England Travel


On our day trip to Lake District we’ve been to Wray Castle and the lovely Townend, a farmhouse.

01 Townend

It was quite late when we arrived at the house, but is a small house and we were able to visit it in a little oven one hour.

02 Townend
We were welcomed by a lovely singing bird.

The property is part of National Trust, so my expectations were high. The house looked amazing, I love old cottages. The fascinating part were stories behind the furniture and the books on display and the food, it was real food.

03 Townend
Every Thursday afternoon there are live cookery demonstrations. They use Elizabeth Brownes’ hand-written 17th century recipe book. I hope they will still have these demonstrations next year, as I would love to attend.

09 Townend
This is her cookbook on display at the house.

In the Hall there were different pies and desserts on the table and the volunteer told us about the recipes. In her book the recipes are the special ones used for celebrations. The day-to-day recipes aren’t in the book as they were made so often it wasn’t necessary to write them down.

06 Townend
This is how a veggie and chicken pie looked like and it was served with oranges sauce. It sounds a little bit like modern British cuisine if you consider the flavours.

07 Townend
In the centre it was a salted crust pie with venison. In a time when hunting or even accidentally killing a deer could be punishable by death, getting the meat into a pie was crucial.
The meat was cooked very fast, as there was no refrigeration and it was encased in the salted pastry. This could easily be transported or kept for up to a month. The pastry was very salty and hard, it had to be cut with a chisel to get the meat out.
On the right there are mince pies. The original recipe was with meat and raisins, dried fruits and the same spices we use today. The recipe we know and love today is a Victorian adaptation of the old one, by leaving the meat out.

08 Townend
The volunteer told us these are apricots straws. I think it looks more like apricot leather, but I’m not sure how old this concept is. Fruit leather is a method of preserving them by making a puree and leave it dry, then cut into strands.

The rest of the house was beautiful. The furniture was made by one of the owners who had a passion for wood carving. There is a very special book, the only one in the world. But I don’t want to say more about it, not to spoil the surprise if you want to visit the property.

04 Townend

05 Townend

10 Townend

11 Townend

12 Townend

6 Comment

  1. I love National Trust Houses! The food all sounds very nice, apart from the apricot straws. It’s very interesting. I’ve always wanted a four poster bed too, they look so cosy!

    1. Me too. National Trust is amazing, every time I’ve been to one of their properties I see something interesting.
      So… you don’t like apricots? 🙂

  2. This sound incredibly interesting! I love the idea of the food demos! And the fact it is real food/!?!?x

    1. Yes, is amazing that is real food. I love the idea of the live demonstrations. On their website is her cookbook and there are some recipes that I would like to try.

  3. This place is adorable. I love the massive four poster bed, I’ve always wanted my own four poster!

    Corinne x

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