Manor House
"They are constantly saying upstairs that they understand how downstairs feel
but they haven't really got a clue"

Dried rose-heads for making a fragrant pot-pourri or for scenting the linen cupboard
Dried rose-heads for making a fragrant pot-pourri or for scenting the linen cupboard

Chinese Artichoke and Asparagus Salad
Pink Shocker
Poires a la Marquise
Rhubarb Bellini
Seakale with Garlic Cream
Strawberry and Oatmeal Face Mask
If by chance you meet a Lower Servant, you should walk past, leaving them un-noticed... you will spare them the shame of explaining their presence
Lower Servants: if you meet one of your betters in the house, endeavour to make yourself invisible – 'give room', turn your back, and avert your eyes
"I really don't have problem with having servants...if I'm not being served, they don't have a job. This is absolutely magnificent. I'm enjoying it."
Sir John Olliff-Cooper
Treats: Kitchen Garden

Practically everything that happened in the great Edwardian houses was about displaying the wealth and enhancing the social status of their owners and the fruit and vegetable gardens of the day were no exception.

Chinese Artichoke and Asparagus Salad Served with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette

Made with Tracey Akehurst from Clumber Park

Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch

For the salad

  • 115g Chinese artichokes (crosnes)
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • 450g asparagus, washed
  • 1/2 red or yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
  • Assorted salad leaves to include lettuce, corn salad, sorrel, and orach (a spinach substitute popular from since Roman times)
  • Herbs such as chives, salad burnet or flat-leaved parsley, lovage

For the dressing

  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 1 1/2 tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper

Clean the Chinese artichokes of any excess soil by rinsing the tubers under cold running water, patting dry and laying them onto a cloth with some sea salt. A gentle rub will remove the soil and lightly season the tubers at the same time. Remove any dried tips.

Bring a pan of water gently to the boil, adding the lemon juice, garlic and thyme. To this fragrant concoction add the artichokes and simmer for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the artichokes to cool in the liquid until just warm.

Meanwhile prepare the asparagus by removing the woody ends. Gently steam the asparagus spears until they are tender but not limp.

Make the dressing. In large bowl stir the saffron into a teaspoon of boiling water and allow to infuse for a couple of minutes until it is softened. Stir in the vinegar, mustard and sugar, then whisk in the olive oil until the mixture has thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Drain the artichokes and add these along with the asparagus and strips of pepper into the dressing. Toss gently to coat with the vinaigrette.

On a large plate place an assortment of salad leaves and arrange the asparagus mixture on top. Sprinkle with herbs and serve.

For the non-vegetarian option grill rashers of streaky bacon until crisp, and then crumble it over the top of the assembled salad.

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  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 punnet of strawberries, quartered
  • Peel of cucumber
  • Crushed mint
  • 2 tablespoons of castor sugar
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 200ml Pimms
  • 1 litre soda water

Put the sliced lemons, strawberries, cucumber peel, crushed mint, sugar, lemon juice and Pimms into a jug. Stir the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved. Add the ice and top up with soda water.

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Pink Shocker

Made with Janet Oldroyd

  • Vodka
  • Rhubarb juice (the syrup produced when you cook rhubarb with sugar)
  • Ground ginger
  • Ice

Put a generous measure of vodka, 2 tablespoons of rhubarb puree and a sprinkle of ground ginger over ice for each person into a cocktail shaker. Serve with a small stick of rhubarb.

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Poires a la Marquise

Serves 6-8

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 450ml full fat milk
  • a few drops of vanilla extract or essence
  • 450ml double cream
  • 5 leaves / 15g leaf gelatine
  • 10 amaretti biscuits
  • 150ml maraschino or kirsch
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 large tin of pears, or 4 fresh pears
  • 100g redcurrant jelly
  • 50g chopped, toasted almonds
  • 1 piece angelica

15cm diameter non-stick, springform cake tin

Put the egg yolks and whites in a bowl with the caster sugar and stir thoroughly to mix. Gently heat the milk until warm and pour in a thin stream onto the egg mixture, stirring as you go. Pour this back into the pan and heat very gently, stirring all the time, for about five minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly. Turn the custard into a clean mixing bowl to cool, then flavour with the vanilla extract. Allow to cool.

Whip half the double cream until it forms soft peaks. Put the gelatine in a shallow dish with 2-3 tablespoons of the maraschino or kirsch. Leave for 5 minutes, then heat gently to dissolve. Mix the cooled custard with the whipped cream and the gelatine.

Rinse the cake tin with cold water. Put half the custard into it and let it set completely.

Break up the amaretti biscuits into piece, put them in a basin, and pour over the rest of the maraschino or kirsch. Arrange these on the custard in a layer, put the jam here and there over them, pour on the rest of the custard and let set.

If the fresh pears are used, poach them in the usual way until soft (that is, dissolve 30g caster sugar in 450ml water, peel, halve and core the pears and poach them in the sugar syrup until tender) Remove the pears from the poaching syrup, or drain the tinned pears of their juice, and place the pears on a wire tray. Melt the redcurrant jelly, coat the pears thickly with this and sprinkle them with the chopped toasted almonds. In the end of each pear, place a piece of angelica to represent the stalk.

Whip the remaining cream until stiff. Turn out the custard shape on to a round glass or silver dish, pile the greater part of the whipped cream in the centre, dress the pears standing up round it, leaning against the cream; put the remainder of the cream into a forcing bag with a rose pipe attached to it and decorate.

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Rhubarb Bellini

Rhubarb juice (the syrup produced when you cook rhubarb with sugar)
Cava or Champagne

Fill a champagne glass half full with rhubarb puree. Fill to the top with Champagne.

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Seakale with Garlic Cream

Made with Tracey Akehurst from Clumber Park

Serves 4 as a starter.

  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Juice and peel of a lemon
  • 250ml double cream
  • 450g seakale, washed and trimmed
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • Garnishing herbs (eg chervil, dill, parsley, tarragon)

For the garlic cream, gently simmer the garlic cloves and lemon peel in the double cream until the cream has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour through a sieve, discarding the garlic cloves. Season the infused cream with salt and pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. Keep warm.

Tie the seakale into neat bundles of 6-7 stalks. Cook in boiling, salted water with the lemon juice until tender but still crisp (approx 3-6 mins). Untie and set aside on a warm plate.

While the seakale is cooking toast small squares of bread (known as 'sippets')

Once the seakale has cooked drain well, untie the bundles and arrange on the 'sippets'. Pour a small amount of the garlic cream over the top and garnish with herbs - chervil, dill, parsley and tarragon all work well.

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Strawberry and Oatmeal Face Mask

Made with Caroline Rose from Rose and Co Apothecary

Serves 4 as a starter.

  • 12 strawberries
  • 10 teaspoons of oatmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • Handful of fresh mint

Chop and mash strawberries. Add the oatmeal and mint. Whip the egg white and add to the other ingredients to bind them together. You can put this mixture in a blender for a smoother effect. Refrigerate. Use fresh - this product will only last a couple of days.

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