It's the kind of beautiful, recipe-packed book you'd buy to give to your mother-in-law and end up keeping for yourself.
[Toast & Marmalade] is a glossy scrapbook of family recipes and childhood memories of camping trips or picnics that shimmer in the late afternoon sun.
Toast & Marmalade is a heartwarming, sumptuously presented memoir-cum-commemoration of the Emma Bridgewater brand.
The word 'Toast' triggers a bat's squeak of association in the brain, conjuring that endearing autobiography by Nigel Slater, 'artistic' clothing in the eponymous mailing catalogue and a home-made loaf. Its appearance in the book's title is as masterly as what follows, an account of the Arts and Crafts-style life that created the Bridgewater Pottery empire, satisfying to read and thickly spread with luscious photography... it is hard not to fall for this narrator, who comes across as all of a piece: sagacious, plain-speaking and energetic, labouring at her pottery, her family life and the writing process, to bring them all into something not far off perfection.
In these 'stories', Emma shares her passions and with them comes a satisfying feeling of wellbeing.
Emma Bridgewater, queen of kitchenware, proves herself queen of the memoir too. As attractive, comforting and encouraging as her products, this book is similarly innocent of tweeness or cloying cosiness. The crunch of good toast and the bitter sweetness of good marmalade in fact.
Emma Bridgewater's captivating recipe for a happy family life: food, passion, work, love.
What a great read - a true British inspiration story - I loved it!