Audley End’s English mansion discovers its sophisticated Victorian cuisine to visitors

The house museum allows you to see how they worked and what they prepared the dishes in this historic kitchen

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Audley End House is a 17th-century mansion located on the outskirts of Saffron Walden, in the Essex region, England. Belonging to the English Heritage, the mansion is open to the public and can be visited. Famous for being one of the most emblematic houses of the Jacobeo style, Audley End has an incentive that has not gone unnoticed by the Deulonder team: it offers the possibility of visiting the kitchen and the laundry room, two pieces that have remained intact since the 19th century and that allow you to see how they worked during the Victorian era.
First the whole mansion, which belonged to the first Earl of Suffolk, Thomas Howard, is covered. At the end of the tour, the visitor has the opportunity to visit the kitchen located on one of the wings of the house, on the ground floor, an authentic journey through time. Some actresses appear as cooks, waitresses and kitchen helpers, and show the visitor the dishes they prepare and the recipes.

All the utensils are made of copper and the kitchen is a large piece of cast iron, an antecedent of some current models that recover the old system of the «coup de feu». The room also has a large grill.

All pots and pans are made of copper.
The grill works with firewood and is open
The kitchen, which receives the light of two windows, has a large central table where meals were prepared.
Mrs Avis Crocombe was the cook of Lord and Lady Braybrooke in the 1880s. Her recipe book has been preserved and can be purchased loose. Christmas cake, gingerbread, «Pigeon Pie» or «Queen Drop Biscuits» are some of Mrs Crocombre’s delights.
Prepared foods are preserved in a pantry, such as this piece of cooked meat.
In the same room a collection of different types of jams and other preserves is stored.

The kitchen helpers were in charge of washing the dishes and utensils, as well as helping in the preparation of the different meals. This girl said she was from a town near Saffron Walden and had had the good fortune of being hired in the great mansion of the Braybrooke.

Another stay that can be visited from Audley End is the laundry room. Here the complete water circuit was organized to clean and dry the house’s clothes. They also had large wooden machines to iron sheets and tablecloths.

Attached to the mansion is a large garden that supplied the mansion with raw materials: vegetables, fruits, vegetables and flowers of all kinds to decorate the house. In addition there is a greenhouse built in 1856 to preserve citrus trees and other species. Even grapes were grown and wine was produced.

For more information and to prepare your visit, you can check the Audley End website by clicking here . From Deulonder we also recommend the cooking blog The Queen and her Cakes where the history of the culinary customs of Queen Victoria is explained.


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