Seductive and piquant like its author, this guide to good food is “an appetizer for enthusiastic beginners” rather than a basic cookbook. When it was written, people in Britain still lived on rations and couldn’t travel to taste exotic cooking.
Blanch’s gastronomic world tour starts with the words, “It is said that a nation is made by what it eats: undoubtedly diet affects character.” Most of the eighty or so recipes are prefaced by an account of where they were first tasted, or with some amusing anecdote.
RACHEL COOKE, OBSERVER: “Brilliant fun”
JOCASTA INNES: “Lesley Blanch, whose dashingly personal blend of romantic evocation, sharp observation and sheer gusto has echoes of Colette one minute, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu the next . . . What I have always admired about Lesley Blanch is the deft way she reconciles femme de tête and femme d’intérieure, independent mind and adventurous person, with a notable talent for making homes beguilingly pretty and social gatherings festive and fun. Read her and see”
LISTENER: “For frivolous reading, a book by a unique woman who describes her hobby as frivolous eating”
Cookery & Travel. John Murray, 1955, with line drawings by the author.
UK edition : Grub Street, 2011 HB 200 pages £9.17 ISBN 1908117184
US edition: Simon & Schuster, 2010 PB 368 pages $15 ISBN 1439197342
Chinese edition, Marco Polo Press, Cité Publishing 2020