Welcome to Cosy Reads, a post series that pairs a good book with a good tea!
Today, we’ll curl up with the charming Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, alongside the lovely Mariage Freres’ THÉ DE LUNE. For this first post in the series, I picked a read that is truly cosy. Newt’s Emerald is fun, whimsical, and a playful homage to regency romance. Similarly cosy, THÉ DE LUNE is a joyful tea with perfumed vanilla notes, and a plucky flavour that lingers after each mouthful.
A black tea with handsome, finely worked leaves is blended with a grand bouquet of fruity, flowery, vanilla’d flavours.
It might come as no surprise, but I adore Mariage Freres teas. There is a subtlety of flavour that demands savouring, and it turns every cup of tea into a ceremony in delight. The tea leaves are beautiful, dark with bright dashes of blue flowers, and the scent bewitches as soon as the canister is opened. The perfume carries over into the brewing, and sinking into a new book surrounded by such a lovely scent makes for a perfect moment.
Thé de Lune is best taken black, though I have added milk once or twice – the flavour holds it sweet, enchanting notes even with a dash of milk. If you have a sweet tooth, I recommend honey over sugar, to complement the flowery vanilla.
Steeping Temperature: 95°C Steeping Time: 3 – 4 minutes
A Regency romance with magical elements, featuring an eighteen-year-old heroine and a dashing young hero – and a case of mistaken identity.
If you are a fan of Garth Nix’s earlier series, you best be aware that Newt’s Emerald is not at all a similar read. That’s not to say you won’t like it – I count myself in that camp, and I wholeheartedly adored this book. I read it with a gleeful smile on my face.
After the Newington Emerald is stolen at the height of a conjured storm, eighteen-year-old Lady Truthful Newington goes to London to search for the magical heirloom of her house. But as no well-bred young lady can hunt the metropolis for a stolen jewel, she has to disguise herself as a man, and is soon caught up in a dangerous adventure where she must risk her life, her reputation and her heart.
Little nods are made to the regency classics throughout, and though some might find the story lacking some depth and a tad silly, I was in love. It has all those elements that make me weak-kneed; a cross-dressing heroines, a dash of mundane (and not so mundane) magic, and a romantic interest who isn’t quite what he seems. The book is an unashamed love letter to regency romance, to the likes of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. No complicated plot or grittiness here, just a honestly fun read from cover-to-cover.
If you’re a fan of Diana Wynne Jones and Jane Austen, you’ll like this book.
Have you read Newt’s Emerald? Tell me your thoughts, or leave a suggestion for a future Cosy Read!