Monday 26 May 2014

Hot Dogs and Cocktails Book Review

If I'm honest although I like to try different genres of books, historical themed stories have never been top of my list but the blurb to Hot Dogs and Cocktails, I was intrigued.

Between 9th and 12th June 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were the guests of Roosevelt at his country estate in Hyde Park, New York State, during what the first ever visit by a reigning British monarch to the United States. Coming at a time when Britain desperately needed American help in the conflict that now seemed inevitable, the meeting was front page news on bot sides of the Atlantic and imbued with huge political significance.

This book is written by Peter Conradi, the author of The King's Speech. It provides a reconstruction of the Royal tour in the run up to the war in 1939, a tour that many have probably forgotten about.

"a new and unique role in its history - to serve for one brief weekend as the unofficial capital of the entire English speaking world"

I found it made for an interesting read. Written with such finesse, I was able to picture the characters clearly and it showed that the Royal couple were somewhat a normal couple. There were moments of humour in it which made it a rather entertaining tale.

"My mother does not approve of cocktails and thinks you should have a cup of tea, Roosevelt told him. Neither does my mother, the king replied, taking a cocktail"

There were other appearances the King and Queen had to make before attending Hyde Park causing quite the commotion among the locals. It seems William and Kate weren't the first ones to cause such a fuss.

"Not since they burned the White House in 1814 have the British caused such a stir in the nation's capital as they are causing in connection with the visit of King George and Queen Elizabeth"

I loved all of the photographs which were placed in the centre of the book, it was nice to be able to put real faces to the characters which were in the book and I think Peter done a fantastic job of describing them, even down to the colours of their clothing.

"the Queen, dressed in a blue crepe ensemble with matching hat and a parasol, looked particularly fresh and  radiant…."

It was fascinating to see just how long the journey from England to the United States actually took in those days, I think we take for granted now just being able to jump on a plane and be somewhere else within the space of a few hours.

Overall it was a very easy read, very elegantly written and it manages to give us a little bit of insight into what the 1930's was like and the history surrounding that time. I have actually just popped The King's Speech on my to read list.


Disclaimer : I was sent a copy of this book free of charge for reviewing purposes however all thoughts and opions are my own.



  1. I love the elegance of that time. Everything was slower and more refined (at least in my mind!) glad you enjoyed it. X

  2. Historical books aren't usually on my to read list but it looks like an interesting read xx

  3. This sounds very different to the sort of books I read! Sounds like a good book to read x

  4. Sounds right up my street, I love anything historical and the 30s was an amazing era!

    1. It makes me want to know more about that time!! x

  5. I enjoyed The King's Speech (although I've never read the book). I'm now intrigued to read Hot Dogs and Cocktails after reading your review.

  6. Whilst I'm fascinated by this period of history I usually prefer to read about the average person and getting a real sense of the social situation of the time - this does sound good though and I did enjoy The King's Speech film so maybe just maybe I could be convinced :)


I love hearing from my readers so please feel free to leave comment.