Notting Hill holds a special place in my heart and not just because of the iconic film. My family and I stayed in Notting Hill on our first week in London in 2015. We were there for the Rugby World Cup. Our home from home was a pretty pink house and it was a great spot for us to explore this eclectic area. We browsed the markets and bookshops, peeked into those beautiful walled gardens, enjoyed delicious meals in the area’s vibrant restaurants and frequented the buzzing pubs. One of the highlights for my youngest son was trying a salted caramel cake from the world famous bakery, The Hummingbird Bakery. We all had an absolutely magical time and the memories still make us smile today.
When I was invited to review the new film – Love Sarah I was very excited. It is set in Notting Hill and tells the story of two women who are realising their dream of opening a bakery. On the eve of collecting the keys and starting renovations, the baker called Sarah, is involved in a tragic accident. It soon becomes clear that her partner, Isabella will not be able to run the business alone.
Sarah’s ballerina daughter, Clarissa and Clarissa’s estranged Grandmother, Mimi step in to help. Also on hand is handsome chef, Matthew and eccentric neighbour, Felix who all help to keep Sarah’s dream alive. With beautiful scenes of the quirky Notting Hill neighbourhood, mouth watering sweet treats and a punch of romance, this heartfelt and witty drama has all the ingredients to have you savouring another bite.
Isabella and Sarah have been friends since cooking school and have big dreams of owning their very own Notting Hill Bakery. When Sarah’s life is suddenly cut short, her ballerina daughter falls to pieces, her romance fails, she cannot dance and she has nowhere to go. She must ask for the help of her Grandmother, Mimi and after Mimi’s initial reluctance, together they help Isabella renovate the little shop, but it soon becomes obvious that Isabella cannot do everything. Enter the handsome chef, Matthew. He is overqualified to work in the little bakery but he has a history with Sarah and between them, he and Isabella begin to make the dream come true.
Curious neighbour Felix befriends the quartet and becomes particularly fond of Mimi. He watches as the fledgling bakery becomes more successful by implementing new ideas and marketing strategies, as you, the audience, are willing it to succeed. There is plenty of romantic tension between the two bakers and they all must overcome past grievances, a little mystery and begin working as a team for their charming little bakery to succeed.
The setting and chemistry between the characters is a highlight of this film. The three women from different generations bonding and working together to honour Sarah’s memory was heartwarming. It was hard to believe that this was the very first film for director, Eliza Schroeder. She has found the perfect recipe for a beautiful film.
Isabella played by Shelley Conn was very believable and natural in her role as Sarah’s friend and partner in the bakery. Her frustrations and worries gave her character depth and her relationship with Matthew ( Rupert Penry Jones) was a highlight of the story for me. I love the push and pull of that, “ Will they or won’t they?” tension.
Clarissa ( Shannon Tarbet ) looked just like Sarah and flitted across the screen like the ballerina she portrayed. Her love and friendship with her single Mum and her joy at getting to know her grandmother again was delightful. I always love watching Celia Imrie, who played the strong yet eccentric Mimi, on screen and her transformation from uptight and guarded Granny to having a purpose, friendship and love in her life was a joy to watch. She blossoms with her friendship to the lovable Felix ( Bill Paterson).
This film will be just the antidote to your coronavirus blues. Like a sweet treat, it is delightful and gives you a warm feeling inside. It is wonderful to travel to the beautiful Notting Hill and savour the sight of beautiful cakes from around the world. In a world gone suddenly dark it gives us hope and escape. All of these sweet ingredients will have you craving another slice and I shall be certainly racing to see Love Sarah on the big screen when it is released into theatres on July 2.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).