I’ve finally finished and found time to write up my review of Pippa Middleton’s book, Celebrate. Here are my thoughts!
Celebrate is neatly organised into sections corresponding to each of the four seasons. Within each season you’ll find a host of ideas for events and holidays that are further organised into chapters. The autumn section, for example, hosts a chapter about Halloween. Within each chapter you’ll find a range of recipes, ideas, crafts and facts.
Reasons you’ll love Celebrate…:
If you enjoy sitting looking through Pinterest boards to gain inspiration for your next big event, you’ll really enjoy Celebrate; it’s a must if you like pictures of pastel coloured table settings, quaint flower arrangements and pictures of quintessentially British food (what I can only describe as food porn). On every other page there is either a delicious looking cake, a juicy roasted chicken or a scrummy looking cocktail.
Another plus, is that the pages are peppered with pictures of Pippa wearing various outfits for each occasion. This is obviously a big selling point to fans like me who love Pip’s everyday style and like the task of trying to track down what she’s wearing. (We’ve already “IDd” a few pieces of her clothing!)
..And reasons you might not:
There are a few downsides to Celebrate. Number one: most of the content isn’t groundbreaking. You’ll find many similar crafts, ideas and recipes online and there’s nothing truly out-of-this-world different that sets Pippa’s book apart from other party planners’ or event organisers’ blogs. I am not sure what I was expecting to see, but I do feel that the content is edging on flakey and lacking in places. Perhaps I was hoping to see real practical advice given by Pippa, things I’d never even considered, drawing from her experiences working for events and catering company Table Talk. I suppose in Pippa’s defence, she couldn’t have written any tips that are too ambitious and needs to keep a balance: all her tips must be practical for those buying her book. How many people will want to take on advice for planning huge events and how many would like to just get a little bit of inspiration for for mother’s day or christmas parties?
Another downside is that there aren’t many insights into life as a Middleton, and I know many people will consider buying the book hoping for stories about the famous siblings and their childhoods. (However, when you reach page 367, there is a fantastic picture of Pippa playing wheelbarrow races on a sandy beach, which did make me giggle!) At the back of the book Pippa gives acknowledgment to her family, but doesn’t mention anybody by name. She does, however, thank her mum for allowing them to use the house for photo shoots! An interesting tidbit.
All in all, Pippa comes across as being very down to earth, even if her ideas do reflect on her very middle class upbringing (there are plenty of foodstuffs in the book I’ve never even heard of, never mind the fact that I never invite friends over to eat brunch and pippa makes it sound like everyone does that of a weekend!)
Should you buy Celebrate?
Even if you don’t entertain on a regular basis you’ll find the book bursting with plenty of recipes and inspiration that you might like to try. (We made one of Pippa’s ‘bonfire night’ recipes to accompany our dinner earlier this week). All in all, I find the pictures are very inspring and the book does make you want to grab some friends and set up a table for a fun dinner or tea party.
Some of the practical tips are very handy if you’re a novice (which I am) but then if you’re a bit of a pro at entertaining, you might find these a little basic. You also might conclude that the recipes are a little simplistic too, but I think that’s why they hold their appeal for me (I’m not a pro cook!).
In conclusion, my opinion is that ‘Celebrate’ sits somewhere between a useful recipe/inspiration book and a coffee-table book that you and your guests may pick up and flick through from time-to-time. You’ll get a few useful tips and inspiration from the gorgeous pictures.
Get a signed copy of Pippa’s book from Foyles Books:
Pippa turned up at Foyles books in London last Thursday to do what’s known as a ‘stock sign.’ She signed a number of copies of her book for Foyles to sell. I ended up buying a second copy just for Pippa’s autograph (see above in the photo montage, or in this blog post here). Last time I checked, you could still buy the signed copies directly from the Foyles website here.