“Petworth House has been the home of the Leconfield family since it was granted to them by Queen Adeliza, the second wife of Henry 1, in 1150. And it is now lived in by Lord Egremont, a family member, who grew up in the house in the 1950s, just after it was gifted to the National Trust in 1947. As a boy, he recalls a full staff of butler, cook, kitchen maids and a footman, and each meal was attended to by the services of the butler and footman, who the children of the house adored.The history of the house is varied and fascinating, including a dairy that existed from 1784, and which was eventually closed in the 1920s, and behind it a massive underground icehouse which stored 2500 cubic feet of ice gathered each winter from the lake in the park.The kitchens dealt with a myriad of natural ingredients from eels and oysters to black pudding and quince jellies. The recipes include Oeufs Soubise made with onion and cream, Petworth Venison Pie, Mint Ice, Friar’s Omelette, an apple pudding which in fact has no eggs, and delicious sounding Carrolines au Parmesan, savoury cheese-filled éclairs.With beautiful photographs of the grounds and buildings, servant’s quarters, kitchens, scullery and steam plants.
Peter Brears is former Director of the Leeds City Museums and one of England’s foremost authorities on domestic artifacts and historical kitchens and cooking technology. In 2014, his book Traditional Food in Yorkshire was published with Prospect Books and in 2015, Prospect Books brought out his study of food in England, Cooking and Dining in Tudor and Early Stuart England.”