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Romance, Food and the Colours of Love

It’s no secret that one of ShopCurious’s style icons is Dame Barbara Cartland. In 2011, we celebrated a fascination with nostalgia and desire to mourn all things past with a tribute to the late Dame Barbara’s unique and eccentric style; her passion for coral pink clothing, and Pekingese lap dogs. We also pointed out that Dame Barbara was a businesswoman and author of many romantic novels – in fact sales of her books around the world run into the hundreds of millions; only William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie surpass her, according to Wikipedia.

Among her titles are a number of cookery books, mainly relating to healthy eating, the life-enhancing powers of honey, and vitamins. I’ve chosen one of these especially for Valentine’s Day. The Romance of Food (1984) takes inspiration from France, a country that takes both food and love very seriously.  A note in the dust jacket rues the effects of fast food, TV dinners and takeaways on relationships – and this was 30 years before social media, box sets and home deliveries. 

Prepared in collaboration with her private chef, Nigel Gordon, the aphrodisiacal offerings promise to “revive even the most jaded lover and put a song in he heart of the most enraptured.” Dishes, including the Flower of the Heart, Fleur-de-Lis d’Amour and Dreams Do Come True, have been photographed in Dame Barbara’s own home, described as “one of the most romantic settings in England.”


Full of pastel shades and curiously kitsch ornaments ranging from Staffordshire figurines to Oriental jade sculptures and tourist memorabilia, the photographs and recipes hark back to a culinary history and decor far removed from the present – and even from 1984. 

Whether or not the cuisine tickles your taste buds, this book is a genuine feast for the senses of those intrigued by colour, trends and style.

Check out this Barbara Cartland style vintage gown at ShopCurious. Will You?

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