But whether the sun’s beating down or the rain lashing the windows, reading can be thirsty ‘work’. Be it a refreshing sip of something cold, or a warm, spicy kick to bring you round, a good book demands a good drink close at hand.
Working with our friends at Penguin – who’ve picked out some of their favourite new releases this summer – our resident drinks aficionado, Christina Knight, selects a drink to go with each title, inspired by the themes of each book.
Our summer book and drink pairings
The Paper Palace
by Miranda Cowley Heller
On a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the pond below 'The Paper Palace' – her family's holiday home in Cape Cod. As she dives beneath the water she relives the passionate encounter she had the night before, against the side of the house that knows all her darkest secrets, while her husband and mother chatted to their guests inside… So begins a story that unfolds over 24 hours and 50 years, as Elle's shocking betrayal leads her to a life-changing decision.
Drink to read The Paper Palace with: Highpoint Ruby Aperitif
Christina’s notes: “A Cornish fermented, non-alcoholic aperitif with wild herbs and bittersweet citrus…a long refreshing drink with an unexpected twist…”
Recommended reading spot: The Living Space
The Island of Missing Trees
by Elif Shafak
It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. It’s the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chilli peppers and wild herbs. A rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature, and, finally, renewal.
Buy the book
Drink to read The Island of Missing Trees with: Spicy Tommy’s Martini
Christina’s notes: “Garnished with a sprig of rosemary and a chilli slice, the Spicy Tommy’s Martini made me imagine the vibrant heat, beats and atmosphere in that Cypriot taverna.”
Recommended reading spot: The Beach Hut deck
by Susan Cain
Bittersweetness is a tendency towards states of longing, poignancy and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy at the beauty of the world. It recognises that light and dark, birth and death – bitter and sweet – are forever paired.
Drink to read with: Cornish Negroni
Christina’s notes: “The timeless pairing of bitter and sweet, embodied in a timelessly classic cocktail. Our Cornish version blends Tinkture Rose Gin with Knightor White Vermouth and Knightor Rose Vermouth.”
Recommended reading spot: The ocean room in Swim Club
Everything I Know about Love
by Dolly Alderton
Award-winning journalist Dolly Alderton survived her twenties (just about) and in Everything I Know About Love, she gives an unflinching account of the bad dates and squalid flat-shares, the heartaches and humiliations, and most importantly, the unbreakable female friendships that helped her to hold it all together.
Drink to read with: Rose Gin & Tonic
Christina’s notes: “Give me a more universal symbol of love than a rose? Tinkture Rose Gin is one of our favourites, and changes colour as you add the tonic – perhaps reflecting the changing emotions of life in your twenties?!”
Recommended reading spot: Zacry’s
The Whalebone Theatre
by Joanna Quinn
Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library. For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, there is no place at all for her in a traditional English manor. But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach at the Chilcombe estate in Dorset, and 12-year-old Cristabel claims it as her own, she is determined to do things differently.
Drink to read with: Oreo Hot Chocolate
Christina’s notes: “Thinking back to childhood, I couldn’t help but land on our Extreme Oreo Hot Chocolate – topped with whipped cream and and Oreo cookies. Oreos are actually dairy-free, and there’s a fully vegan option with oat milk and oat milk squirty cream.”
Recommended reading spot: The Beach Hut
By Salley Vickers
Artist, Hassie Days, and her sister, Margot, buy a run-down Jacobean house in Hope Wenlock on the Welsh Marches. While Margot continues her London life in high finance, Hassie is left alone to work the large, long-neglected garden. She is befriended by eccentric, sharp-tongued, Miss Foot, who recommends, Murat, an Albanian migrant, made to feel out of place among the locals, to help Hassie in the garden.
Buy the book
Drink to read with: Cucumber, Mint and Elderflower cooler
Christina’s notes: “This book is about the healing power of the garden, and this refreshing non-alcoholic drink is bursting with the flavours of an English summertime garden.”
Recommended reading spot: The Living Space deck
The Crane Wife
by CJ Houser
Ten days after calling off her wedding, CJ Hauser went on an expedition to study the whooping crane. After a week wading through the gulf, she realised she had almost signed up to live somebody else's life.
In this intimate, frank and funny memoir in essays, CJ Hauser lets go of 'how life was supposed to be' and goes looking for more honest ways of living.
Buy the book
Drink to read with: Sea flower cocktail
Christina’s notes: “This book is about finding joy in the unexpected – the new sea flower cocktail in Zacry's has sea buckthorn puree as un unexpected ingredient and adds an exciting twist. Mix elderflower liquor, rum, pineapple, sugar and lime. Shake and serve over ice. Garnish with pineapple.”
Recommended reading spot: Zacry's
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