SYNOPSIS: 4 fabulous women (from 4 different generations) travel around New England in a vintage double-decker bus on a mission to trade recipes for British tea-time classics such as Victoria Sponge and Battenburg, for American treats like Red Velvet Cake and Whoopie Pie. Each woman has a transformative romance en route, but will making whoopie lead to love? Find out when THE TRAVELLING TEA SHOP comes to your town!
MEET THE HEROINE: Laurie is co-founder of the Va-Va-Vacation.com travel website, specializing in travel logistics. It is these skills that land her the dream job of conjuring a cake-themed itinerary for legendary British baker Pamela Lambert-Leigh. She just wasn’t expecting her to bring her Maggie-Smith-esque mother or stroppy daughter Ravenna. As Laurie gets embroiled in their family drama, she is forced to confront a heart-wrenching issue of her own.
*If you have read WINTER WONDERLAND you will already know Laurie as Krista Carter’s best friend!
THEMES: Cake, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Forgiveness
LOCATIONS: Manhattan, New York + Mystic, Connecticut + Newport, Rhode Island + Cape Cod, Plymouth Rock & Boston, Massachusetts + New Hampshire + Maine + Vermont
OPENING LINES: I look up at my clock. 1.30 p.m. My stomach flips like a pancake. Or should I say PamCake? In just ninety minutes I am meeting England’s most beloved baker, Pamela Lambert-Leigh. Can you believe it’s nearly twenty years since Babycakes made her a household name? Those mini fairy cakes were so whisper-light that I used to think of them as dandelion clocks – one puff and you’d send a flurry of vanilla sponge crumbs out into the ether. Her daughter’s cherubic face gave the packaging such an innocent, Shirley Temple vibe. Forget those sticky-sickly treats that made you groan and go cross-eyed, a Babycake was just a little kiss on your button nose, a butterfly in your tummy… You could eat six and barely even feel sick.
BELINDA SAYS: I put on 10lbs doing research for this book! One of the most fun aspects was interviewing real-life pastry chefs like Charlie at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC (where Red Velvet Cake was created) and Robert at the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont for Maria’s Linzertorte (yes that Maria from The Sound of Music!) But my favourite location was Newport, Rhode Island and the magnificent mansions of Bellevue Avenue. It’s like Downton Abbey meets The Great Gatsby there! Heaven!