Calling all unashamed foodies, would be Masterchefs and lovers of fine food and books. This one is for you. The enticing name of this Red Hill shop completely describes what it is all about. Scrumptious Reads is an independent, mouth-watering, specialty food bookshop. That's right. A bookshop dedicated to stocking and representing the art of cooking and creating food in all its scrumptious glory. This sounded like my kind of place, so I called by to check it out.
Some Brisbanites may remember that Scrumptious Reads was formerly located in James Street at New Farm, but now calls Red Hill home.
Scrumptious Reads at Red Hill is housed in a sweet, white cottage at the bottom of the winding Arthur Terrace with double bay windows at the entry. Inside, the shop has a clean white palette with very fun black and white checkerboard tiles on the floor. Large wooden vintage tables in the middle of the room along with bookshelves and open, wooden boxes make for a comfortable viewing and display area to browse through the exquisite range of books.
What's on the shelves? Owner Julie has assembled a collection which covers all types of food styles from sweets and desserts to Asian and European cuisine. The selection includes books by celebrity chefs like Adam Liaw and Maggie Beer, alongside books about beer, berries and bread making. There are books about champagne, chutney and chicken. Everything you could want to create your next culinary feast. The kids haven't been forgotten either with a number of wonderful children's books filled with delightful adventures for young minds. Gardeners will be pleased to find several botanical books too.
The realistic pictures jump off the page and will have you literally running to the kitchen to try and re-create them. Julie is looking to expand the range to increase the variety of lifestyle books to sit alongside the culinary reads.
As well as being able to purchase books, visitors can also pop along to the culinary events and presentations hosted by the shop. The Cookbook Club, hosted by Chef Danielle Dixon, is an opportunity for an intimate group of food fans to meet for a delicious supper and conversations about all things culinary.
Tickets for the Cookbook Club are $130 per person and includes dinner, wine and a copy of the feature book. Check the store's website for more information on dates.
Sweet Saturdays If all of that browsing through food books have left you a touch hungry (and who could blame you) look out for gelato, ice creams and sorbets and a small selection of gourmet pantry items (like truffle paste) also on sale.
Every Saturday from 9:00am, Scrumptious Reads also hosts "Sweet Saturdays" where visiting artisan bakers, including from Paddington and West End, bring sell freshly baked goods like croissants and doughnuts at the front of the shop.
While the books were wonderful, the thing that most caught my attention was the unmissable quote on the wall behind the counter from the very wise Dr Seuss. It reads," The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go." So very true.
As Scrumptious Reads further finds its feet in Red Hill, it will be expanding its creative workshops and its bookshelves.
To find an intriguing read and learn more about food, why not go to the place that is Scrumptious Reads. The shop is open six days from 9am-3pm (closed on Sundays). Street parking is available in Arthur Terrace.