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Funny, passionate, outrageous and honest, this is a memoir about travel, house renovations, food, music, men and change.

Funny, passionate, outrageous and honest, this is a memoir about travel, house renovations, food, music, men and change.

‘I’ve escaped more houses than I’ve said Hail Marys.’
Peta Mathias has been making major moves since leaving home to train as a nurse, before living in Canada, London and later France, where she set up her own restaurant. Although she returned to New Zealand, writing food books and making television series, she continued to yoyo back to Europe and started culinary tours to Spain, Italy, Morocco, India, Vietnam, and the recurring attraction: France.

In this ‘memoir of sorts’, Peta looks back at the patterns of her life while she embarks on the next big stage in it: selling her beloved cottage in Auckland to buy a dilapidated old house in Uzès in the south of France and transforming the old wreck into a stylish home and cooking school. This new domesticity is set against her nomadic instincts and past history of running away from all conventional expectations of settling down. Spiced with recipes, the thrills and tribulations of reinventing yourself and her trademark humour, this book is really about never putting all your eggs in one bastard.


Essentially a memoir about her experiences of selling her cottage in Auckland and building a functional home and workplace in the South of France at the age of 67, it is humorous, self-indulgent and at times shocking . . . Something of a late bloomer, by her own admission, Peta's life has taken many twists, turns and career paths, flanked by an ever-changing cast of eccentric friends and lovers. From nursing to counselling, to TV hosting, cooking, writing books and currently hosting cooking tours.

Carmen Lichi, NZ Woman's Weekly

For as long as I have been in the book trade there has been a Peta Mathias book to ensure great laughs, to engage the brain and just a good old story to be told. Peta crafts a story like no other and her titles 'tell it like it is'. Funny, passionate, outrageous and honest, this is a memoir about travel, house renovations, food, music, men and change. I would suggest that this book is more memoir - moving and raw, showing courage and character in the face of all that Peta has walked through. . . She still includes her trademark blend of narrative, recipes and humour. One thing is for sure - this book is most entertaining and will bring a shiver one moment and a hearty laugh the next. Be sure to add this newest Peta Mathias to your collection!

Wairarapa Times-Age Weekend

She's bold, she's colourful, she's interesting and she's ours...Peta Mathias is a staple of our foodie television watching. Now, the former nurse and self-proclaimed "bolter, nomad and gourmand' offers fans her candid and somewhat bitter-sweet memoir covering cuisine, travel and adventure. . . . Saucy tales, racy humour, languid laments about feminism are rife, but the book also recounts her most recent uprooting - selling her Grey Lynn cottage to transform a dilapidated Southern France hovel into a stylish new abode and cooking school in Uzes. Catholicism, hippie culture, perfectionism and men don't escape her pithy recounts, but it's clear Mathias is a woman who risks much, can't be tied down and is always dreaming of her next adventure.

New Zealand Food Technology

At an age when many think about slowing down, the fab Peta Mathias decided to change her life in dramatic fashion. . . She is opinionated, unconventional and wise … what Peta never can be is boring. This vibrant memoir may well inspire its readers to have some new adventures.

Nicky Pellegrino, NZ Woman's Weekly

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    October 31, 2016

    RH NZ

    288 pages

    RRP $40.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook


    October 31, 2016

    Random House New Zealand

    288 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ

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