Not a sticky bun but a rock cake Pauline Rowson tells James May is the Isle of Wight's secret

In the final instalment of extracts from James May's new book, How to Land an A330 Airbus and Other Vital Skills for the Modern Man publicised in the Telegraph last weekend, May's writes about invading the Isle of Wight with "an attack of shock and awe, and a sticky bun along the way". Well, the invasion of the Isle of Wight is actually coming to an end with the return to school and the beginning of Autumn.  Peace and quiet will once again reign on that beautiful island shore (hurray)!  OK, so I'm being selfish, I'll admit it, but August is not my favourite month anywhere (don't like crowds) and now that it is over I'm looking forward to some lovely brisk solitary walks along the shores near my homes on Hayling Island and on the hills and coasts of the Isle of Wight.  And rather than a sticky bun, as May's prefers, I will have just one month left to gorge on Jill's gorgeous rock cakes at Tradewinds Cafe before she shuts up shop for the autumn and winter. How will I ever survive?

Tradewinds cafe, between Shanklin and Sandown on the Isle of Wight, great coffee and yummie rock cakes
(I've got Jill's recipe but the rock cakes I make still don't turn out like hers, lovely and spicy. I'll have five months to practice after she closes at the end of September before she reopens in April 2011).


Looking down on Tradewinds cafe and Sandown Bay from the top of Lake Gardens

As many readers of this blog and my crime novels know, my thriller In For The Kill is set on the Isle of Wight, and one of my Inspector Andy Horton marine mystery police procedural novels is also based there Blood on the Sand. The Andy Horton crime novel I'm currently writing, the seventh in the series, is set in Portsmouth, Lee-on-the-Solent, Gosport and the Isle of Wight, which will of course involve much research over the coming days and many more rock cakes, in fact as many as I can manage between now and the end of September. 

And if James May wants to press ahead with his invasion plans instead of "stopping off for tea and a sticky bun" on his way perhaps I could persuade him to join me for a coffee and a rock cake at Tradewinds cafe. See you there, James.

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