May’s Are You Sitting Comfortably? With Hattingley Valley

The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers by Samuel Burr

Hattingley Valley Vineyard

Those who are regular readers (of our suggested novels and this website!) will know that I am slightly fanatical (but let’s call it passionate) about home grown brands. I love British companies and there is almost no greater pleasure in life than sitting in the sunshine reading a gloriously absorbing novel sipping a delicious glass of cold sparkling fizz so this month’s sponsor Hattingley Valley is not only the perfect pairing for our quintessentially British debut novel but also my new favourite sparkling wine.

The most delicious sparkling tingling English rosé wine from Hattingley Valley paired beautifully with the quirkiest quintessential British debut novel

I have fallen hook line and sinker for this wonderful Vineyard. Multi award winning, butterfly discovering, family owned business that care passionately about nature and creating the most delicious English wines. How could I not??? I absolutely know that the gorgeous Pippa (founder of the Fellowship of Puzzlemakers and sipper of fizz) would be championing this wine too!

Even Hattingley’s box is beautiful!

Over to Rebecca F to find out more about this utterly brilliant new book:

Professional puzzlers, crossword fanatics and jigsaw junkies at the ready, our pick for May’s Are You Sitting Comfortably is the perfect bookish brainteaser.  This one’s already made it to the Sunday Times Bestseller list in its first weeks out on the shelves.  Believe me, this is a feel-good book that everyone will love.  It’s warming the cockles of your heart kind of reading.  Thank you to debut author Samuel Burr for joining us for May’s Are You Sitting Comfortably.


Imagine a commune of crossword compilers, quiz masters and jigsaw puzzlers.  A collection of the country’s sharpest minds all living under one roof.


Meet The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers.  


Abandoned at birth on the doorstep of the Fellowship of Puzzlemakers, Clayton Stumper was raised by veritable Brains of Britain.  Aged 25, Clayton is somewhat of an enigma, a puzzle waiting to be solved.


When the esteemed crossword compiler and head of the Fellowship, Pippa Allsbrook, passes away, her final puzzle is one which promises to reveal the mystery of Clayton’s parentage.  Paving the way to prepare him for his future, Pippa has devised a set of clues for Clay to unravel and he must conquer his nerves, in order to find the answers he seeks.  Clayton sets off to solve something which has stumped the Fellowship for years.  It might just be a secret that will change his life.  


The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers is a novel of pure puzzling delight.  It’s uplifting, life affirming and full of wit and wisdom.  At its heart is a tale of family, finding your tribe no matter how old you are and the power of connection and community.  A wonderful cast of characters – this is a fellowship you’ll want to join.

Rebecca and I will be chatting to debut author Samuel Burr about his riddles, clues and how the fellowship all came about on Wednesday 29th May at 7pm.  

Join us Live on Instagram to chat all things puzzling and bookish.

Pick up a copy from


For those who also love supporting British grown companies here is a little more about Hattingley Valley:

Based in Hampshire just down the road from Rebecca F, they are a family run business who grow their own grapes but also source grapes from other Southern vineyards in order to select the premium grapes available (it’s all weather dependent) to create High quality British wine.

Inspired by a radio programme in 2000 on the embryonic English sparkling wine scene, Simon Robinson embarked on a mission to find the best plot to plant his vines. Following soil analysis, the 25-acre, south-sloping site on flinty clay / chalk soil was selected and the Hattingley Valley vineyard was born. Before planting Hattingley’s vines, Robinson commissioned surveys into the flora and fauna on the farm, which led to the discovery of the Silver-Washed Fritillary Butterfly on the land. The butterfly, common in Europe but rarely seen in Britain, is now visually represented on each bottle of Hattingley Valley wine, symbolising Hattingley Valley’s commitment to the nature surrounding the farm. Robinson was already committed to enhancing the delicate ecosystem and, under the countryside stewardship scheme, went on to plant some seven miles of hedgerows, as well as wildlife margins, nature sympathetic rotations and other measures at enhancing biodiversity.

“I am thrilled by the success that Hattingley Valley has achieved over the years. When first envisaged, growing grapes and making wine was regarded, not least by most of my local farming friends, as a wildly eccentric move – I am quite sure that they do not think that today! I always saw Hattingley Valley as a potentially significant part of our business, but I confess, I had no idea when we started that it would grow into one of the UK’s leading English sparkling wine brands selling not only in the UK but all over the world. England is a challenging place to grow grapes, but with skill and perseverance, we can produce some of the finest sparkling wines in the world which is perhaps the most important lesson of the last 15 years. Hattingley Valley recognising and developing its own personality has been another enjoyable part of the journey and I take great pleasure in the many comments I receive about how much people enjoy our wines. Perhaps the most unexpected were friends in Minnesota who bought our wine in their local superstore.”

Simon Robinson founder of Hattingley Valley

A huge thank you to our sponsors for this month, we couldn’t have found a more perfect sponsor for this quintessential quirky fall in love with British debut novel.

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