Bamb jaunty

Nestled in the village of Kibworth in Leicestershire is our May Bookshop of the Month: The Bookshop, Kibworth. After leaving the music industry, owner Debbie James decided it was time to live her dream of opening a bookshop. It’s now nearly 10 years later and the shop is thriving – they’ve set up numerous book clubs, Kibworth’s own annual Book Festival and have won numerous awards, including Regional Independent Bookshop of the Year, James Patterson Awards and more.

With eye-catching, welcoming red window frames, oft-decked with a themed display, and stairs designed to look like books, it is immediately obvious that this is a place that is passionate about engaging readers of all ages.

The fiction room upstairs is cosy and inviting, with a lovely range of gift product also on display. The booksellers are friendly, enthusiastic and strong champions of children’s books in particular.

Children's Sep 2017 II

We had the chance to ask Debbie and her team some questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our May Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe The Bookshop Kibworth in three words?
Colourful, friendly, tempting

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
On the sofa upstairs in The Fiction Room, gazing at the spines

3. Where do you like to read?
Absolutely anywhere! But most of all in my summerhouse in the garden

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
An orchestral percussionist

5. Excluding The Bookshop Kibworth – what is your favourite bookshop?
So hard to choose – can I pick 3?! Wenlock Books in Shropshire, Persephone Books in London and Buchhandlung Klaus Bittner in Cologne


You can follow The Bookshop, Kibworth on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram – or swing by their website.

Bountiful Ice-cream.

It’s Halloween Week! (yes, week) so we’ve got the perfect pumpkin recipe from the scarily beautiful Bountiful



It seems as if just a few years ago it was almost impossible to find pie pumpkins, even in October, but now we are seeing them everywhere. Yay! Roasting a pumpkin for puree is one of the most minimal-effort-for-maximum-gain-over-store-bought things you can do in the kitchen. Make sure to use pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins, not the jack-o’-lantern behemoths—those big boys don’t have the best taste or texture. If you are roasting a large heirloom pumpkin, cutting it in half and roasting it on an oiled sheet pan, cut side down, will shorten the cooking time.


1 small pie pumpkin (makes about 2 cups / 480ml puree)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¹⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves

¼ cup (55g) packed brown sugar

1 quart (1L) of store-bought vanilla ice cream

(see Note)

NOTE: There is a long way and a short way to make this ice cream. Go crazy and make your own vanilla rum ice cream, stirring the puree and spices into the ice cream just after you finish churning. Or for the short version, let a container of your favourite vanilla ice cream soften up, then stir in the pumpkin and spices.


1 Turn the oven to 375°F (190°C); you do not need to preheat.

2 Place the pumpkin on a sheet pan and roast for about 1 hour, until it feels soft when you press its sides. Remove it from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

3 Split the pumpkin open and remove all the seeds and stringy bits, then scrape out the flesh. Puree the flesh in a blender or food processor until smooth.

4 Stir the vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar into the puree.

5 Allow the ice cream to soften and stir in the puree. You may either serve the soft ice cream immediately or allow it to harden up in the freezer before serving.

We’re spooked by how much we’re drooling over this right now!

Image © 2013 Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Bountiful, 9781617690488, STC, October ‘13, £21.99