Little Beach Street Bakery

little beach street bakeryPublished: 2014
Author: Jenny Colgan

A warm and fun read from a master of the genre


I know I use the 5 star (or ribbon) rating system on this blog but very often I feel it’s too much of a blunt instrument. It doesn’t allow for personal nuances or differentiate between genres. I read Anna Karenina – an undisputed classic – recently yet my score would only have been three and a half. I appreciated the immense quality of the writing, the dramatic scope, Tolstoy’s desire to speak about the Russia of his day. It was all very impressive and in 1873 I’m sure my rating would have been five but for me it was too long and had too many irrelevant digressions. By the third week of reading it I was desperate for it to end so that I could move on to something on my massive pile of books for review.

That’s the point about my ratings system – it’s not necessarily about technical greatness or classic status of a book or film. It’s solely about how much I enjoyed my viewing or reading experience. So not every book with a perfect rating could be described as a classic – just a bloody good read.

Which brings me on to Jenny Colgan’s Little Beach Street Bakery. If you’ve read my review of Welcome to the Cupcake Café you’ll know that I’m something of a fan of Colgan. In fact, I think she might be my more successful alter ego. Her books are warm, romantic, fun and a comforting read and Little Beach Street Bakery, released on 13 March 2014, is her latest novel.

Polly Waterford is not having a good time. She and her fiancé have been made bankrupt, their business has failed, their flat is for sale and their relationship is all but over. Polly is forced to move to an almost derelict flat above an empty shop in a remote village where she knows no-one. Only her talent for breadmaking brings her solace and slowly it helps her to make new friends including a rugged fisherman, a handsome American beekeeper and the most adorable puffin to ever grace the pages of a romance novel (possibly the only puffin to ever grace the pages of a romance novel).

I loved this book, I spent a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon on the sofa reading Little Beach Street Bakery. I laughed so much and so loudly that I was shushed and told I was disturbing the peace and quiet. I didn’t care, I was having too much fun. I adored the characters – Polly was feisty and easy to care about. Even the “bad guys” in the story aren’t actually that bad – there’s no need to hate any of these characters, that’s not Colgan’s style. Everything is designed for pure enjoyment and happy thoughts, not aggression towards characters – not even spoiled rich girls and boisterous Americans.

The inclusion of so much detailed bread making and description was a delight, although three days into yet another diet there was a streak of cruelty there too. With the Cupcake Café, Sweetshop of Dreams and Bakery Colgan really offers foodie as well as romantic heaven in her books.

If you like romantic novels with wonderful settings, likeable characters and evocative descriptions of food this is the perfect book for you. Jenny Colgan is an author at the very top of her game and an undoubted master of her genre.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


  1. This looks like a lot of fun so I’ll have to check it out.

  2. Oh, and I know what you mean about rating some books. I felt the same way when I read War & Peace a few years ago!

Speak Your Mind