Paperback Published 9 October 2014 by Sphere
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 . . .
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The Seafront Tea Rooms is Vanessa Greene’s second full length novel and once again as with the previous books, I was drawn to the pretty teacup featured cover.
I liked the first novel, The Vintage Teacup Club and was keen to read this latest one. Just like the previous book, it features characters that first meet as strangers but whose live are enriched by their friendship and support for each other.
This story is set in Scarborough where Kat is now adjusting to life as a single mother to Leo. She has split from Leo’s father, Jake, following a difficult relationship; however on her own, and with Jake unable to contribute, finances are tight and her attempts at finding a suitable job are not going well. The Seafront Tea Room is her place of refuge and her only treat to herself.
Charlie, a magazine journalist, has had her heart broken and is having to deal with a difficult boss. She needs to prove herself to further her career so comes up with the idea of a feature on the best tea rooms however an unexpected family crisis means that she needs some help with the research if she is to keep her job.
Séraphine lives with her family in France. She wants to experience more of life and also to get away from a difficult situation at home. When a family acquaintance gives her the name of a friend in Scarborough looking for an au pair, it seems as she has been the perfect opportunity to find a solution to her problems.
The common link in all three women’s stories is Letty. Letty is the owner of The Seafront Tea Room and both her, and her delicious cakes, are much loved by her regular visitors who are keen to keep the Seafront a local secret. She has created a very special tea room and a sanctuary from the stresses of daily life and when the three women strike up a friendship at the Tea Room, their lives become intertwined. There is a back story to Letty which the reader gradually discovers. She is quite secretive about her past and although very kind and caring, she doesn’t give much away.
With likeable and engaging characters, the lives – and loves, of these three women are woven together in a charming and warm hearted story. Initially brought together by their love of tea and cake, they are all seeking to change their lives for the better and when they each have their own family troubles to deal with, it’s to each other they turn.
The short chapters make this a very ‘moreish’ read and I had many of those ‘just one more chapter…..’ moments before putting the light out. There were one or two surprises but even if I did predict how much of the story would end it didn’t matter at all. I enjoyed my time spent at The Seafront Tea Rooms – this is a perfect book to curl up with on a cold day with several cups of tea and plenty of cake. For the keen bakers, there are some cake recipes contained at the back of the book which sound irresistible.
My thanks to Stephie at Little, Brown for the paperback copy to review.
About the author:
Vanessa Greene grew up in north London, and has a passion for car boot sales, chocolate muffins and travelling. She’s an aspiring dog-owner, so when she’s not writing, she might well be following golden retrievers round her local park trying to make friends with them.
Vanessa’s first novel, The Vintage Teacup Club, published to rave reader reviews and won an instant place in their hearts. She lives in Crouch End with her fiancé and is currently working on her next novel.