Book Review: The National Trust Book of Scones by Sarah Clelland

Sarah Clelland's The National Trust Book of Scones stems from her dedicated work traveling to and evaluating a scone from each of the tea rooms at 50 different National Trust Properties across the U.K. Frankly, I wish I'd thought of that. 

The National Trust Book of Scones: 50 Delicious Recipes and Some Curious Crumbs of History by Sarah Clelland

book cover for book of scones features a yummy scone filled with clotted cream and raspberry jam on a pale pink background. OMG I'm hungry. Is it tea time yet?
Publisher: National Trust Books, 2017
Genre: Cookbook
Format: Print
Source: Purchase

“Scone obsessive Sarah Clelland has gathered 50 scone recipes from National Trust experts around the country, and has written a quirky guide to 50 National Trust places to delight and entertain you while you bake or eat those blissful treats. Eccentric owners, strange treasures, obscure facts—it’s all here. Whip up a Triple Chocolate Scone while you read about the mechanical elephants at Waddeston Manor, savor an Apple & Cinnamon Scone while you absorb the dramatic love life of Henry Cecil of Hanbury Hall, or marvel at a Ightham Mote’s Grade 1 listed dog kennel while you savor a Cheese, Spring Onion and Bacon Scone. 50 of the best scones in history and 50 of the best places to read about—you’ll never need to leave the kitchen again. Includes dual measures.”

– From the book description on Goodreads

What I thought about The National Trust Book of Scones

My project for 2020 is to bake more scones because baking scones scares me, and in general I think I should get over stupid fears like that.

While hunting the web for some scone recipes with which to get started, I stumbled across Sarah Clelland’s National Trust Scones blog. Basically, Clelland spends her days traveling to various National Trust sites in the U.K., learning their history, and reviewing the quality of the scones in their tea shops.

Naturally, when I discovered she had a book of the best scone recipes she’s found so far, I had to buy it. I am a firm believer in supporting this sort of quality investigative work. 

Many of the recipes in the book are for savory scones, a concept I’m not ready to embrace yet. But the recipes for sweet scones I’ve tried so far have all been pretty tasty.

I will admit, though, that my favorite remains the classic Plain Scone from the Tintagel Old Post Office in Cornwall. It really is the best with clotted cream and jam. And is a scone really a scone if it doesn’t taste good slathered in clotted cream and jam? 

Baker's Note: This book is written for U.K. bakers, so the oven temperatures are in Celsius, the dry ingredients are often measured in grams, and the liquid ones in milliliters. U.S. bakers who aren't in the habit of weighing their ingredients should be prepared to do some conversions. Fortunately, the recipes in this book are pretty simple--most only include 4-8 ingredients, so there just isn't that much conversion work to be done before you can start baking. 

Who would enjoy The Book of Scones?

  • Anglophiles curious about the history of England’s national parks
  • Bakers tired of baking the same old scone

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