A Perfect Cornish Summer – Phillipa Ashley


Any novel that is based in Cornwall is always going to be a good one and when you combine it with good storytelling such as the work of Phillipa Ashley then you are in for a wonderful read.

A Perfect Cornish Summer, fits this description. What started as a small idea ten years previously has grown into something more – the annual food festival in Porthmellow.  Sam the festival organiser had the original idea ten years ago and it was only meant to be a small event but it has grown and grown and it looks like this years is going to be bigger than ever.

When the famous headline chef for the festival has to withdraw due to some misappropriation of money  – it looks like the tenth festival will not be as stand out as Sam had first wanted. That is until Chloe an incomer to Porthmellow wanting to get more involved in the local community manages to gain TV Chef Gabe Maithas to attend.

What Chloe doesn’t realise that Gabe is well-known in Porthmellow

He left a long time ago and many people remember what he did before he went.

Sam certainly remembers as it had an impact on her and her family at the time and still now.

Will Gabe’s presence stir up old memories or will he be able to get people on side again?

Chloe, might have caused an upset, but she has made her mark on a few people in the village and her past is about to arrive and bring a whole load of baggage with it. Troy into his eighties, still helping the harbour master and his wife Evie provide some sage advice to everyone as well as humour in the book. Outspoken Bryony and her dog seem to pop up at the most interesting moments. Drew spends his time on the sea, but his quiet persona doesn’t detract from the turmoil he is going through. Zennor, Sam’s younger but probably wiser sister has some romantic interests if only they were reciprocated.

As for Sam, how can she possibly have enough time for anything when she is organising a food festival.

There is a lot going on in this novel and it takes you a few chapters to get straight who everyone is and how they all relate.  I find this with any start of a series of novels, the groundwork has to be done to keep us reading the book but also to then go and pick up subsequent novels featuring characters we have grown to love and probably dislike in equal measure.

Besides being full of characters and storylines it is also full of the descriptions of wonderful food including the mouth-watering sounding pies which Sam creates in between festival business. Of course there is the setting of Cornwall, always guaranteed to bring you brilliant weather and high winds to threaten marquees and people in equal measure.

An enjoyable read which has everything you want from women’s fiction – to take you away on holiday, for romance, for laughs and for some wonderful food.

Phillipa Ashley has done it again and she is fast becoming an author you can rely on for great reads.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

A Perfect Cornish Summer is published on 25th April.