I just returned from a family vacation at the beach. It was an especially relaxing week because I felt like I enjoyed two wonderful vacations in one. Why? Because I brought along one of my favorite books, “A Fine Romance” by Susan Branch. It is a travel log of her and her husband’s 25th Anniversary dream-come-true vacation “across the pond” on the luxurious Queen Mary 2 followed by 2 months - yes, I said 2 MONTHS - touring the gardens and historic homes of England.
Even while I was sitting on a beach along the beautiful emerald waters of the Florida coast, one of my favorite places to be, I was also touring luxurious gardens, visiting tearooms, sampling foods, and enjoying a tour of Beatrix Potter’s home and farm, along with many others.
My wonderful husband gave this (AUTOGRAPHED!) book to me as a birthday gift a few years ago, in which I promptly responded by disappearing as often as I could behind closed doors, leaving him to watch the children, so I could “go to England” in the pages of this charming book. The author and gifted watercolor artist, Susan Branch, writes in such a way as to make you feel like you are joining her on every joyful adventure. Every page looks like a handwritten letter from a friend and includes photos of their trip along with little watercolor paintings by Susan. When she toured Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm, the rules were no inside photography. Susan grabbed her “emergency papers for sketching”, as she called them, and sketched. She later painted what she saw so we could “see” it too. The whole book is simply lovely, and after reading it, I feel as though I went on a dream vacation, too, and met a new friend and kindred spirit in Susan!
If you love England or have the dream of traveling there one day, I highly recommend adding this book to your collection. There is even information in the back of the book to help you plan your own trip! Did I mention that every once in a while, you’’ll turn the page and be surprised by a recipe for a delicious English treat, such as “Sticky Toffee Pudding” or “Lemon Butter Cookies"?
Here is an affiliate link to “A Fine Romance” for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking the link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!
Can you tell how much I enjoyed this book (and I truly believe you will too)? In fact, I may have to brew a fresh pot of tea and read through it again so I can try the recipes now that I am back home! Happy Reading!