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

A Ribbon Flower
Edwardian Champagne Cup
Iced Biscuits
Pork Pie
Potted Mackerel or Caveach
Potted Shrimps
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: Leisure and Pleasure

The elite of Edwardian society had plenty of time on their hands and they turned the pursuit of leisure into a fine art. Picnics offered a perfect opportunity to combine the Edwardian's love of good food, entertaining and the great outdoors together in one hedonistic mix.

A Ribbon Flower

Made with Annabel Lewis at V.V.Rouleaux

You will need 1metre of wired edged ribbon.

  • Lay the ribbon on a flat surface. Take the bottom right-hand corner and pull 1 cm of wire from the ribbon. Bend the wire over.
  • Take the bottom left hand corner of the ribbon and pull the wire out, rouching the ribbon as you go. The ribbon should curl into a horse-shoe shape.
  • Begin rolling the ribbon tightly into a bud, keeping the rouched edge at the bottom of the bud. Make five or so turns.
  • Continue rolling the ribbon, keeping the ribbon looser to form petals until you get to the end of the length of ribbon.
  • Take the loose wire protruding from the ribbon and wind it around the base of the flower.
  • Tuck the wire up inside the ribbon flower. Pull out the ribbon to make a rose shape.

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Edwardian Champagne Cup

Serves 10

  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 1 wine glass of brandy
  • 1 wine glass of orange Curacao
  • 1 bottle of Champagne (chilled)
  • 750ml soda water (chilled)

Put the Champagne, sliced oranges, mint, cucumber, into a jug or bowl. Add the orange Curacao, brandy and soda water. Stir until blended. Serve in tumblers over ice.

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Iced Biscuits

Lemon biscuits:

  • 4 oz Butter
  • 3 oz Caster sugar
  • 6oz Plain flour
  • 1 x Zest lemon

Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Stir in the lemon rind and plain flour and mix into a soft dough. Wrap the dough and chill in the fridge for 20 mins. Roll the dough out to 3mm and cut out required shapes. Lay the shapes onto a baking tray. Make holes at the top of the biscuits if you would like to hang them with decorative ribbons later. Bake for 12 mins at 175 c / 350 f place on wire racks to cool.

Gingerbread biscuits:

  • 4 oz Butter
  • 4 oz Brown Sugar
  • 3 oz Treacle
  • 1 x Egg
  • 10oz Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 1tsp Ground cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar together. Stir in the treacle. Beat in the egg. Stir in the plain flour, baking powder and spice and form a stiff dough. Chill for one hour before rolling out and cutting out the shapes .Bake at 175 c / 350 f for 10 minutes . Place on racks to cool.

Royal Icing:

  • 1 lb icing sugar
  • 2 large egg whites

Place egg whites into a grease free bowl. Whisk the whites until stiff. Add the icing sugar and beat until stiff until it forms soft peaks. The icing should be of a consistency to gently fall off the back of a spoon. To store the icing and prevent it drying place a soft cloth over the bowl. Colour with food colouring as required.

Top Tips for decorating the biscuits:

  • Split the icing into smaller bowls and use small quantities of food colouring to tint the royal icing to your required decorative colours.
  • Fill your piping bag no more than half full or else it will overflow when you attempt to pipe with it.
  • Whilst piping hold the bag a couple of inches above the biscuit and continue to gently squeeze until just before you reach the end of your decoration.
  • Set aside to dry for a couple of hours before adding detailing.
  • Whilst waiting you can practice your piping skills and decorative details designs onto a piece of paper.
  • The decorative detailing can be piped as well as painted onto the plain iced biscuit.
  • Silver and gold sugar balls can be added to the decoration for a bejewelled effect.

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Pork Pie

Serves 10-12

  • Stock/jelly
  • 1 pigs trotter
  • 1 kg pork bones
  • 2 onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 pints water

Hot water crust:

  • 100g lard
  • 100g butter
  • 250ml water
  • 560g plain flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten

Pie filling:

  • 900g leg or shoulder pork, cut into 1/2 cm dice
  • 100g streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 level teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper


  • 1 egg, beaten

a 20cm springform cake tin

a funnel, or piece of cardboard rolled into a tube

Make the stock:
Put the ingredients in a large pan. Bring to the boil. Turn down heat immediately and skim. Simmer for 3 hours. Remove bones and trotter. Cool. Skim off fat. Store in fridge until ready to use.

Pre-heat the oven on to 190C/ 375F/ gas 5.

Make the hot water crust pastry (the sort of pastry tough enough to carry around for a picnic).

Put the lard, butter and water in a saucepan. Heat gently until melted. Do not boil.

Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a dip in the centre and add the beaten egg, stirring it gently around with a knife so it is half mixed with the flour. Pour in the melted fat and water mixture. Mix together to get a dough, adding a little more flour if it is too sticky to handle.

Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 3/4 hour.

Make filling:
Cut the pork into small pieces - about 1/2 cm cubes - and finely chop the bacon. You can also get the butcher to put this through a mincer (ask for a coarse mince) or chop it in batches in a magimix. Hand-cut pieces will give a slightly nicer texture, however.

Mix the pork with the salt and pepper and chopped sage.

Line tin with pastry and fill pie:
Cut a 1/4 of the pastry off and keep in the fridge, for the pie lid. On a floured work surface, roll out the rest of the pastry into a circle about 1 1/2 cm thick. Put in a 20cm spring-form cake tin so the edge comes up about 8-10 cm up the side of the tin.

Fill the pastry with the seasoned pork and bacon mixture. Trim roughly reserving the cuttings for decorations, if desired.

Roll out the rest of the pastry and put on the top of the pie. Turn the spare pastry lining the sides of the tin over the top piece and then tuck it under and crimp the edges or the top and bottom pieces of pastry together so they are well sealed. It is important this is a good seal, or the stock you will put in later will leak out.

Cut a 2 cm diameter hole in the centre of the pie.

Cook the pie for 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven at 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Then reduce the temperature to 150C/300F/ gas mark 2. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pie from the tin, brush with beaten egg and cook for another 1/4 hour.

Take the pie out of the oven and allow to cool.

If necessary, heat the jellied stock gently so it is liquid, but do not heat it too much. Pour as much of the stock as you can through the hole in the top of the pie. Leave the pie to cool and store in the fridge for up to 4 days to a week.

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Potted Mackerel or Caveach

Serves six


  • 12 skinned and boned mackerel fillets
  • butter and/or clarified butter (see potted shrimps for clarifying butter), enough to cover fish twice
  • two bay leaves
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • nutmeg

Put the mackerel fillets in an ovenproof dish, slip the bay leaves between them, sprinkle over 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, a few grinds of black pepper and a few gratings of nutmeg. Cover with melted or clarified butter. Cook in a medium oven (180C/350F/gas 4) for 30 minutes. The fish should be slightly over cooked rather than undercooked.

Sterilize an earthenware dish such as a terrine pot by washing in very hot water and leaving to dry in the medium oven for 20 minutes.

Pour off the butter and juices from the fish (these are delicious eaten straight away mopped up with bread or toast). Make sure you pour off all the juices as these will lessen the keeping-quality of the dish.

Put the mackerel fillets in the sterilized dish. Pour over clarified butter to completely cover the fish. Chill and store in the fridge, covered with a lid or some foil.

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Potted Shrimps

Makes six ramekins (serves 6-12 as part of a picnic or as a starter)

  • approx 1.4kg unshelled, cooked brown shrimps
  • 250g clarified butter (clarify about 300g and then measure)
  • pinch sea salt
  • a few twists freshly ground black pepper
  • large pinch mace
  • pinch cayenne
  • a few gratings nutmeg

To clarify the butter, melt it slowly in a small pan over a gentle heat. Pour it into a bowl through a strainer lined with muslin.

Peel the shrimps (a fiddly task).

Put a little of the clarified butter in a saucepan, add the salt, pepper and spices. Toss the peeled shrimps in the spiced butter for just a minute or so. Take care they do not over-heat: they become rubbery very quickly.

Divide the shrimps between six sterilized ramekins (wash in very hot water and put in a medium oven for 20 minutes). Pour over the clarified butter, making sure none stick out over the top. Chill and then store in the fridge until ready to eat.

You can spread them still cold on toast or bread, or warm them up gently so the butter starts to melt.

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