Saturday, 5 April 2014


... Once upon a time, a young(-ish) maiden decided she was fed up with cooking the same old beans on toast and pasta bakes every night; she longed for some magic in her cooking. So she left her cosy cottage (flat in West London), pen and paper in hand and set off to find inspiration in the land of fairytales. For months and months she toiled visiting our best-loved characters; some were wonderfully sweet and generous, others were a bit grumpy and a little scary, but they all gave her ideas, tips and the confidence to create her very own delicious recipes.

When I decided to 'widen' The Novel Cafe to include non fiction reviews too I was so excited when this was the first book to arrive through my door. Fairytales and cooking - what more could a girl want! Lucie has written a magical book full of over 60 enchanting recipes based on all the fairy tale classics. At first glance you may assume this is a children's cookbook - but it's definitely for the 'older kid' in us all.

Lucie starts with 6 ' Rules of Fairytale cooking' one of which is to 'Ensure that your cauldron is sparkling clean'. She then continues with individual chapters of recipes, each based on a loveable classic. Seven Dwarf Salad, Princess and the Pea Soup and the Mad Hatter's Teacakes...can you guess which fairytale they relate to? The way Lucie has written out each recipe is beautifully charming and it is clear that each story and its characters were a true inspiration. 

One of the chapters 'Not a Teddy Bear's Picnic' based on Goldilocks and the Three Bears included the recipe below. It makes my mouth water just reading it. It will certainly be the first recipe I attempt and definitely not the last.

This sparkly, magical, enchanting cookbook gets a 10/10 at The Novel Cafe. A Novel Cafe twinkling cupcake!

Lucie was kind enough to speak to me about her book and answer a few questions....

Thank you so much for sending me a copy of your book and answering some questions for my blog it really is much appreciated :-) I'm a huge girly girl and love fairy tales & baking so amazing book if you ask me!

1. Tell us a little about yourself....

I live in West London with my husband, but I grew up in Cheshire surrounded by dairy farms, so I am very much a country mouse at heart! I love food and cooking obviously, but reading, shopping, dogs, nice walks and sitting cosy on the sofa watching Strictly or a Marvel film are my other favourite things to do. A dream would be to have a garden so that I can grow my own veg and keep a hen or two.

2. Have you always been a keen cook?

I have always loved cooking and I enjoy trying out new recipes. My great grandmother taught my mum to cook and then my mum taught me. I remember helping her make Fairy Cakes, Flapjacks and Shepherds Pie - all the necessary food groups! 

3. What's been your worst kitchen disaster?

I had a full on Kedgeree disaster. It was horrible. I made the school-girl error of using old spices and the dish tasted so bland that no amount of salt or parsley could save it.

4. What inspired you to write a cookery book based on fairy tales?

I have always loved reading and I collect some of the Folio Society hardback editions of various fairy tales. I had been reading Grimm's Fairy Tales and I suddenly had the random idea that fairy tales might be a great theme for a cookery book. It was fortunate that a publisher agreed!

5. How did you come up with the recipes and link them to each fairy tale?

Coming up with the recipes and the names was quite a challenge and easier for some fairy tales than others. For instance, I knew an oats recipe had to feature in the Three Bears chapter and a recipe involving beans for the Jack and the Beanstalk chapter. Most of the recipe names in the book are a play on words or they pick out certain ingredients to make a link between the food and the stories. It's all just a bit silly really.

6. Beauty and the Beast is my favourite story, I saw it at the theatre the day my husband proposed and walked down to the isle to 'Tale as old as time.' What's your favourite fairy tale and why?

Ooh, I like a scary story, so I think my favourite fairy tale has to be Little Red Riding Hood. It is one of those tales that everyone knows and there is something so gloriously spooky about the Big Bad Wolf in Grandma's clothing! I also adore Yelena Bryksenkova's illustration of Red Riding Hood and the Wolf in my book, it's just beautiful.

7. What's your favourite recipe in the book?

It's hard to pick a favourite recipe but my Pebble Beach Bars are super easy and always go down well when I take a tin of them into work. Daddy Bear's Big Breakfast Banana Bread is my go to recipe to use up ripe bananas, I make Dragon Fire Chilli most weeks and Alice's Amaretto Cakes are just the ticket when I need a sweet, sophisticated treat!

8. Do you have plans to make book number 2?

No book 2 just yet, although I am toying with a few ideas ...  

I for one cannot wait to hear more from Lucie. xx 


  1. I absolutely LOVE this idea -- and I'll bet my characters would too:) Perfect fit! (And those Amaretto Cakes sound fabulous...) Best of luck!!

  2. Amazing book with Yummy recipes! :-)