Archive | June, 2013

Eat and drink like the Wordsworths

26 Jun

Syllabub at Wordsworth House

Because I spend my life surrounded by Georgian vegetables and fruit, I’m always interested in opportunities to learn more about how they would have dined in the 18th century – and now there’s a brilliant chance for you to do the same.

Join us at Wordsworth House and Garden on Wednesday, 10 July for an exclusive Georgian dining experience. Or come along tomorrow, Friday, 28 June, to enjoy some delicious wines and cheeses, and learn about 18th-century drinking habits.

Tomorrow night you can join Nick and Wendy from Shills of Cockermouth and the Wordsworth House and Garden team at 6pm for a very special wine and cheese tasting in our dining room and Georgian kitchen.

It includes an out-of-hours view of the house. Tickets are £25 each and booking is essential. Call us on 01900 824805 to reserve your place.

On Wednesday, July 10, there’s an exclusive opportunity to dine like a Georgian.

Arrive at 5pm to enjoy drinks and cookery demonstrations in our 18th-century kitchen by my friends, the costumed servants. Learn some simple-to-replicate Georgian recipes to impress at your next dinner party, and have an evening view of the house.

You will then retire to the Trout Hotel next door for a three-course Georgian meal, which includes some of the delicacies demonstrated. Tickets are £50 per person and, again, booking is essential – ring the number above to secure your place.

I wish I could go!


It’s cricket, Doug – but not as we know it

24 Jun
Georgian cricket

Off his own bat: Georgian cricketer Doug Beebe

Not being the nimblest of movers, I don’t get out and about much, so it was a real treat to have a visit from a genuine 18th-century sportsman the other day. Or at least a re-creation of one.

Next month, Doug Beebe and his friends from Keswick Cricket Club are staging a Georgian match, complete with 1744 rules – of which there weren’t many – as well as homemade bats and a ball woven from sliced-up dog chews.

If you’d like to go along – and I think it will be well worth it, not least because my friend Ruth, the costumed servant, will be giving a talk on 18th-century pastimes – they will be playing at Keswick cricket ground on the afternoon of Thursday, July 25 from 2pm onwards.

Lady cricketer

Lady-like: Even the fair sex played cricket – or pretended to – in the old days

As you can see from the picture above, despite the lack of rules and protective equipment, women may have played in the Georgian era.

Ruth says in one 18th-century match that took place between a carpenter on one side and nine tailors on the other, the prize was a quarter of lamb and a cabbage. Delicious! The carpenter won by 64 runs.

Look here for more information about Doug’s match. And may the best men win (as long as they’re on Doug’s team)!

Industry in the garden

18 Jun
Coal tits feeding in the Greenup's pippins

Spot the birds: Coal tits feeding in a Greenup’s pippin apple tree

Amanda loves the early morning, when all’s quiet in the garden and she has a chance to stop and observe the creatures we share this beautiful place with.

Last week, she happened to be carrying her camera when she saw a gathering of coal tits in the Greenup’s pippins. She was especially happy to see them as they were busily feeding their young on her aphids!

Early mornings are also a time when she can take a few minutes to reflect and plan. On a recent stroll, when she was thinking about all the positive comments from visitors about the roof slates she has recycled into labels for the fruit trees, she decided to extend the scheme to include some of the more unusual and striking varieties of perennials.

Although the idea was hers, her handwriting is not up to the task, so her lovely volunteer Kat has taken up the pen once more. She’s been enjoying the job so much, she’s even taken slates home to write at night.

Here are some of the fruits of her labours…

Slate label: Angelica

Slate label: Teasel

Slate label: Globe thistle

Glorious garden tours

5 Jun

If you’re going to be in the Cockermouth area in June, why not pop along and join one of Amanda’s fascinating garden tours?

Come and meet Amanda and explore our lovely garden

Expert: Come and meet Amanda and explore our lovely garden

She will be showing groups round at 11.30am on Mondays June 10, 17 and 24. Numbers are strictly limited though – so get here in plenty of time!

Here are some pictures to whet your appetite…

Roses, lavender and snapdragons

Blooming gorgeous: Roses, lavender and snapdragons

Peony with Solomon's seal

Perfect petals: A peony with Solomon’s seal

Elegant: Aquilegia, or Granny's bonnet

Elegant: Aquilegia, or Granny’s bonnet

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