Sunday, 12 June 2016

Blog Tour - The Last Days of Summer by Sophie Pembroke

I'm excited to welcome Sophie Pembroke to the blog today and to take part in the blog tour for her brand new novel The Last Days of Summer!

The bit on the back...

Saskia has always loved Rosewood. It was her family home, her sanctuary and her memories of it are vividly alive even after two years of being absent. Never did she think she would be standing in the rose garden afraid to cross the threshold and own up to the past she had run away from.
So much about Rosewood hasn’t changed, everyone still dresses for dinner, sips cocktails on the terrace, her father cooks every delicious meal and her beloved grandfather still tells spellbinding stories. But the cold reception from her grandmother, Ellie’s complete avoidance of her and the judgmental gaze of Edward, her grandfather’s new assistant (who seems to know more than enough about her past), are all new to Kia.
All Kia needs to do is attend her grandparent’s Golden Wedding Party and make it to the train station without her secret coming out. What could possible go wrong in just one weekend?

Read on for a sneak peek inside The Rosewood Kitchen in Sophie's guest post!

The Rosewood Kitchen

Food is very important in The Last Days of Summer, and many important conversations and moments take place at the Rosewood dinner table. From Saskia’s dad, Tony, cooking everyone’s favourite meals to try and ease the tension in the house, to Ellie stress baking, to the catering tents at the Golden Wedding, food is everywhere in the book.

So I thought I’d share a sneak peek inside the kitchen at Rosewood, and share a couple of the family’s favourite recipes (and one bonus drink!).

Tony’s Chicken Provencal (with or without olives)
Serves 4

  • 1.      Heat a tbsp. of olive oil in a large, flat pan, and brown off 1.5kg of chicken pieces in batches. Transfer to a plate.
  • 2.      Add a little more oil to the pan, then gently fry two diced onions until golden brown. Add two finely chopped cloves of garlic and fry for another minute or two.
  • 3.      Add 250ml of white wine and simmer until reduced by half.
  • 4.      Pour in a carton of passata, add two roasted red peppers (cut into strips), 250ml of chicken stock and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and bring to a strong simmer.
  • 5.      Add the chicken pieces (and a handful of halved, pitted black olives, if you like) then reduce the heat. Cover, and simmer gently for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is thick and luscious.
  • 6.      Serve with thick pasta ribbons, or potatoes, or bread, or salad… or anything else you fancy!

Ellie’s Coffee and Walnut Cake

  • 1.      Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  • 2.      In a bowl, beat together 225g butter and 225g caster sugar together until pale and creamy
  • 3.      Add 4 eggs, beating well to mix between each egg.
  • 4.      Add 50ml of strong espresso and stir well.
  • 5.      Add 225g self-raising flour and 75g of chopped walnuts, folding in well.
  • 6.      Spoon the cake mixture into two lined and greased 20cm/8in cake tins, weighing to ensure they are even.
  • 7.      Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is golden-brown.
  • 8.      Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack.
  • 9.      While they’re cooling, make the buttercream icing by creaming together another 125g softened butter and 200g icing sugar together, until the mix is very, very light and fluffy
  • 10.  Add another 50ml of strong espresso and mix.
  • 11.  Sandwich the cakes together with half the buttercream, then top the cake with the rest. Decorate with 12 walnut halves, and serve with afternoon tea!

Nathaniel’s Perfect Gin and Tonic

  • 1.      Half fill a glass with ice
  • 2.      Add a measure of gin
  • 3.      Add a little more gin for good measure
  • 4.      Add tonic water (approx. twice as much tonic as gin)
  • 5.      Add a little more gin if it’s now too weak
  • 6.      Garnish with a slice of lime
  • 7.      Drink in the sun, on the terrace, with the family

The Last Days of Summer is out now from Carina UK.
Keep up with all the latest from Rosewood at

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