the book (even just if it goes best with a particular type of herbal, or a green tea, or English Breakfast, or...)

This book is a lovely blend of recipes straight from the stories (like the Turkish Delight from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) as well as several that are more inspired by literature (like the Queen of Hearts' Painted Rose Cupcakes).
Profile Image for Andy N.
455 reviews23 followers
March 21, 2018
An amazing, deliciously sweet book that will brighten the tea time of every book lover.

A Literary Tea Party brings the foods of classic books to light and gives you enough recipes to spice up any bookish time. You’re taken on a trip from stories and fairytales through dishes and desserts: Turkish Delight and Hot chocolate from the Narnia Chronicles, Gingerbread from Little Women, Drink Me Tea and Painted Rose Cupcakes from Alice in Wonderland, Delicious Death chocolate cake from Agatha Christie’s Murder is Announced, amongst others. Fifty-five recipes that will brighten any tea time and/or book club meeting.

I loved this little book and even tried a few recipes. They are easy to follow and the instructions are written in a simple and direct way. Reading through them, I felt the need to read the books again. It gives out a sense of nostalgia and cosiness. In each page, beautiful photographs and quotes from the classics give a sense of magic.

This is a must-have in any book lovers’ collection right between the classics and the cookbooks.

Thank you NetGalley, Skyhorse Publishing and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Profile Image for Alanna (The Flashlight Reader).
419 reviews77 followers
June 8, 2018
Full review on theflashlightreader.com

A few months ago, my mom and I went to a traditional English Tea at a local Bed and Breakfast. Neither of us had attended a tea before, but we decided it would be a great way to kick off the holiday season and do something different. Sometimes life demands a distraction from the mundane every day routine. What better way to slow down and refresh yourself than with delicious food and flavorful teas?

The experience was very pleasant. In fact, we enjoyed it so much, my mom and I have talked about hosting a tea for my great-aunts. Imagine how delighted I was to discover A Literary Tea Time. I have often thought the concept of tracking the foods in literature to be brilliant. I’ve seen books that have different variations on the concept, but this book was a bit different because each recipe is designed for tea time.


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