Category Archives: AA Publishing

From Bean to Bar: A Chocolate Lovers Guide to Britain – Andrew Baker

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From Bean to Bar: A Chocolate Lovers Guide to Britain – Andrew Baker

Summary:

Chocolate… dark, white or milk; smooth, plain and creamy or bursting with flavours and textures, it’s guaranteed to get the pulses racing. And with chocolate-making now one of the most exciting areas of Britain’s artisan food scene, this book takes you on a tantalising tasting tour of the country’s sweet spots that helps you explore chunks of Britain while enjoying the country’s best and most authentic chocolate. Whether they’re based in the Highlands of Scotland or the mountains of Wales; a shed in Cleethorpes or in the shadow of Winchester Cathedral, we seek out the rising stars of the chocolate industry, try their mouthwatering products and explore towns and cities where the bean-to-bar magic takes place. Among the people and places included are Duffy Sheardown, a former Formula One racing engineer who makes bars of chocolate in a shed in Cleethorpes that are prized by chocolate connoisseurs all over the world; Willie Harcourt-Cooze, a glamorous globetrotter who grows cocoa in Venezuala and makes chocolate in Uff culme, Devon (sold in Waitrose); and the passionate young women of Dormouse, who from tiny premises in Manchester are winning international accolades.

AUTHOR

I love chocolate of that I can happily admit to. I have to have my daily fix and suddenly everything I the world is fine. I love chocolate so much that some years ago while in the Caribbean I visited a cocoa plantation and toured the factory as the pods were then turned into almost anything including bathing in chocolate. Yes, I did. It really hits our sensual points.

Cocoa pod on a dark wooden table.

I was delighted to have received a copy of From Bean to Bar: A Chocolate Lover’s Guide to Britain (AA Publishing) by Andrew Baker. Published on 22nd August. This really is a chocolate lover’s tour of Britain, looking at the various chocolate-making places across the country.

Many of us have visited Cadbury World in Birmingham but I for one was not that impressed just a large consumer driven operation designed to get people to spend money on products that actually are not chocolate, well chocolate as we know it anyway. What Andrew does best is that he takes us on a tour far and wide that will tickle your taste buds. It is a chocoholics dream book. This is a travelogue packed full of aromas that if you could scratch and sniff the pages I doubt you would leave your home. It is intoxicating. I love cooking and experimenting with food and From Bean to Bar has really wetted my appetite to experiment more with chocolate. Just a stone’s throw away from where I live is one of the chocolate makers in the book that is Willie Harcourt-Cooze factory near Wellington in Somerset. Willie was the star of a TV Series as it followed him and his family as he tried to get his chocolate factory set up and accepted. It is so good to see him doing so well.

There is plenty of history in the books as well as Andrew takes a step back to look at chocolate in Britain in the days gone by and there is plenty of history there. Andrew Baker is a journalist and also an international chocolate judge so he is well placed to take us from the Scottish Highlands to Cornwall on a chocolate adventure like no other and we see the process from Bean to Bar talking to the artisan chocolate makers that are now creating a real name for themselves and finding out their secrets (though not all I am guessing).

If like me, you love that dark sensual taste that is real chocolate then From Bean to Bar by Andrew Baker is a book that really will make you salivate. Best read with your favourite bar of good chocolate.

272 Pages.

Thank you to Vanessa Boagye (Midas PR) for the review copy of From Bean to Bar by Andrew Baker

From Bean to Bar by Andrew Baker was published by AA Publishing and will be published on 22nd August 2019 and is available to pre-order through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

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A Hitch In Time – Andy Smart

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A Hitch In Time – Andy Smart

Summary:

From Liverpool to Pamplona on a rollicking 72,000-mile road trip; Andy Smart’s early adventures are a series of jaw-dropping feats and bizarre situations from which, amazingly, he emerged unscathed. Living on his wits, sleeping rough and accepting lifts that get him into bizarre and often dangerous situations, Andy’s six years spent on the road stand as a unique record of life as it was in the late 1970s and early 80s. In this hilarious memoir, they are juxtaposed with a host of earlier memories, resulting in a unique collection of dazzling funny stories that have been told and retold in countless bars and comedy clubs but never before written down.

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My Review:

Andy Smart is a comedy legend a big star from the 1980’s The Comedy Store and has appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 40 times if you include the forthcoming 2019 festival. Andy is also best known for his guest appearances on TalkSport Radio where he gives his will commentate and also give his own insight to football.

Now Andy has just released an autobiographical chronicle of his early life from his days growing up in Liverpool to the hair raising six years travelling all over Europe in a 72,000-mile road trip in A Hitch In Time (AA Publishing).

There is great humour as you would expect from Andy as he recounts his early days from a young boy and recounting his extraordinary road trip. I have something in common with Andy as I also come from Liverpool and a big Liverpool supporter. What Andy does not know is that I was at the Liverpool v Spurs game in 1978 when we beat Spurs 7-0. It was a close game. Also we left Liverpool at the same time.

What you will get is an incredible road trip through the book interspersed with hilarious comic moments as Andy left his home town to seek fame and fortune as a comedian and his hitch-hiking across the UK and Europe. Then of course it was Andy who wanted to go to the World Cup in Spain in 1982. England’s first game was against Michel Platini’s France in Bilbao. Not all of Andy’s hitch-hiking went ok, some put him in some dangerous situations. Just think about that for a moment, 72,000 miles all over Europe hitch-hiking. Be prepared for a hilarious road trip that begins its journey in Liverpool. I laughed at many of Andy’s antics and winced at others. Andy Smart you are a legend.

320 Pages.

To buy a copy via Amazon: Here

Thank you to Vanessa Aboagye (Midas PR) for the review copy of A Hitch In Time by Andy Smart

A Hitch In Time by Andy Smart was published by AA Publishing and was published on 25th July 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

 

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