Wednesday 8 April 2020

Guest Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus by Cressida McLaughlin

Baking fanatic, Charlie Quilter, inherits a vintage bus in her late uncle’s will and is keen to give it a new lease of life. Charlie thinks it will be the perfect mobile café for afternoon tea, so she heads to the picturesque Cornish village of Porthgolow, hoping for a new start. However, Daniel Harper, the owner of the posh spa up on the hill isn’t very pleased that her bus is parked outside his lovely hotel. Has Charlie’s Cornish dream developed a soggy bottom? Or can she convince Daniel that her bus could take them somewhere wonderful?

Review: I always look forward to a book from Cressida McLaughlin, sure of finding a heart-warming romance, with a side of humour. This one certainly didn’t disappoint. Originally published as a series of four ebook instalments, it is now available as a complete novel. It is one of those books that I enjoyed reading immensely, so much so that I didn’t want it to end.

The story concerns Charlie Quilter, who has been bequeathed an old Routemaster bus by her dear uncle Hal. Having reached a turning point in her life, Charlie decides to convert her bus into a rather grand mobile cafe and sets off complete with bus and charming little dog to visit a friend, who has moved to the somewhat rundown Cornish seaside village of Porthgolow. However, she hadn’t counted on falling in love with the village and the people there. Her brief visit turns into weeks, as she finds herself trying to bring Porthgolow back to its former glory, organising a weekly gathering of food vans and stalls over the summer. An additional attraction of the village is local hotelier Daniel Harper; her initial dislike of the man seems to melt away the longer she stays. Could there be romance in the air?

I absolutely loved this book. The concept of refitting an old bus to make an almost luxurious tea room where you could find the most delicious cakes and treats at the same time enjoying spectacular views was amazing. The seaside setting was just as inviting. Cressida McLaughlin’s descriptions of the little Cornish village were so vivid that I could perfectly picture the scene. There were plenty of interesting characters in addition to the central pair. I found Charlie herself a bit annoying from time to time; she was incredibly talented when it came to ideas for breathing life back into the village and promoting her business, but so quick to take things the wrong way when it came to poor Daniel. Just as well he was so patient. This would make a marvellous book to take on holiday, but equally suitable to lose yourself in when at home. I was pleased to find that the Cream Tea Bus is going to star in another book in the series.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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