Welcome to 'Torta per Tutti'

Here's a fun little fact: when I started writing what became 'How to Bake a new Beginning' around five years ago now, the first few chapters were set in a cafe.

I'd always wanted to write a small town, cosy romance and with a love of food, a cafe seemed like the perfect setting to me. I adored books that had the cute bakeries and coffee shops and so that's what I set about writing.

I'm not exactly sure of the moment when that all changed and Amanda found herself working in a restaurant she didn't enjoy but it did; many, many things changed from those first drafts. But I always knew Amanda was going to have her own place one day and I couldn't wait to write it.

Italy to me has always held a simple elegance. Hotels I've stayed at boast crisp white walls, tiled floors and anything from mismatched decor to printed, patterned, painted or vintage looking decor. When I think of shops my mind wanders to all the ceramic shops with yellow and blue colours as far as the eye can see; greens, oranges, a bit of red here and there. The food to me screams comfort, after all my experience of Italian food doesn't come from five star Italian restaurants but my family; which for me is the best of the best. I'd give Nanna and Grandad and my Aunties six stars! :p

When creating 'Torta per Tutti' in 'The Ingredients for Happiness', which means 'Cake for all' I was inspired by all these things. I loved the idea of keeping Amanda's cafe fresh with a bit of sparkle and modern flare, like the white walls with golden speckles, but also wanted to keep it alive with tradition; like tiny ceramic espresso cups, canvas' of Italian scenes that she had photographed herself over the years, yellow and blue arm chairs and rustic wooden benches. Above all I wanted 'Torta per Tutti' to be warm, cosy, inviting and for the food to speak for itself and keep you coming back.

Above all else for Amanda 'Torta per Tutti' was inspired by one man; her Grandpa. I wanted to create an atmosphere that he would be proud of, a place where everyone was welcome, fed and watered, where the menu might change depending on what Amanda feels like making or what customers wanted and with an aroma of fresh herbs and sweet pastries; think potted herbs dotted about and the occasional hanging cheese and salami. Ooh and I can't forget the rows of Easter eggs and Pandoro during the Easter holidays; is there really anything better for decoration? I think not.

Speaking of Grandpas. I loved writing about Amanda's cafe because I got to think a lot about my own Grandparents and of course my own Grandad became a huge part in thinking up this magical place. My Nanna and Grandad had a restaurant called 'The Red Rose' for twenty years and so 'Torta per Tutti' was born out of my strong love for that place, of the stories my Nanna and Grandad told me and how I often wish I could go back in time and visit it for the day.

We don't often share these photos as they are incredibly special and personal, but here is our Grandad doing what he loved behind the bar at 'The Red Rose'. I love looking at these photos and when wanting to describe and introduce you to 'Torta per Tutti' this is what I kept thinking about. I loved writing the scenes in the cafe because all I pictured was Amanda bustling around this place and how my Aunties all cooked together in the kitchen and how Grandad would host up front and it made my heart happy. This is the essence of Amanda's cafe and I truly hope you feel the love she has for this place when you read my book. This is my heart right here, this man and his passion. Amanda certainly has a lot of that which is why she's one of my favourite characters to write.

Oh and did someone mention books? OK, that's my little segue. :) Today over on our Twitter @TheBlossomTwins I am doing a little giveaway as a thank you for all the love and support I have received so far with my books. You all truly are amazing and I appreciate it so much.

For you chance to win a signed copy of 'The Ingredients for Happiness' and some Italian chocolates, all you have to do is 'Like' and Retweet' our pinned tweet.

Good luck and have a beautiful day!



  1. This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing that picture, it touched my heart to think how much of an influence our past generations have on us and how they continue to be even when they are no longer here! Un bacione grande!!

    1. Aww thank you so much for reading Lulu and for your lovely comment. We absolutely love looking at pictures of our Grandparents, we especially love seeing the restaurant. It was so special and sounded incredible! :) It's definitely had a huge influence on us too. Tanti Baci! Lucy and Kelly xx