SHORT & SWEET REVIEW: THE SEAFRONT TEA ROOMS BY VANESSA GREENE

Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet). 

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I have a fondness for pretty tea cups, so with a cover like this, I was bound to be interested. The recipes at the end were an additional bonus. Here’s the blurb:

The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they’ve been searching for. Charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain’s best tea rooms. She knows she’s found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the ‘Seafront’, convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind . . . Full of romance, tea and cake, The Seafront Tea Rooms is a heart-warming tale about the strength found in true friendship.

The Seafront Tea Rooms is a warm and engaging novel that explores three women’s friendships and relationships. The Seafront Tea Rooms, run by likeable Letty-with-a-secret, provides a common setting for their friendship to begin and for self-growth to flourish … it sounds like a lovely place and had me wishing I could stop in for a quick cuppa. Romance is also on the agenda, though this is a side aspect to the theme that women draw strength from one another. Characterisation is solid and the story develops well. If anything it felt a bit rushed at the end. Although the women are dealing with issues such as motherhood, career and extended family life, such elements are tackled lightly, making the book overall a sweet, charming and escapist read. Just right for settling down with a cup of tea (in a pretty cup, of course) at home, or in a tea room similar to the ones in the novel. Enjoyable.

Available from good bookstores and Hachette Australia (RRP $29.99). My copy was courtesy of Hachette.

Bookish treat: I tucked up on my reading chair and sipped hot tea while I drank this. Hedgehog slice may also have been consumed.