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Long Weekends by Rick Stein

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Barbara McKenzie

This is a treat of a book! I have watched, and greatly enjoyed, the series on BBC.

The very comprehensive introduction gives tempting little snippets of the cities visited. Bordeaux and Bologna are top of my list but Rick makes all the others sound wonderful too!

The book is more about food than travel and has many delicious recipes. I really like how each individual recipe has a paragraph of "chat" from Rick with suggestions and recommendations. He has a lovely relaxed style of writing which reflects exactly how he chats his way through the programmes on television.

Many of the recipes are beautifully illustrated -I could just dive my fork into the meatballs on page 64 - and there are equally delightful photographs of markets and fresh produce.

I love the book and it would make a great gift.

Maureen Clegg

An attractive and clearly presented hardback book adorned with a feast of authentic photographs linked effectively to each of Rick Stein’s new recipes from across Europe. Each recipe provides valuable details of its origins, ingredients and method all on one page so that it can be straightforwardly copied for kitchen use to ensure this handsome coffee table book would remain relatively pristine. The Extras and Cook Tips, at the end of the book, are also beneficial.

I was particularly impressed with the first four sections – Friday Night, Saturday Brunch and Lunch, Breads, Pastries and Afternoon cakes, Saturday night nibbles and Starters since most of these recipes are closer to my life style and would be impressive tasty dishes to share with family and friends.

Judith Dickinson

This book feels as if Rick Stein is chatting to me about his experiences. Beginning with a little of his own experiences in these places he draws you into his adventure. Then are those recipes! So much variety, so many local influences. Whatever your culinary fancies you will find plenty to whet your appetite. Some are everyday recipes in their simplicity, others need more ingredients and more time. There are glorious photographs of the meals along with pictures of local scenes including street markets and fishermen with their catches. The food in its raw state and in its mouth-watering plated glory. The only negative for me was that instead of writing about a weekend in Copenhagen, for example, with recipes for all the meals from that weekend, Rick puts his recipes in the order of the days, so every meal eaten on a Friday night is in one section, while those for Saturday brunch and lunch are in another section. Hence there is no real feel for the menus in each city, no connection between the dishes from each country. Yes you can search through the book but I would much rather have had those long weekends as individual delights.

Campbell Murray

Excellent book with fabulous illustrations and recipes. My favourite sections were the travel advice and Saturday night Nibbles sections. Book has many excellent recipes. Must admit I’m not a cook myself but even I’m tempted to try all of these wonderful recipes. Well done Rick and thanks for the book.

Eileen Irwin

It is difficult to choose which superlatives to use to describe this beautiful wonderful book. The text, I hear Rick's voice on every page opening up a wonderful insight to the European and Scandinavian countries. I love the recipes and although there are some I will never make there are plenty that I will attempt but more than that there are so many that I will have confidence to order when I visit the various countries. My appetite has been whetted I must travel I must exercise my new found knowledge of the various countries and their cuisine. Thank you Viking Cruises thank you Rick.

Kirsteen Maclean

What a surprise to receive this book, thank you. It is wonderful. I can just hear Rick Stein as I read the main introduction and that to each section, the way he has grouped the recipes is. It is a lovely accompaniment to the TV series full of lovely photographs.

The recipes are detailed and easy to follow, a few have ingredients that may take a bit more of an effort to source but not many.

I can’t wait to try the Baked Pasta with a Beef, Pork and Tomato Ragu - just perfect for cold winter days - even though it is from Sicily; the Flamenco Eggs with Tomato and Serrano Ham and the German Apple Cake.

The pictures that accompany some of the recipes just make your mouth water in anticipation of the taste.

A perfect book to read and to use to sample new dishes from around Europe, some to remind me of trips there and others to make me think of visiting.

Susan Du Casse

A beautiful book, full of anecdotes and recipes. I love the descriptions of the places mentioned in the book and the fact that they are all within easy reach of the UK. This will make a wonderful Christmas gift even for those people not particularly interested in cooking.

Anthony Harris

This book has some interesting and appetizing recipes accompanied by lovely photographs of the ingredients needed and of the finished dish.

Some of the recipes are quite simple and easy to make which I found well within my limited cooking experience.

I would like to recommend this book to fellow amateur cooks as well as experienced chefs.

Derek Mepham

Rick Stein’s Long weekend’s book, ideally combines a feel for the place and for the style of food that matches the area and city. I liked the little introduction to each weekend and photos that accompanied some of the recipes. I felt more photographs of each recipe would have been better included, rather than photograph’s of tomatoes, lemons, shallots etc. that were in the book.

As the book was titled Long Weekends, the book would have been more in tune with the title if more photographs were shown of the area/city, to accompany the description. There was a real lack of vegetarian options in each city/area. Maybe this is because of Rick Stein’s fish back ground but nowadays vegetarian food is popular no matter where in the world you visit and maybe more effort to track down these places would have given the book a better overall balanced approach.

This book though is a nice book to have in your kitchen but it’s also a book that you can curl up on the sofa with and imagine you are travelling around Europe sampling excellent dishes.

Christine Cox

I love this book. It’s a "3 in 1". A coffee table book with anecdotes, an informative book about ten of Europe's finest cities and a collection of mouth-watering recipes.

There are also sections on "extra's" and "cook's tips". The travel information section explains that all the cities can be of interest throughout the year and gives comparisons of food styles from the comforting food of Berlin to the fish dishes of Reykjavik. The classic city of Vienna comes across as a must!

Whether you want to cook or travel this book inspires you to do both. 5 stars from me!

Diane Luxton

Thank you Viking, for sending me the Rick Stein Long weekend’s book. This is a perfect book to linger over on an autumn evening, perusing exciting recipes and planning who to invite to share them with.

The book itself is beautiful, full of colourful photos of both places and food. The recipes are simple to follow and delicious. I would thoroughly recommend the book, particularly travellers such as ourselves who love exploring the world with Viking cruises.

Jinty Pyke

This cookery book is a journal of Rick's weekend visits to cities in Europe where he has thrown himself wholeheartedly into the food of the country and with twists of his own produced 100 new recipes. The book is a weighty one with 312 pages. The photography is glorious without being pretentious and gives a feeling of place be it a cart carrying onions or a tray of nuts on a market stall. Finished dishes are illustrated. These pictures make you want to go and find that food market or shop and then get cooking straight away!

The recipes are straightforwardly written and prefaced by comments from Rick about how he sampled the dish or has amended it in some way. The introduction by Rick is also well written and captures the fun of travelling to a new place for a short weekend break and wanting to get as much from the experience as possible. This may be a book that sits on your shelf and you delve into it without actually doing any cooking but I think you will find it hard to resist the temptation to have a go at some of the recipes.

We have gathered all the fantastic reviews our Book Club Members have sent us this month.

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