Review: The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen – Julia Ibbotson

I am pleased to be taking part in the Fiction Addiction Book Tour for the Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen today.

the old

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the book when I first started to read it. All I knew, was that the author was writing about the purchase of an Old Rectory.

After the first few sentences, I discovered that the book was so much more than just a simple recollection of facts. Julia’s writing style is so warm and engaging! Once I started the Old Rectory, I found it hard to peel myself away from the pages.

All the way through, I could immediately empathise with Julia. I know how easy it is, to fall in love with a house at first sight. After all, we only ever looked at one house and we knew straight away that this was the house for us (as soon as I discovered the built in wardrobe in our house, I was sold :-)). Luckily for us, we didn’t have to undertake any huge renovations unlike Julia. I admire her for having the strength and endurance to cope with builders and dirt/dust for such a long time! But it seems to be so worth it – your rectory sounds lovely, Julia!!

This book is so personally written. It felt as if I was talking to a friend and not like reading a book from a person I had never met before. I loved discovering new facts and the history of the rectory “together” with Julia. The recipes that are included at the end of each chapter add hugely to the “homely feel” of the book. The chocolate fudge cake one is my favourite (I’ve tried it already :-)). The next recipe I want to give a go is the Baked Chicken – in – a – Brick.

I am a huge fan of Julia’s writing and I sincerely hope, that she will write more books!!

My rating: 5 out of 5

About the Author

Julia Ibbotson is the award-winning author of The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, first published to acclaim in the USA and now re-launched with a brand-new cover by her new English publisher in the UK. Julia has been writing creatively all her life (unpublished!) but her day jobs to pay the mortgage have been as a school teacher and latterly a university academic, gaining her PhD at the age of 57. She delights in being a wife and mother to four, with four little grandchildren. She loves reading, gardening, growing food, cooking for family and friends and country life. Having published many academic texts and papers, she came late to actually publishing her creative writing, at the age of 60 plus, when she was persuaded to write the story of the renovation of her Victorian rectory in The Old Rectory. She has combined memoir, history, research, story and recipes in this first published book, which has won a number of international book festivals in the biography category, gained 5 star reviews on Amazon, and has been widely featured (along with her house) in the media. She has begun to delve into the world of blogging, facebook and now has her own website at at which she also posts blogs regularly, about writing, life and her passions. Her new project is a trilogy of novels following the life story of a new character, Jess, through from fleeing to West Africa as a volunteer teacher/nurse in the 1960s to the millennium. The first of the series, Drumbeats, is due to be published later this year. You can find out more on her website and on her author page on Amazon. Her global internet book tours start soon!

Author Links:



Facebook Author Page

Amazon UK Author Page

Amazon US Author Page

YouTube book trailer


Julia is kindly offering signed bookmarks/postcards, pens, keyrings and 1 x ecopy of The Old Rectory as a giveaway. To be in with a chance to win, please click on the following link and follow the instructions. Good luck!! a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. August 23, 2013 / 3:32 pm

    What a wonderful delightful review! Thank you. It means so much to an author to have such enthusiasm. As it happens I am currently finalising for my publisher the first novel of a trilogy, so hopefully you won’t have too long to wait! BTW I have just spent the morning baking the flapjacks, lemon cake/pud from the book, plus new lemon and bergamot shortbread, moccachino cookies and oat and linseed bread – would be OK but we are supposed to be on a diet! Oh dear….!

    • August 23, 2013 / 3:53 pm

      Yay!! You are writing more :-). Yummy – your baking sounds delicious. Now I am hungry!! Oh well, it’s Friday – your diet can continue on Monday đŸ™‚

  2. August 23, 2013 / 3:41 pm

    Heidi, loved your review! Great that you enjoyed The Old Rectory AND you’ve tried a recipe (with more planned). Any photos?

    Thank you for hosting Julia on tour.

    • August 23, 2013 / 3:54 pm

      Thanks Shaz. I didn’t take any photos but will make sure to take some text time!!

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