I didn't know I was receiving this book to review, the publishers surprised me with it but I have decided it was fate as this book arrived right at the time we were debating buying a camper van of our own. I'm pretty sure the arrival of this book may have spurred the decision to buy Clementine on a little.
The Camper Van Coast is the second book by Martin Dorey on the subject of camper vans and food - two subjects very close to my heart. The book is divided as follows;
The How-To Bit
Living The Life (What's in season, Getting ready, Bake to take: Recipes for the road)
Spring: Today is a good day to go camping
Summer: Ice creams, clear skies and calm seas
Autumn: Plentiful seas and frosty mornings
Winter: Cold starts, woolly hats and wild seas
Places to Stay
The Camper Van Year
Taking Action: The war on plastic
You can tell from the writing in the book that Martin Dorey is passionate about the great outdoors and getting out there and enjoying it. I've said before on this here blog, that my favourite types of cookbooks are the ones that I can read and that have a bit of a back story. The Camper Van Coast, whilst including 95 recipes that you can cook on two rings - very handing for camping - talks us through a variety of other subjects related to camping and outdoor pursuits as well as handy hints like "how to survive a traffic jam, the camper van way" and where to find the UKs best coastal paths.
The recipes in the book, written by Sarah Randell (Food Director of Sainsburys Magazine), are simple (they have to be really) yet quite inventive. Stand out recipes for me include Rocky Road Bananas, Fishermans Salad with Summer Salsa and Camper Van Paella. I really like how the book is split into the seasons and therefore the recipes too are based on seasonal cooking. The recipes are simple and easy to follow with clear ingredients and a relatively brief methods. Some of the recipes I find might be a little bit too much effort for a camping holiday, I guess it depends how enthusiastic you are about cooking on holiday. Whilst I love to cook, when I'm on a break, I like minimum effort.
The Camper Van Coast is a lovely book that really makes you aspire to living the outdoor life, although with the weather recently I can't think of anything I'd rather do less right now! However the book is full of blue skies and sunny days and leaves me longing to park up Clementine near a quiet beach somewhere and have a cup of tea and a bit of cake in the back.
This book would be a lovely gift for any camper van fanatic but would also be ideal for anyone who enjoys camping as you don't need to be in a van to enjoy these recipes or the activities outlined in the book.
The Camper Van Coast is published by Saltyard Books and has a RRP £16.99. It's available to buy now.