A Taste of Holy Island – Book Review


About the Book

This month we were offered the chance to review a free copy of a fantastic local recipe, photography and history-driven book, ‘A taste of Holy Island‘. (No cash payment or subsidies). The book is from the creative minds of photographer Roy Player and owner of Pilgrims Coffee House and foodie Victoria Mundy.

a taste of holy island book

The book offers a blend of stories and recipes from Holy Island and the Lindisfarne area.  Being dedicated to North East Food, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Although I would love to talk about the inspiration for the book and what drove the pair to put pen to paper, I’ll let you explore that. I’ll focus on what makes it a must-read for lovers of Northern culture and anyone who can’t help but be infatuated with our coastlines (being a Shields lad I can’t).

The Book

What makes this book fantastic is the vivid stories, rich imagery, and depth of emotion that ties the wonderful recipes to our great region. This isn’t just a list of ingredients and instructions, but a telling of life in the North, recipes that bring people together and a fantastic way for families to spend time together.

The book progresses through the different seasons, telling stories from the Island (from as far back as 1513) with superb photography throughout. There are stews, burgers, cocktails, cakes and so much more to guide you through; each recipe with its own stories or facts.

The recipes are pretty simple, so anyone can give them a try. There’s no great complexity to them, so from families to partners, it’s a great way to spend a weekend.

Head to the Grainger Market fish mongers and pick up some fresh seafood to try the crab cakes as we did (Albeit swapping fresh garlic for cloves ?).

crab cakes

You’ll find other Northern favorites like stotties and Panhaggerty, each with a bit of backstory you might not have known. Not to mention, there are a few pretty delicious cocktails found inside too, not least of which, my personal favorite, the espresso martini (makes sense for a coffee shop owner).

espresso martini

With winter fast approaching, I’ll be trying some homemade stotties and ham hock soup from the book. To be fair, it is packed full of easy recipes I’ll be trying in the coming months and has certainly whet my appetite for revisiting Holy Island is the snowy months!

So whether you’re looking for sights and stories, from one of the most picturesque locations on the Northern coastline, or a fun way to spend the weekend, A taste of Holy Island will offer something for everyone. Not to mention it’s a book that anyone with a passion for supporting Northern history, heritage and cooking should have on their bookshelf.


Buy ‘A taste of Holy Island’ from their online store here.

If nothing else, I can’t recommend enough that you visit this beautiful stretch of Northen coastline. I’ve visited holy Island multiple times and have always been taken in by its natural splendor. This being said…on my last trip to the Farne Islands, the Arctic terns did leave my head a little worse for wear, but totally worth it to see those cute puffins!



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