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

Cleavers Infusion
Dandelion and Burdock Beer
Mushroom Ketchup
Mustard Bath
Peppermint Tincture
Poultice for Hugh's Dishwasher Injury
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: Herbs and Spices

As unstoppable party animals, the Edwardians had more than their fair share of health problems - and although patent medicines were becoming increasingly available, people still used remedies made from herbs and spices that were passed down from generation to generation.

Cleavers Infusion

Made with Susan Curtis from Neal's Yard Remedies

Sprigs of Cleavers
Hot water

Put the Cleavers into a cup or glass. Pour over hot water and leave to infuse for 20 minutes before drinking.

Important. Ensure you know what you have picked before consuming.

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Dandelion and Burdock Beer

  • 2 lemons
  • 20g dandelion leaves
  • 15g fresh ginger
  • 45g dried burdock root
  • 15g fresh dandelion root, scrubbed but not peeled, with the tap root in tact
  • 4.5 litres water
  • 450g demerara sugar
  • 30g cream of Tartar
  • brewers' yeast (use according to instructions on packet)

Special equipment:

  • 2 clean plastic buckets
  • plastic tube for 'racking'
  • pint bottles
  • bottle capping equipment (available from homebrew stores)

Pare the rinds of the lemons. Scrub the dandelion root. Wash the dandelion leaves. Chop up the ginger root.

Put the lemon rind, dandelion leaves, ginger, burdock root and dandelion root into the water. Bring up to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Juice the lemon and put the juice into a clean bucket with the sugar and cream of tartar. Strain the liquid from the pan into the bucket.

Stir the mixture, dissolving the sugar. Leave to cool, covered, until tepid. Add the yeast, following the manufacturer's instructions for quantity.

Cover the bucket and leave to ferment in a warm place for 3 days. Rack off the beer. This is to separate the fermented liquid from any gunk at the bottom of the bucket. Put one end of a plastic tube in the liquid, above any sediment at the bottom. Put the other end below the fermentation jar and suck to get the liquid flowing. Put the end into another sterile container and fill up with liquid.

Pour the beer into bottles, adding a large pinch of demerara sugar per pint. Seal with a bottle sealer, available from homebrew shops. Leave until the beer is clear - about a week - before drinking.

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Mushroom Ketchup

  • 1kg mushrooms
  • 200g peeled shallots (roughly 4 banana shallots)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a pinch dried ginger
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh horseradish root

Finely chop the mushrooms. Put in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Peel and slice the shallots and garlic. Put in the pan with the mushrooms.

Put a lid on the pan and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, until the juices have been released from the mushrooms.

Strain the juice off the mushrooms and shallots into a saucepan, pressing them down in a sieve.

Add the sugar, cider and spices to the liquid. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain through a piece of muslin into a sterilised jar or bottle (ie just prior to use, wash the jar/bottle in very hot water and dry in the oven for 20 minutes) Put a sterilized lid on.

Keep in the fridge and use to give a kick to soups, stews or a Bloody Mary.

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Mustard Bath

  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 desertspoon borax
  • 4 drops eucalyptus oil

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Add the powder to a warm bath, or half amount to a footbath.

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Peppermint Tincture

  • Large handful of fresh peppermint
  • Vodka
  • Water

Roughly chop the peppermint. Put the peppermint into a medium kilner jar and half fill with vodka. Fill to the top with water. Leave to stand for 3 weeks. To use add a few drops of the peppermint tincture into a glass of water.

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Poultice for Hugh's Dishwasher Injury

  • 2-3 primrose leaves
  • 2-3 plantain leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs of chickweed
  • Cotton wool thingy
  • Piece of plastic
  • Bandage

Put all the leaves into a pestle and mortar and mash to a pliable consistency. Put the leaves onto a damp cotton pad and apply onto the affected area. Place a piece of plastic over this and bandage the layers securely together.

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