Summer sun on a plate

17 Jul
Cakes in Wordsworth House cafe

Delicious: Cakes – and nasturtium flowers – in the Wordsworth House café

Nasturtiums, pot marigolds and borage don’t just look pretty at this time of year – they taste good too. The café staff are adding edible flowers to the herbs they collect every day to adorn their fabulous savoury dishes.

When they stop to chat, I’ve been imparting some of the wisdom Amanda has shared with me. For instance, did you know that the name nasturtium comes from “nasus tortus”, which means twisted nose in Latin and refers to their peppery smell?

The flowers taste peppery too and, along with the young leaves, make a wonderfully colourful addition to salads and garnishes. Those thrifty Georgians also found a use for the green seed pods, which they pickled to make a caper substitute.

Pot marigold petals, as the name implies, can be used in the pot when cooking custards and other puddings to add a hint of summer sunshine. The petals are nice in salads too.

Borage flowers, for those who enjoy an al fresco summer drink, make a sophisticated – and practical – addition to ice cubes, as they have cooling properties that continue to work after the ice has melted. They also have a lovely cucumbery flavour – Amanda suggests adding them directly to your Pimms.

For those who like their afternoon tea outdoors, the café team tell me we should soon have tables in the front garden. And, of course, if you’re visiting the house, you can enjoy a takeway in our beautiful rear garden and have tea with me. Don’t forget to bring me a piece of cake – and I like a slice of lemon with my cuppa!

Sunburst: The pot marigold

Sunburst: A pot marigold

Service with a smile in Wordsworth House café

Service with a smile: Our café volunteer Helen

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