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Cream tea with Mary Berry - and a beer with Ian Rankin

Two lucky Waterstones Cardholders got to have tea with Mary Berry last week - but fear not, there's always more chances to meet your favourite authors...

Posted on 2nd December 2013 by Dan Lewis Lewis

We pride ourselves on the fact that the Waterstones Card isn’t just a run-of-the-mill points card but offers literary treats hard to find anywhere else. One of these being our fabulous meet-the-author competitions which have seen Cardholders touring Hampton Court Palace with David Starkey, hosting a book group evening with Victoria Hislop and meeting Hilary Mantel before she went on stage at the South Bank. We were incredibly excited about our Mary Berry competition earlier this year and from the vast amount of entries it seems you were too. The prize? To have a cream tea with Mary at Fortnum & Mason in London’s Piccadilly with the opportunity to discuss recipes, baking tips, Bake Off, and that recent appearance on Strictly. Caroline and Carol meet Mary Mary’s books have been gracing our cookery shelves for years and you can now find her in the biography section too. Recipe for Life is a lovingly crafted autobiography, made extra special with a spattering of recipes (Iced Lemon Flummery on p106, yum), pieces written by friends and family and a whole host of photos from the family album. Our lucky winners got their copies, along with a 30 year old much treasured cook book, signed by Mary.   Caroline Convery from the Isle of Man was our winner, she told us all about her friend Carole and the Midweek Muckers in her entry:   “I volunteer with the Manx Wildlife Trust working on the reserves on a Thursday morning.  We are known as the Midweek Muckers and have a great time working hard and chatting at the same time but at 11 o'clock sharp we are all at the meeting point for coffee and cake.  One volunteer Carole very kindly makes a huge cake each week - always delicious and different - I asked her which recipes she followed- the answer was MARY BERRY! I would love to win and take Carole to meet her.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Caroline says: “I rarely enter competitions and certainly don't expect to win!  Meeting Mary was delightful and I will be trying out my new recipe book with a different aspect now having met her.”  Carole adds "I felt like having tea with Mary was like having tea with a friend."


Our latest meet-the-author competition is a particularly special opportunity for Rebus fans. We’re offering Waterstones Cardholders the chance to tour Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery with Ian Rankin including a sample of Ian and Rebus' favourite beer Deuchars IPA. If you, or someone you know, is a Rankin fan enter our competition today and like Caroline and Carole, you too could enjoy a special meeting with a favourite author.   You can find all our competitions for Cardholders here.


Meg Frost, for Waterstones.com/blog