Book Review: Summer at The Comfort Food Cafe, by Debbie Johnson.

28 May
Book Review: Summer at The Comfort Food Cafe, by Debbie Johnson.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for my copy of this book. I would also like to thank Irena from BookDustMagic  for recommending this book to me. Irena has been a lovely bookish friend to me over the past while and I hope we can keep swapping book recommendations and continue our bookish chat. Thanks Irena. 

book friend


The brand new book from best-selling author Debbie Johnson will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you raid the pantry in the middle of the night…

The Comfort Food Cafe is perched on a windswept clifftop at what feels like the edge of the world, serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security – a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu.

For widowed mum-of-two Laura Walker, the decision to uproot her teenaged children and make the trek from Manchester to Dorset for the summer isn’t one she takes lightly, and it’s certainly not winning her any awards from her kids, Nate and Lizzie. Even her own parents think she’s gone mad.

But following the death of her beloved husband David two years earlier, Laura knows that it’s time to move on. To find a way to live without him, instead of just surviving. To find her new place in the world, and to fill the gap that he’s left in all their lives.

Her new job at the cafe, and the hilarious people she meets there, give Laura the chance she needs to make new friends; to learn to be herself again, and – just possibly – to learn to love again as well.

For her, the Comfort Food Cafe doesn’t just serve food – it serves a second chance to live her life to the full…

Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Published April 29th 2016 by HarperImpulse
comfort food

My Thoughts:

It was the name of this book that attracted me straight away. I love books that are foodie focused. I haven’t read any books by this Author before, but I had an idea of what to expect by the name, cover and blurb. The cover is just lovely isn’t it?

The book begins with Laura and her two children still grieving after the death of their Husband / Dad. Laura applies for a summer job in Dorset at The Comfort Food Cafe, this means leaving their home in Manchester for the summer. 

The way the cafe was described totally lived up to my expectations, it sounds like a really beautiful place and a lovely place to work and enjoy the summer. With its bookshelves, board games, photos and pictures, one which says:

“We will assume you want your hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream, unless you appear to be dead”

Laura meets all kinds of fantastically weird and wonderful people during her stay, and although we meet quite a few sideline characters, they are all easily memorable and add a little extra to the story. 

The idea of The Comfort Food Cafe, is as it sounds to provide comfort food for all the customers. I was hoping that the comfort food would be a much larger part of the book, with loads of foodie descriptions, perhaps a few examples of cake recipes and Laura baking. This was my only disappointment with this book. I wanted more food!!! I don’t know if this is just me being a greedy chocoholic, and the rest of you would find food talk irrelevant? But this is my review, so there! ;-). One of Laura’s treats which sounds amazing is her chocolate bar milk shakes, I would definitely try one of those if I could go to the cafe.

There were many humorous moments in the book too, one in particular involving her underwear. If you read it, look out for that scene! And another where she mentions, ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’, which I will remember myself!! Even Jimbo the dog does things to make us chuckle.

“….he got off his lead at a campsite in Scotland and threw himself right into the swimming pool, splash in the middle of an aquarobics class”

One of the side characters that I liked was Becca, Laura’s sister, a care free single girl, with such a warmth and sisterly love. If there is another book about the developments at The Comfort Food Cafe, it would be nice to hear more from Becca.

This book was heart warming, funny and reminded me that there is always hope. Regardless of what happens in life, there is comfort food, friends, family and the beach!






While I was reading this book, I entered a Harper Impulse giveaway, and was lucky enough to win 4 more Debbie Johnson books. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Books


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

20 responses to “Book Review: Summer at The Comfort Food Cafe, by Debbie Johnson.

  1. irena_bookdustmagic

    May 28, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    First of all, thank you for those kind words. I really, really appreciate it.
    That is really nice review, I would prase one more thing about this book: how you can feel the love of a mother for their children on every page that she mentions them. I really liked that aspect of this story.
    And when we’re talking food… Well I like to read about it (and if the book has a recipe in it then even better) if I’m not on a diet. But if I am (and tbh I don’t even know when was the last time I was on one and that is really good) then I can’t see, read or do anything with the foos in it.
    Btw, I heard that Jenny Colgan has a great book about food and that it has recipes in it, something about cupcakes, it’s called Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe. Have you read that?

    • chocolatepages

      May 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad to hear you are not on a diet. Life is too short for diets! Plus there is chocolate!! 😉
      I have read Jenny’s book, and it was really really good. I think there are a few sequels to it which I haven’t read. But I loved the first one. One of the next foodie books I have (from Netgalley) is ‘The Sunshine and Biscoti Club’ by Jenny Oliver, it sounds really good. I look forward to reading your review of Comfort Food Cafe. xx

  2. Donna

    May 28, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    You had me at Comfort Food. I can never resist. This book sounds like it’s filled with food, love and sun, which make a perfect summer read.

    • chocolatepages

      May 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      That is exactly it Donna, its very good. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books by Debbie.

  3. Suze

    May 28, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Such a lucky win. I’ve read all of them and loved them. Great review, it’s exactly how I felt.

    • chocolatepages

      May 28, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      It was a lucky win, it was strange to win them as I was reading the book by the same Author. As you know, I have been very lucky with my wins recently. 😉

  4. Hopes, Dreams and Chocolate

    May 28, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    This sounds like a really nice read. Comfort Food and a beach on the south coast sounds like a perfect combination! The chocolate bar milkshakes do sound amazing! 😁 Thanks for sharing. Kathy xx #KCACOLS

    • chocolatepages

      May 29, 2016 at 12:41 am

      Those milkshakes do sound amazing, I will be watching out for those.

  5. Tui Snider

    May 28, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    I once owned a cafe and I still miss all the crazy characters it attracted, as well as the great food my chef cooked up. This sounds like a good read! ~Tui, dropping by via the Weekend Blog Share.

    • chocolatepages

      May 29, 2016 at 12:42 am

      Thank you, I think it would be really fun to work in a cafe, especially one like this one. The best bit being able to try all the delicious food.

  6. mumzilla

    May 29, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    There are loads of books out about cooks and baking aren’t there? It’s a common theme at the moment. I’ll try this if I see it, sounds like a good holiday read! Thank you for linking with #KCACOLS and hope to see you again next week.

    • chocolatepages

      May 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      There are and I do love foodie books, so its great for me. I hope you enjoy it too, if you read it.

  7. Life with monster child

    May 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Ooh I love discovering new books! This sounds like a good one, I’m sold.

  8. kraftireader

    May 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I think I need to read this book, love foodie fiction.

  9. Sarah (ups and downs, smiles and frowns)

    June 3, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    I’d love to read this book, it’s actually something different, I’ve been looking for something different and this sounds perfect! I’ll have to add it to my list, thank you for sharing #KCACOL

    • chocolatepages

      June 4, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Thank you, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  10. Hannah Spannah Coco Banana

    June 4, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I like the sound of this book, perfect for reading on the beach if I didn’t have a 4 year old boy to interrupt me all the time!

    • chocolatepages

      June 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Thank you. I guess the child interruptions are lots of fun too. 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: