Reviewed by Alisha Churbe

Jane Cumberbatch’s Pure Style: Recipes for Every Day takes you through her favorite things of each season. I enjoyed traveling through these joys: weather, pastimes  and cooking (BBQ to stew). In each, she presents recipes for the life she lives and enjoys. The recipes are not reserved for food, but include rituals of daily life like composting, hanging linen, beach picnics, sewing and paint colors for interiors and exteriors. If you are looking for a traditional cookbook, this may not be the book for you. If you are looking for a colorful book to prop up on a wire stand to show off the wonderful photography that captures the peace and calm of a European garden, order this book, you will not be disappointed.

Cumberbatch’s recipes are very simple; some have small twists to make them unique. The ingredients are easily found items and most recipes have between five and ten ingredients. The book has all the conversions for the US and Europe, so it is easily transported and utilized virtually anywhere. Her recipes are varied. There are recipes for the pickiest and most adventurous eaters: roast beetroot, lentil and goats’ cheese salad, baked apples, chicken, leek and parsley pie, chocolate and chestnut cake, toad-in-the-hole (“sausages baked in a bed of crispy batter”) and caldeirada de peixe (Portuguese fish and potato soup).

Cumberbatch shows us her love affair with the color white, a love I haven’t previously shared. She shows ways to make white look stunning and shows how to use it to highlight others colors around it. This is truly a beautiful book. It transports you to a quiet European garden plentiful with herbs, flowers and the sounds of birds singing. Pure Style: Recipes for Every Day is not a book of how one should live, but rather a memoir of how Cumberbatch enjoys her life.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Part-time fiction writer, Alisha Churbe lives in Portland, Oregon. In the rare instances when you can pry her away from books, Alisha can be found travelling in foreign countries, cooking, or hiking with her husband Michael and dog Euro.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Pavilion. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.