The nation's ‘taster in chief' cycles 2,300 km across France in search of the definitive versions of classic French dishes.
A green bike drunkenly weaves its way up a cratered hill in the late-morning sun, the gears grinding painfully, like a pepper mill running on empty. The rider crouched on top in a rictus of pain has slowed to a gravity-defying crawl when, from somewhere nearby, the whine of a nasal engine breaks through her ragged breathing.
A battered van appears behind her, the customary cigarette dangling from its driver's-side window… as he passes, she casually reaches down for some water, smiling broadly in the manner of someone having almost too much fun. ‘No sweat,' she says jauntily to his retreating exhaust pipe. ‘Pas de problème, monsieur.'
A land of glorious landscapes, and even more glorious food, France is a place built for cycling and for eating, too – a country large enough to give any journey an epic quality, but with a bakery on every corner. Here, you can go from beach to mountain, Atlantic to Mediterranean, polder to Pyrenees, and taste the difference every time you stop for lunch. If you make it to lunch, that is…
Part travelogue, part food memoir, all love letter to France, One More Croissant for the Road follows ‘the nation's taster in chief' Felicity Cloake's very own Tour de France, cycling 2,300km across France in search of culinary perfection; from Tarte Tatin to Cassoulet via Poule au Pot, and Tartiflette. Each of the 21 ‘stages' concludes with Felicity putting this new found knowledge to good use in a fresh and definitive recipe for each dish – the culmination of her rigorous and thorough investigative work on behalf of all of our taste buds.
About the Author
Felicity Cloake is the author of the Guardian's long-running weekly column, How to Cook the Perfect…as well as having been the New Statesman's food columnist since 2011 and the author of four books with Fig Tree. She was named Cookery Journalists of the Year at the 2016 Fortnum & Mason awards, and won the Cookery Journalist of the Year and New Media trophies at the 2011 Guild of Food Writers awards. One More Croissant for the Road is Felicity's first piece of food and travel writing.
`Whether you are an avid cyclist, a Francophile, a greedy gut, or simply an appreciator of impeccable writing - this book will get you hooked. Felicity Cloake's Tour de France is a triumph. It is full of greed and wit, jam-packed with priceless practical information, peppered with a sense of adventure and wonder. I love it.' Yotam Ottolenghi
`Such a brilliant book, funny, captivating and wonderfully written. I feel like I was packed up in Felicity's pannier for the ride.' Anna Jones
`An evocative, infectious, and at times utterly hilarious adventure that will make every food lover, and even the most lapsed of cyclists, want to jump on their bike, and on a ferry to France, immediately.' Rosie Birkett
`Cloake imbues [One More Croissant] with such personality and wit that it makes you wonder if the rest of us have forgotten that writing about food should be fun.' FT Weekend
`Her bluffer's guide to French bread told me more on one page than I've learnt frequenting boulangeries in the six years I've lived [in France].' Country Life
`Funny, entertaining and informative, this is a book that makes you hungry, both for a good meal and for a visit across the Channel.' Delicious Magazine
`A gastronomic grand tour' Red Magazine
`Pure delight from first page to last, as if Elizabeth David was whispering one ear and MFK Fisher in the other. Felicity Cloake is the perfect travelling companion - curious, funny, philosophical, and, best of all, imperishably greedy. She writes with self-deprecating humour and evocative grace. This is the best kind of travel and food book - It makes you dream of doing the same.' Matthew Fort
'A highly entertaining, tough-minded and enchanting book where the spirit of freewheeling travel writing is grounded perfectly with Felicity's sure-fire recipes. I had great trouble putting it down.' Caroline Eden