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Love isn't always a piece of cake... Laurie Davis has always followed her passion. After escaping family drama to start a new life in New York City, she’s up for whatever challenges life brings. So when an opportunity arises for her to use her travel industry expertise and serve as an assistant and tour guide for her idol, Pamela Lambert-Leigh, star of television’s Tea-Tim Love isn't always a piece of cake... Laurie Davis has always followed her passion. After escaping family drama to start a new life in New York City, she’s up for whatever challenges life brings. So when an opportunity arises for her to use her travel industry expertise and serve as an assistant and tour guide for her idol, Pamela Lambert-Leigh, star of television’s Tea-Time with Pamela, she jumps at the chance. But Laurie’s exciting adventure ends up entailing a lot more than scouting locations for the cake queen’s new cookbook when Pamela’s sassy mother and sulky, rebellious daughter tag along for the trip. As they cruise around bakeries in New England trading local delights like Red Velvet Cake and Whoopie Pies for British specialties such as Victoria Sponge and Bakewell Tarts, more secrets than recipes are revealed. Now, in between rediscovering romance, learning to forgive family, and finding the best dessert on the East Coast, Laurie, Pamela, and the gang might find there’s nothing a nice cup of tea, a sweet treat, and a little bit of friendship can’t heal…


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Love isn't always a piece of cake... Laurie Davis has always followed her passion. After escaping family drama to start a new life in New York City, she’s up for whatever challenges life brings. So when an opportunity arises for her to use her travel industry expertise and serve as an assistant and tour guide for her idol, Pamela Lambert-Leigh, star of television’s Tea-Tim Love isn't always a piece of cake... Laurie Davis has always followed her passion. After escaping family drama to start a new life in New York City, she’s up for whatever challenges life brings. So when an opportunity arises for her to use her travel industry expertise and serve as an assistant and tour guide for her idol, Pamela Lambert-Leigh, star of television’s Tea-Time with Pamela, she jumps at the chance. But Laurie’s exciting adventure ends up entailing a lot more than scouting locations for the cake queen’s new cookbook when Pamela’s sassy mother and sulky, rebellious daughter tag along for the trip. As they cruise around bakeries in New England trading local delights like Red Velvet Cake and Whoopie Pies for British specialties such as Victoria Sponge and Bakewell Tarts, more secrets than recipes are revealed. Now, in between rediscovering romance, learning to forgive family, and finding the best dessert on the East Coast, Laurie, Pamela, and the gang might find there’s nothing a nice cup of tea, a sweet treat, and a little bit of friendship can’t heal…

30 review for The Travelling Tea Shop

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natalie TBGWP

    I'm ashamed to say that this is the first Belinda Jones book that I've read. I am now kicking myself with what I have been missing out on with her. I have never in all my years of reading read anything so descriptive like The Travelling Tea Shop. It was an utter delight. The travel element to the book is sublime and you honestly do just melt into the gorgeousness, and for someone who wants to travel across America this has only made that yearning for it increase. Jones has such a clever way of n I'm ashamed to say that this is the first Belinda Jones book that I've read. I am now kicking myself with what I have been missing out on with her. I have never in all my years of reading read anything so descriptive like The Travelling Tea Shop. It was an utter delight. The travel element to the book is sublime and you honestly do just melt into the gorgeousness, and for someone who wants to travel across America this has only made that yearning for it increase. Jones has such a clever way of not only drawing you into each chapter with her fantastic plot and scenic, wonderful descriptions, but also allows you to experience that in your own way. Does that make sense? Like some people describe something and every single person sees the same thing. This way every person not only gets the same thing, but how we put ourselves in it and use the description is all different. To me that is a clever thing and to me now Belinda Jones from only one book to me will be the Queen of descriptions. The Travelling Tea Shop follows Thirty-Eight year old Manhattan living, English born and bred Laurie Davies as she embarks on a double decker bus journey of cake and awe with Britain's best baker Pamela Lambert-Leigh. What happens to be a deep and emotional plot has been twisted into a fun, flirty read giving it a great balance between love and heartache. Characters are kept to a minimum allowing you to get to know them fully and relate to them. You actually think you're part of them most of the time. Heroine Laurie I must admit did grate on me slightly. Her constant know it all'ness really got my eyes rolling. I understand she had to be well researched for the job on travel and cake, but she always had some kind of information to say that was somehow appropriate to the situation. It just didn't sit right with me. I absolutely fell in love with Pamela's mother Gracie though. A cool, quirky, young at heart grandmother with a meddlesome streak and a wicked sense of humour. She totally stole the show for me. Everything about the book fits perfectly together, and to be fair a book about cake is not going to be bad is it? It was great reading about the different varieties of cake and where they originated from. I actually watched the programme that's mentioned in the book, United Cakes of America on the Food Network channel, so it was such a treat to get a bit more feeling and insight of everything because of that. I knew one day my obsession with the food channels would pay off. This is a total love fest from start to finish it really, really is. It's a warm and wonderful delight that will have you wrapped around its little finger, then wanting to shout at it at the end when you realise your jeans are too tight and you've put 2lbs on with all the cake you've ate whilst reading it. Twisted family secrets, long lost memories, disasters, romances and one very red English double decker va-va vooming in search of cake and clarity. Delightful. 5/5

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jan Moran

    A road trip in a red double-decker British bus in Maine with friends, family, and cakes? Yes, please, sign me up! This novel is just that -- a fascinating road trip of a novel.  Laurie and Gracie, Pamela, Ravenna -- each one of these characters is so well drawn you feel like you know them. Belinda Jones writes a lot of travel-inspired novels. My only problem is which one to read next.... Traveling Tea Shop is sure to bring a smile to your face. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and two thumbs up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    A fun and fast read. The star of a British baking show tours the northeastern United States to trade recipes for famous cakes in the region. Lots of fun facts about cakes with engaging characters. Gracie was my favorite character.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Hart

    I NEVER drop books halfway through (weak beginnings have turned into strong stories more times than I can count, so the benefit of the doubt is important to me), but I had to chuck this by the time I got to pg. 45. It was a frustrating decision, too, because I had already planned to add this to the lineup of a women's travel book club I'm starting--it sounded perfect! I grew up in New England, have lived in New York for nine years, work in the travel industry and love chick lit, so it seemed lik I NEVER drop books halfway through (weak beginnings have turned into strong stories more times than I can count, so the benefit of the doubt is important to me), but I had to chuck this by the time I got to pg. 45. It was a frustrating decision, too, because I had already planned to add this to the lineup of a women's travel book club I'm starting--it sounded perfect! I grew up in New England, have lived in New York for nine years, work in the travel industry and love chick lit, so it seemed like this book was written for me. Unfortunately, it was simply too terrible of a book to even read, let alone recommend. I was already annoyed and bored a couple pages in. I don't find it very difficult to describe life in New York, but as a transplant myself, I'm aware when something is unrealistic. The author's description of life in the city sounded straight out of a script from a bad Hallmark movie and was 0.00% something that anyone who has actually lived in the city, English or not, would ever say. I don't know if the author has or has not lived there in real life, but it read as a fantasy of what someone who has visited NYC once dreams living there is like. This description does, at least, paint Laurie as a character who is full of life and love, which would be a narrative I can get down with, if it were consistent. Unfortunately, in between all of her happy-go-lucky sentiments, she's also one of the most offensively judgmental book characters I've encountered. One of the very first mentions of the existence of her sister mentions that she is dead, in hell, and belongs there. Um, okay--who did she murder? No one, it turns out. She had a mental illness and turned to drugs as a result. Laurie rips her sister a new one for being 'weak and selfish,' lacking ANY sort of empathy yet attempting in a disgusting way to be self aware and say, "Some people might find this controversial but that's just how I feel." [Note: none of these are exact quotes as I got rid of my copy of the book.] An actual note to all of the schmucks of the world: stating "No offense!" after you say something offensive does not get you off the hook. It just makes you look like a jerk AND a coward. Anyway, I figured this horrid perspective would eventually be righted through expected character development, and I tried to reason that our feelings towards our family are not always rational or appropriate. But it got worse. Upon first seeing 20 y/o Ravenna (not even meeting!), Laurie sends a bitchy text to her BFF, giggling and making fun of the way she's dressed. OK, so you never went through a phase during adolescence, or even knew someone who did? Just your POS sister, who's dead and deserves it, right? Laurie continues to make a remark to herself that with all of Pamela's money, why couldn't she just buy a new daughter??? Giggle, giggle, giggle. You don't know her at all or what she's been through?! Even if the answer is simple rebellion, what's it to you? You are a grown "woe-is-me-I'm-single" woman with a weird obsession for cake who is dismissing the existence of a young girl because you don't like her outfit. Pathetic. This would not even be an issue if Laurie was properly introduced as someone with a darker, more complicated personality, but instead she's painted as this super lovable, wonderful female protagonist who we are supposed to agree with and laugh along with. Absolutely not happening. Goodbye.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Suze Lavender

    Laurie is very well prepared when she's got the chance to become Pamela Lambert-Leigh's travelling guide for her next cookbook. She is thrilled when Pamela chooses her to plan the trip. Their means of transportation will be a vintage London bus which is amazing. The driver is Pamela's mother and as a surprise Laurie finds out on the day they're meant to leave that she's also brought her daughter Ravenna. Even though Laurie prepared an easy and fun trip filled with dreamlike destinations and lots Laurie is very well prepared when she's got the chance to become Pamela Lambert-Leigh's travelling guide for her next cookbook. She is thrilled when Pamela chooses her to plan the trip. Their means of transportation will be a vintage London bus which is amazing. The driver is Pamela's mother and as a surprise Laurie finds out on the day they're meant to leave that she's also brought her daughter Ravenna. Even though Laurie prepared an easy and fun trip filled with dreamlike destinations and lots of cake, it doesn't turn out quite the way she planned. Pamela is heartbroken and Ravenna behaves like a spoiled brat. Will everything be all right and is love hiding somewhere at one of their travel destinations? When I saw the cover of this book I knew I had to have it. I bought the paperback which is even lovelier as it has bits of shiny pink on the cover. Which girl wouldn't want a book like that? I fell in love with this story straight away. I liked the main characters, even Ravenna, and the pie and cake talk is amazing. I want to go on that trip, vintage bus included. Pamela's snappy mother is definitely the star of the book. I liked the dialogue and learned a lot about cakes and pies while reading this story. It made me gain a bit of weight though, because I had to have something delicious while enjoying this novel. I can't read about cake without eating any. I couldn't get enough of the Travelling Tea Shop and will definitely read it again!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Annamaria

    "The only F-word on this trip should be frosting" 3.5 Because of this book I drank cups of hot tea when outside there were 32-fricking-Celsius-degrees and baked muffins that were little chocolate bricks. To be fair though the blueberry ones were oh so dreamy! ♡ The Traveling Tea Shop was a cute read that included loads of cakes, a double-decker bus, terrible puns and juicy family drama. A perfect read that pulled me out of a looming reading slump! Totally recommended to all of you desserts lover "The only F-word on this trip should be frosting" 3.5 Because of this book I drank cups of hot tea when outside there were 32-fricking-Celsius-degrees and baked muffins that were little chocolate bricks. To be fair though the blueberry ones were oh so dreamy! ♡ The Traveling Tea Shop was a cute read that included loads of cakes, a double-decker bus, terrible puns and juicy family drama. A perfect read that pulled me out of a looming reading slump! Totally recommended to all of you desserts lovers out there and also to those who, like me, understand absolutely nothing about baking but who love to think that one day the Cooking Goddess will kiss them on the forhead giving them the gift of incredible cake-making prowess!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Celeste_pewter

    Ok. Let's be honest. As someone who has lived on and off in London for her entire life, it's pretty much impossible for me to not want to read a book with the words "tea shop" in the title. Throw in the fact that The Traveling Tea Shop is also a book about cake AND four women learning how to empower themselves, I kenw I had to read this book immediately. Beloved British author Belinda Jones introduces us to Laurie, a British ex-pat who has moved to New York City to start over. When given the cha Ok. Let's be honest. As someone who has lived on and off in London for her entire life, it's pretty much impossible for me to not want to read a book with the words "tea shop" in the title. Throw in the fact that The Traveling Tea Shop is also a book about cake AND four women learning how to empower themselves, I kenw I had to read this book immediately. Beloved British author Belinda Jones introduces us to Laurie, a British ex-pat who has moved to New York City to start over. When given the chance to work with her long-time idol (and British baking queen!) Pamela Lambert-Leigh, Laurie absolutely jumps at the chance. What follows is a hilarious, complicated roadtrip across several New England states - in a double-decker bus, no less! - as Laurie, Pamela, Pamela's spry and charming mother, and Pamela's stroppy teenaged daughter, all learn how to adjust to the trip, work on past issues, while enjoying some of the best cake recipes that New England has to offer. Belinda has hit on the perfect balance of friendship, relationships and baked goods in The Traveling Tea Shop. When we first catch up with Laurie, we quickly learn that she's a go-getter with a great attitude, but she's also experienced a lot of hurt in her past. She's the perfect sister soulmate for Pamela, who has also had a lot of pain in her past, only her misfortunes are typically spread across the pages of international tabloids. Thanks to Belinda's cheerful, irresistable writing, she clearly shows just how these two women balance each other - even if Laurie has driven mad by the vagueness of Pamela's planning process sometimes! - and how they need what the other one has to offer, especially when it comes to Laurie's ability to conspire with Pamela's mum Gracie, and her refusal to let Ravenna - Pamela's daughter - dictate terms. As they progress on their trip, Belinda does a great job of showing how something comforting like cakes can help bring out the best in others, including opening kitchens and hearts and minds to virtual strangers. I loved the little details that Belinda added on the cooking process - e.g. the history of the cakes, mouthwatering baking and decorating tips, and the fact that many chefs only share recipes with fellow chefs - and how all of this served to add to the personal journey that all the women were going through. While there were the obvious romantic moments in Traveling Tea Shop, including a dashing driver and his son who both seemed just too perfect, they shouldn't be taken as just standard chick-lit love interests. Instead, both men offer valuable opportunities for both Laurie and Pamela to grow, and make the trip an even more emotional, well-rounded journey in the end. Bottom line: this is a delightful, charming book. And man, I'm hungry now! *** Final verdict: The Traveling Tea Shop was a completely delight to read, from beginning to end. Belinda has clearly sprinkled a lot of love and joy into writing Laurie and Pamela's story, and it clearly shows on every page, as we meander carefully across several states in our favorite double-decker bus. Even though Belinda does approach many issues with a light touch - e.g. Pamela's personal problems - the truth is, that's what I and any reader just need in a book like this. If I understand correctly, Traveling Tea Shop is Belinda's first US book deal, ever. But with such a sweet, heartwarming story, I think I can almost safely say that it certainly won't be her last. I highly recommend this book for fans of warm-hearted contemporary fiction, and for readers who just need a little pick-me-up in their lives.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bookevin

    I have been a massive fan of Belinda Jones’s fabulous books where they are purely escapist reads. Her books are normally set in exotic locations that will definitely pull you in and promise you a book that will leave you breathless and her latest book, The Travelling Tea Shop is another book you simply can’t resist! The book follows the story of four women on an extraordinary adventure. Laurie (if you’ve read Belinda’s previous book, Winter Wonderland, you will recognise her!) is to guide British I have been a massive fan of Belinda Jones’s fabulous books where they are purely escapist reads. Her books are normally set in exotic locations that will definitely pull you in and promise you a book that will leave you breathless and her latest book, The Travelling Tea Shop is another book you simply can’t resist! The book follows the story of four women on an extraordinary adventure. Laurie (if you’ve read Belinda’s previous book, Winter Wonderland, you will recognise her!) is to guide British queen of desserts, Pamela all across the east coast of USA to find the perfect recipes for every state’s speciality desserts. Like the sound of it so far? There’s more. Joining them are Pamela’s spirited mother, Gracie and her rebellious daughter, Ravenna. Four women, one out of this world food adventure. Let me get this out once and for all. I LOVE cake-themed books and The Travelling Tea Shop is definitely one of my favourite books this year. Yes, I LOVED it. You can quote that, people. I really enjoyed reading about all the delectable cakes and desserts as well as the interesting facts about the history of each and every cake. Like, the famous Red Velvet cake was first made in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. Right from the start, I really fell in love with the premise of the book. Really. Desserts. I adore desserts, whether it’s cake, or pies or tarts or cupcakes! I love them all and nothing makes my tummy happier than reading about these fabulous little delights! I warmed up to the characters immediately, especially the heroine, Laurie who is incredibly wonderful in every way and Gracie! I think that lady has got my heart! I admit, I really wanted to stab Ravenna at some points, but Belinda Jones allowed her to redeem herself. Thank God for that! I liked how the plot of the book was well panned out, and there’s a map of the east coast on the first page of book, so you could easily retrace the states they have been to. From New York to Newport, Boston to Maine, you’re in for a delightful treat. There are a few unexpected twists in the book which caught me in surprise, but when a certain hunky, muscly, charming man steps into the picture, we know our girl Laurie deserves another chance at love! The Travelling Tea Shop is a delicious tale of friendship, family, love and CAKE! Filled with gorgeous descriptions of delectable goodies, a heartstopping romance and fabulous characters, you shouldn’t miss this! Sit back with this slice of heaven and savour every morsel of it. You know you deserve something sweet in life! Bon appétit! Rating: 9/10

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Laurie couldn’t wait to set off on the tour with Pamela and her mother, Gracie and daughter, Ravenna. Almost immediately, though, she saw that things between the three women were tense. As the days go on Laurie learned the reasons for the strained relationships. She becomes involved in a secret that she’s not pleased to know and hopes it will be out in the open very soon. The other principals have their own thoughts on how the secret should be revealed. I think my favorite characters of the book Laurie couldn’t wait to set off on the tour with Pamela and her mother, Gracie and daughter, Ravenna. Almost immediately, though, she saw that things between the three women were tense. As the days go on Laurie learned the reasons for the strained relationships. She becomes involved in a secret that she’s not pleased to know and hopes it will be out in the open very soon. The other principals have their own thoughts on how the secret should be revealed. I think my favorite characters of the book were Laurie, Gracie, Charles and Harvey. They seemed so genuine and honorable. You’ll have to read the novel to know about Charles and Harvey. If you’ve ever wanted to go on a road trip in New England, and you like cake, this novel could be a guide. I’ve made note of a few places I’d like to visit. Belinda Jones’ story is about family, friendship, secrets, apologies and forgiveness. And food – dessert, to be precise. I enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction and foodie fiction. *I received a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    This was a sweet and fluffy pastry with the requisite family issues and a dollop of romance mixed in the middle that you know all will be resolved by the satisfying ending. The travel descriptions were so tantalizing that I'm ready to fly to the east coast to visit Newport and New Hampshire, and for the most part the characters were an appealing bunch. Oh, and there were also a couple of handsome guys who knew a lot about books and authors. With that and the fabulous descriptions of pastries, ho This was a sweet and fluffy pastry with the requisite family issues and a dollop of romance mixed in the middle that you know all will be resolved by the satisfying ending. The travel descriptions were so tantalizing that I'm ready to fly to the east coast to visit Newport and New Hampshire, and for the most part the characters were an appealing bunch. Oh, and there were also a couple of handsome guys who knew a lot about books and authors. With that and the fabulous descriptions of pastries, how can a reader go wrong? I read this entire novel while on an oceanside deck or on the beach so I can say with authority it is the perfect book for a waterside vacation. Anyone who likes Elin Hilderbrand, Nancy Thayer, Claire Cook, Mary Alice Monroe, or Wendy Wax will love this. As to the writing, there was a little excessive use of the words "yawp" and "gawp," but maybe that's a British thing (book was originally published in the U.K.).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I was happy to receive a pre-publication copy of this book for an honest review A lovely light read that made me want to put the kettle on and stock up with cupcakes! The descriptions were full and enhanced the reading experience as the differences between the states was described. I am old enough to remember the movie "Summer Holiday" so loved the idea of them travelling on a red bus! The characters were kind of predictable, as was the story line; I must admit not being surprised by the revelat I was happy to receive a pre-publication copy of this book for an honest review A lovely light read that made me want to put the kettle on and stock up with cupcakes! The descriptions were full and enhanced the reading experience as the differences between the states was described. I am old enough to remember the movie "Summer Holiday" so loved the idea of them travelling on a red bus! The characters were kind of predictable, as was the story line; I must admit not being surprised by the revelations, and if she hadn't been injured I would almost have thought Gracie crashed the bus on purpose to manipulate the other characters. I think this would make a really good holiday read and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it without reservation.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Wow... What an amazing discovery, a book dedicated to two of my most favourite things... cake & travel! Perfection. I had never read or even heard of Belinda Jones until a friend lent me the book and I will definitely be checking out more of her books. The Travelling Tea Shop is a trip around New England, a part of America I am very familiar with, but have never visited on a London Double Decker Bus... although now I really want to. A story of a British TV baker, her daughter, mother & Laurie, who Wow... What an amazing discovery, a book dedicated to two of my most favourite things... cake & travel! Perfection. I had never read or even heard of Belinda Jones until a friend lent me the book and I will definitely be checking out more of her books. The Travelling Tea Shop is a trip around New England, a part of America I am very familiar with, but have never visited on a London Double Decker Bus... although now I really want to. A story of a British TV baker, her daughter, mother & Laurie, who finds herself assisting this dysfunctional family on their trip. If you want a light hearted, chick-lit book that will leaving you craving for more (and more cake) then try this one for sure.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mace

    Seduced by the gorgeous front cover, this way of choosing a book to read normally doesn't let me down but I'm sad to say the inside didn't match the outside for me :( I've read a few of Belinda Jones' books before and have always enjoyed them but there was something about this book that just didn't grab me - normally the mention of cakes has me hooked straight away, but i just felt there were too many mini stories that weren't given enough attention amongst the backdrop of the travelling tea shop Seduced by the gorgeous front cover, this way of choosing a book to read normally doesn't let me down but I'm sad to say the inside didn't match the outside for me :( I've read a few of Belinda Jones' books before and have always enjoyed them but there was something about this book that just didn't grab me - normally the mention of cakes has me hooked straight away, but i just felt there were too many mini stories that weren't given enough attention amongst the backdrop of the travelling tea shop bus tour! Found myself caring very little about any of the characters involved so found myself spending most of my time caring more about what cake they'd be trying next!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Belinda Jones is one of my favourite Chick Lit authors, and she’s earned her place by bringing out books I love, time and time again! There aren’t many authors willing to set their books in different destinations every time they bring one out, but Belinda does that and I have visited many wonderful places thanks to her writing – Las Vegas, California (twice), Costa Rica, Crete, Buenos Aires, Seville, Havana and Quebec. It would actually be quite amazing to visit all of the places Belinda has wri Belinda Jones is one of my favourite Chick Lit authors, and she’s earned her place by bringing out books I love, time and time again! There aren’t many authors willing to set their books in different destinations every time they bring one out, but Belinda does that and I have visited many wonderful places thanks to her writing – Las Vegas, California (twice), Costa Rica, Crete, Buenos Aires, Seville, Havana and Quebec. It would actually be quite amazing to visit all of the places Belinda has written about – do a tour of the places mentioned in her books! So I was super excited to read about her new book The Travelling Tea Shop and I was super disappointed when it was delayed – it was originally due out in 2013 but was delayed as Belinda was working on the Sunlounger anthology, but soon the time came for The Travelling Tea Shop’s release and I was VERY, very excited to be accepted to read a copy from Netgalley, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. The Travelling Tea Shop is a wonderful romp through New England, I love books set in American states that aren’t widely featured in books I read and here we tackle some wonderful New England states; Connecticut, Maine, Massachussetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island & Veromont. And the reason for this delightful trip across America? Cakes, of course! You see, Krista’s (from Winter Wonderland) best friend Laurie loves cake and the only thing she loves more than cake is Pamela Lambert-Leigh so when she’s offered the chance to go on a tour around New England, for Pamela’s newest cookbook, she’s desperate for the gig, DESPERATE I tell you. When she gets the gig (you didn’t think she wouldn’t did you?) it’s the trip of a lifetime for Laurie! Until she learns they’ll be travelling around New England in a double-decker London bus and Pamela’s mother Gracie will be driving! Laurie doesn’t let that damped her spirit, until she realises Pamela’s surly daughter Ravenna will also be tagging along, and she’s nothing like the Babycakes Laurie remembers. Will it be a trip to remember or a trip to forget? I really enjoyed The Travelling Tea Shop! It was the perfect quaint little read and I loved exploring America, a country where I’ve only visited one state (Florida – and what a state it is, I could happily live there). I dream of living in Boston one day, so I loved that even a little bit of the novel was set there, although like Laurie and Gracie and everyone else, I sort of lost my heart to Newport. I admit, I struggled to keep all the different places in line, with so many being whipped through at quite a pace, but Newport stayed with me from the very beginning! There are so many wonderful pastries and cakes mentioned, so many references to brilliant bakeries and establishments – like the first Dunkin Donuts, the Von Trapp residence, Harvard University and with so many things flying at you, and so many different destinations I did find my head spinning; I couldn’t seem to separate one from the other as they travelled in the double-decker bus (is there a better way to travel? I think not, especially as it was equipped with its own kitchen!). I perhaps wish the publisher has included a page between each state/place we visited just to keep me right. You will need to pay attention and I will definitely have to purchase a paperback copy and re-read! The Travelling Tea Shop featured some wonderful characters! Laurie was a fantastic heroine, she lead the story so well and I enjoyed her narrative. Her banter with the Lambert-Leigh’s was great, and I loved that they hit it off so quickly (otherwise it would have been so awkward). The Lambert-Leighs were very intriguing! I loved Gracie, the matriarch of the family of that there is no doubt. Her love for life was infectious and I adored hearing the story of how she met her husband, Georgie! It was such a shame she was somewhat curtailed by an incident with a seagull, which meant we didn’t get to see her for the vast majority of the novel. Pamela was a very sympathetic character, though at times, I wanted her to just be a bit more honest, a bit more open and a bit less hesitant, but considering what she was hiding, I could see why she was reluctant to spill the beans. I loved hearing about all the cakes she concocted and I just wished I had a massive pile of cakes to consume whilst reading! Ravenna was definitely the most tricky character. Sullen, difficult, totally unwilling to take part in anything except texting, I didn’t think I was going to like her, but she surprised me – right until the very end. She actually turned out to be lovely, believe it or not. The males were also very lovely – the delectable Harvey, who I imagined was Harvey off Suits (NOTHING wrong with that image!) and the charming Charles! There were such a wonderful cast, rounded off by Krista from Winter Wonderland who made some lovely appearances, it was rather nice to see her again! The Travelling Tea Shop also touches on some difficult topics, it wasn’t all sweetness and light, and I sort of wish Jones had delved more into Laurie’s history with her sister, Jess. There were clearly feelings there, and I would have liked a bit more than what we got. I felt cheated that a meeting was touted, but we didn’t get to see it, as I would have liked to. But I very much enjoyed meeting Laurie and the gang, and travelling around the lesser-known New England (lesser-known to me, if not everybody else). Belinda Jones very rarely disappoints, and she’s once again given me an absorbing, warm read, as well as a read that makes me starving for cake. See, I’m a sucker for chocolate and crisps, but I don’t really eat cake (I don’t know why!) and books like this one make me question myself again and again, and I vow to eat more cake. I really enjoyed The Travelling Tea Shop, so much, and I can’t wait to have this delicious novel sitting on my keeper shelf. I did worry a tad there wasn’t going to be any romance, but there was a nice one that started to bubble away eventually, and it made me swoon especially as I kept imagining the hero as Harvey Specter. Belinda Jones fans will lap this up, it’s delightful.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eldarwen

    The first half of the book was slow going. The travel tidbits were really interesting, but there was just too much of that and I felt like I was reading a travel brochure rather than a novel. The cake intermissions weren't enough to deviate from that feeling, mostly because they read like research and lessons as well. The little character background received in that first part wasn't a lot though it set the scene for what was to come in the second half of the book. Yet it all read very slowly. It The first half of the book was slow going. The travel tidbits were really interesting, but there was just too much of that and I felt like I was reading a travel brochure rather than a novel. The cake intermissions weren't enough to deviate from that feeling, mostly because they read like research and lessons as well. The little character background received in that first part wasn't a lot though it set the scene for what was to come in the second half of the book. Yet it all read very slowly. It wasn't until well after the half-way point that the action really picked up and there was a proper exchange between characters, confrontations and real character development. In addition, for a romance book, only meeting the main character's love interest half-way through.... well... that is just too long a wait, even if the scene needed to be set for everything to take its due course. And suddenly everything was already ending. It felt a little abrupt, which after the slow pace of the book, left me a little unsettled in an odd way. Oh well.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is the first book I have read by this author and now I want to devour the rest! Fun, quirky and a joy to read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zarina

    http://www.pagetostagereviews.com/201... This novel combined two of my favourite pastimes - travelling and eating cake - making it a deliciously addictive read. British expat Laurie lives a pretty charmed life in New York City. She works for the girlie travel-planning website she and her best friend set up, through which gets to visit all sorts of exciting places and get paid to do so! When beloved baker and fellow Brit Pamela Lambert-Leigh comes over to the States to find inspiration for her next http://www.pagetostagereviews.com/201... This novel combined two of my favourite pastimes - travelling and eating cake - making it a deliciously addictive read. British expat Laurie lives a pretty charmed life in New York City. She works for the girlie travel-planning website she and her best friend set up, through which gets to visit all sorts of exciting places and get paid to do so! When beloved baker and fellow Brit Pamela Lambert-Leigh comes over to the States to find inspiration for her next baking bestseller and is on the look-out for someone to make the travel arrangements during her trip, Laurie jumps on the chance. Laurie's extensive research pays off and she's soon signed on to arrange a delectable foodie tour along the East Coast of the USA - from the bright lights of New York City to rural Vermont, and everything in between. What she doesn't realise yet is that she'll be spending the trip not only with her baking idol, but also with Pamela's fierce elderly mother Gracie and obstinate 20-year-old daughter Ravenna. What follows is an often hilarious, sometimes poignant but most of all mouth-watering journey. The road they travel - in a traditional British red double-decker no less - is as diverse as the delectable treats they bake and devour along the way. This is the kind of novel the word 'lovely' was invented for. It was an utterly delightful read and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I instantly took a liking to the character of Laurie, even though I was also more than a little jealous of her fabulous job. She gets paid to travel to new places and eat all sorts of sweet treats? Sign me up please! While she also had to find interesting things to stop by along the way and make sure the trip ran smoothly, that sounds like a small price to pay in exchange for getting the chance to visit new cities and eat copious amounts of cake. Laurie's research is of course actually that of author Belinda Jones, and she's done a truly amazing job. Not only does she take her characters on a brilliant foodie tour of the East Coast, but she describes the places they visit and things they experience in such colourful detail that as a reader you believe you are right there with them, travelling from cake shop to coffee shop in the red double-decker bus. Unfortunately this wasn't actually the case, but she made the stops on the road trip sound so appealing that I now really want to make this journey myself. Even though this was merely fiction, the hugely inviting descriptions of the places visited made the novel resemble a good travel guide at times, one with a dash of romance thrown in and a swirl of scrumptious baked goods. It was the perfect calorie-free sweet treat for my Sunday afternoon and I'm already craving more of Belinda Jones' delicious writing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    drey

    Oh, how much do I love The Traveling Tea Shop? Let's count it out: #1. Road trip! Who doesn't love a road trip? Especially one on a double-decker bus, through towns, cities, and states, based around a theme, replete with historical factoids and trivia? I want to do the Traveling Tea Shop tour on the double-decker bus! Where do I sign up? #2. Tea time! I did say theme, right? And boy does The Traveling Tea Shop have a treat of a theme - tea time. Not the drinking kind of tea, but the eat-yummy-tre Oh, how much do I love The Traveling Tea Shop? Let's count it out: #1. Road trip! Who doesn't love a road trip? Especially one on a double-decker bus, through towns, cities, and states, based around a theme, replete with historical factoids and trivia? I want to do the Traveling Tea Shop tour on the double-decker bus! Where do I sign up? #2. Tea time! I did say theme, right? And boy does The Traveling Tea Shop have a treat of a theme - tea time. Not the drinking kind of tea, but the eat-yummy-treats kind of afternoon break that the Brits brought to my birth country, thus guaranteeing I'd have a sweet tooth and will forever think that dessert should be the first main course of every meal. #3. Sweets! Oh, my downfall. The references to so many different types of yummy deliciousness had me practically salivating throughout the entire book! I'd say Belinda Jones is a master torturer because The Traveling Tea Shop is so descriptively decadent it needs to be a 3D experience - and isn't. (Can you just imagine? A book that comes with a slew of little yummies to nibble on while reading? *drool*) #4. People! What do you get when you mix one travel agent, one famous baker dealing with a difficult divorce, one grumpy teenage daughter, one absolutely fabulously entertaining grandmother, one charming blast-from-a-past, and one très-handsome mechanic-slash-font-of-random-facts? Even with the HUGE secret hanging over most of them, you'll find a very warm and charming cast of characters (except when the teenager is being a brat) you'll want to actually go on this road trip with. Laurie is so upbeat and positive, you'll never know she's had so much pain in her life. Even when fretting about her singleton state or worrying about her clients, she's always up, everything's always doable. I want Laurie to come hang out. We can get some pretty tea sets and eat sweets off little china plates... Add 'em all up, and you get one treat of a story that will leave you planning a trip of your own to see all the sights, stay in all the lovely accommodations, and visit each and every eatery. Now, if only I could get me a tour guide for the facts and tidbits... Anyone want to volunteer? :) drey’s rating: Outstanding! Because I already can't wait to re-read this!This review was originally posted on drey's library

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    The Travelling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones is an amazing read....I loved it! If you love cake, life and love then this is a must read for you. The book introduces us to Laurie who is interviewed by Pamela, who is a famous baker from London. Pamela is writing a new book about cake, and hires Laurie to organise a tour which takes in different states and allows her to exchange traditional local cakes in return for an English recipe. We also get to meet her Mum and daughter, and some other key characte The Travelling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones is an amazing read....I loved it! If you love cake, life and love then this is a must read for you. The book introduces us to Laurie who is interviewed by Pamela, who is a famous baker from London. Pamela is writing a new book about cake, and hires Laurie to organise a tour which takes in different states and allows her to exchange traditional local cakes in return for an English recipe. We also get to meet her Mum and daughter, and some other key characters in Charles and his son along the way. I adored this book. It is a story about life and happiness. I felt light reading it, even when the plot deepened. I loved the characters, particularly Laurie and Pamela's daughter Ravenna. Ravenna is coming out the other side of the teenage years and when we first meet her she is surly, rebellious, insecure, and a nightmare to her Mum and Grandmother. As the book develops so does Ravenna's character and I felt quite protective and motherly towards her. They hire a London red double decker bus to travel round from state to state and I could imagine being part of the gang and travelling around with them. The feeling of a jolly boys outing hit me more than once and the road trip was great fun. The book is cleverly written and I learnt many facts about each state as we travelled around. Not only was the book fun and full of life but I felt like I learnt great facts along the way. I felt a really warm glow throughout the book, some of it down to my love of America and Belinda has renewed thirst to travel there. I would love to follow the same route and wow people with my snippets of knowledge gained from reading this book. I feel like I have a new vitality for life after finishing this book. The message I took from it was that no one is perfect and we can't control what happens in life, but we can make the most of what we have, appreciate those we love and who love us, and enjoy life. Oh and it also left me with a massive craving for all things cake!! I love this book. It made me smile and put a spring it my step. I hope you will love it too. Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton who kindly provided me with a copy of the book via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Really weak chick-lit book. I loved the idea of a traveling tea shop. The quirky US cover (with tea, pies/cupcakes, etc.) all seemed like a neat story. I have never read anything by this particular author, but of course I wanted to try a new book by an author I've never read before.   Honestly, I thought this was terrible. I was shocked to find the author was actually from the UK. Something about the writing was off and made me think that maybe this author had perhaps visited the UK, maybe studied Really weak chick-lit book. I loved the idea of a traveling tea shop. The quirky US cover (with tea, pies/cupcakes, etc.) all seemed like a neat story. I have never read anything by this particular author, but of course I wanted to try a new book by an author I've never read before.   Honestly, I thought this was terrible. I was shocked to find the author was actually from the UK. Something about the writing was off and made me think that maybe this author had perhaps visited the UK, maybe studied abroad there or something, but wasn't actually wasn't. I had a hard time believing Laurie as a character. She's initially judgmental, has issues about commitment (or something) but is leaping to take this opportunity.   Then it went steadily downhill from here. There's her boss, a TV host, the host's surly daughter and the host's mom. Normally I'd be all for a multi-generational story, but this bored me. Of course daughter Ravenna was going to be obnoxious and spoiled. Of course grandma Gracie's a cool old lady, etc.   I needed a much lighter book after reading a book about homegrown terrorists in the US, but this was definitely not something that I found remotely entertaining or engaging. It's a pity because I loved the concept, but this was really poorly executed.   I picked this up on a whim after seeing it was in paperback on the display table at Barnes & Noble. Wish I had done a bit more research before buying it. Recommend library if you're really interested.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    DNF at 43%, and skimmed my way through most of what I did read. Laurie is unbearable and I'm not interested in reading about her any further. The only reason I read as far as I did is because by coincidence, I happened to be in Newport, Rhode Island last weekend and wanted to read that part, at least. And parts of that actually were fun because Jones wrote about several of the places I had been while in Newport. (It really is gorgeous there, if you ever get the chance to go.) But even that fell DNF at 43%, and skimmed my way through most of what I did read. Laurie is unbearable and I'm not interested in reading about her any further. The only reason I read as far as I did is because by coincidence, I happened to be in Newport, Rhode Island last weekend and wanted to read that part, at least. And parts of that actually were fun because Jones wrote about several of the places I had been while in Newport. (It really is gorgeous there, if you ever get the chance to go.) But even that fell flat in a few spots because it seemed like Jones was writing a travel guide instead of a novel -- there are a few lines in here about the marble tub at The Breakers with taps for hot and cold running seawater and the platinum walls that never tarnished that I think are actually lifted verbatim from the recorded tour. Beyond that, the dialogue and structure are a mess, with big info dumps that appear at random and way too many exclamation points. Also not crazy about Laurie's thoughts on addiction, or the way she talks to or judges Ravenna. She's just such an unpleasant character.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Meghan L

    I loved this one. It was fun, and the characters were wonderful and believable, and all the plot elements worked so well. I loved the development of the characters, and the silly love story element. Possibly the best "chick-lit" I've ever enjoyed!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie Parker

    I love books by Belinda Jones, she has a great way of combining a good story with exciting locations, and The Travelling Tea Shop is no exception. I don't like giving away plots, but I will say that I loved the clever combination of cakes from specific US towns, combined with a mammoth road trip along the East Coast of the US on a red London bus! The reason I like Belinda's books so much is that she wholeheartedly drops you into the location she is writing about. She wraps you in the history, cu I love books by Belinda Jones, she has a great way of combining a good story with exciting locations, and The Travelling Tea Shop is no exception. I don't like giving away plots, but I will say that I loved the clever combination of cakes from specific US towns, combined with a mammoth road trip along the East Coast of the US on a red London bus! The reason I like Belinda's books so much is that she wholeheartedly drops you into the location she is writing about. She wraps you in the history, culture and quirks of the place which, coupled with likeable characters that you come to love and root for, leaves you with a great story. (this book also describes a LOT of cake in great detail!) I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Debra Schoenberger

    I love to travel. I love to eat. I love to travel and eat at the same time. The Traveling Tea Shop was just up my alley. It was a fun book but with lots of interesting and historical tidbits thrown in. I found Laurie's character to be believable and could sympathize with the different issues she needed to deal with, both in her professional and personal life. I don't read a lot of chick-lit but found this book to be so much fun! The characters were well developed, the plot had a few twists, a bi I love to travel. I love to eat. I love to travel and eat at the same time. The Traveling Tea Shop was just up my alley. It was a fun book but with lots of interesting and historical tidbits thrown in. I found Laurie's character to be believable and could sympathize with the different issues she needed to deal with, both in her professional and personal life. I don't read a lot of chick-lit but found this book to be so much fun! The characters were well developed, the plot had a few twists, a bit predictable in places but that was ok. This was the first book I've read by Belinda Jones and I'm definitely going to check out her other books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Well... a really cute cover, and a fun concept, but ultimately a disappointment. Not horrible, but not engaging enough. I had high hopes, but the main character was just too self-involved to be a sympathetic character. The humor fell flat also. The story was just too "light," silly, and scattered. I like a bit of fluff reading now and then, but I quickly lost interest in this book. I stalled on it about one-third of the way along, and couldn't make myself care enough to keep going. I really disl Well... a really cute cover, and a fun concept, but ultimately a disappointment. Not horrible, but not engaging enough. I had high hopes, but the main character was just too self-involved to be a sympathetic character. The humor fell flat also. The story was just too "light," silly, and scattered. I like a bit of fluff reading now and then, but I quickly lost interest in this book. I stalled on it about one-third of the way along, and couldn't make myself care enough to keep going. I really dislike giving up on any book... but there are too many other good titles out there. This might appeal to others, just not to me. Two and a half stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Nunney

    I abaolutely loved this! Lots of cakes and romance. I'm so excited to read more of Belinda's books.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Book-shelf Shelf

    A story of finding... Finding tea shops/cakes, finding friends, feelings and family. The story makes you think its all fluffy clouds but when you actually get into it, you find all the flavors. Think i liked this book for the descriptions of US and the places they travel, as well as learning about the different things that originate from where. Not only a story but a good history/knowledge lesson too.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Absolutely entertaining. The pace at which this book is laid out meant I just kept going with it as I was desperate to find out how things played out. Laurie is a really relatable character and makes a great narrator. The extra knowledge I have of cakes and their history is an added bonus that made me positively hungry at times! I hope there is a sequel...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I liked the message it conveyed, but I didn't enjoy the book itself at all. I feel like it was all too "grown-up" for me and couldn't relate to anything that happened.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    Loved every second of The Travelling Tea Shop. Another example of Belinda Jones combining great travel writing with a brilliant story. Was also nice to catch up with Krista from Winter Wonderland.

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