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Raffald recipes back on menu after 250 years
9 April 2013
RECIPES written by the 18th century’s domestic goddess are to be recreated at the country home where she learnt her trade.
Visitors to Arley Hall and Gardens in Cheshire will be able to sample the culinary delights of Elizabeth Raffald – the Delia Smith of her time – in Arley’s Tudor Barn Restaurant this summer.
Steve Hamilton, General Manager at Arley, said the estate near Knutsford was determined to pay tribute to the author of The Experienced English Housekeeper, which was one of the first cookbooks and a big hit when it was published in the 1700s.
“Elizabeth Raffald is a huge character in Arley’s history and it is only right that we mark her contribution to the estate’s past,” he said.
“There are a few recipes that we will steer clear of – such as those for turtle and calf’s foot pudding – but there are definitely some traditional meals that visitors are going to love.”
Raffald was the housekeeper at Arley Hall for several years in the 1760s where she served Lady Elizabeth Warburton, to whom the book is dedicated.
It is believed The Experienced English Housekeeper went through 13 authorised editions and at least 23 pirated ones. In 1773, she sold the copyright to her publisher for £1,400 – about £200,000 today.
It contains 800 original recipes and is split into three parts – the first being dedicated to browning, soups, fish, plain meat, game, pies and puddings.
The second covers confectionary and includes ‘directions to set out a table in the most elegant manner and in the modern taste.’ She goes on to explain the finer details of pickling, potting and distilling in the final section.
Raffald makes it clear to readers that her recipes are written ‘purely from practice’ and in plain English ‘so as to be understood by the weakest capacity’.
In a note to Lady Elizabeth Warburton she said: “I am not vain enough to propose adding anything to the experienced housekeeper, but hope these recipes may be of use to young persons who are willing to improve themselves.”
After marrying Arley’s head gardener, Raffald moved to Manchester where, over the next 18 years, she reportedly ran two pubs, two coffee shops, an indoor and outdoor catering business and an agency supplying domestic staff.
The Tudor Barn Restaurant will now be dedicated to her memory with recipes on the menu and history boards detailing her links to the estate. Raffald’s old food lists and receipts are also available on a new website www.arleyhallarchives.co.uk
New General Manager at Arley
29 January 2013
ARLEY Hall & Gardens has waved goodbye to Garry Fortune and welcomed a new face to the estate, Steve Hamilton.
Garry, 37, is taking over the role of North West General Manager for the Jockey Club and will manage Aintree and Haydock racecourses.
Replacing him as General Manager at Arley is Steve Hamilton who has previously worked at the Trentham Estate and Barbican Art Centre.
“I wish Steve the best of luck and I am sure he is going to enjoy working at Arley Hall,” said Garry. “It’s very difficult finding a job that you love, but I have loved coming to work at Arley.”
Garry started at Arley in 2008 having worked as operations director at West Tower Group.
He was chosen after a long interview process and faced a daily round trip 100 miles from his home in Southport.
“I’ll never forget the injury-prone staff,” said Garry. “I have had one person cut off their top lip, another catapulted 20ft into a ditch and someone else managed to run themselves over with a van.
“It’s the team and Lord and Lady Ashbrook that I am going to miss the most. They are more than just colleagues and I hope to stay in touch with everyone.”
Steve has left a job as National Operations Manager for Clarenco LLP – a group of companies with a property portfolio valued at more than £70 million – to run Arley Hall and Gardens.
He was immediately struck by Arley’s sense of family during a visit with his wife, Stephanie, and four-year-old daughter Freya, just before Christmas.
“My daughter was jumping in the small puddles which had iced over and before we even got to the entrance she said to me that she loved this place and asked if we could live here,” he said.
“I guess becoming the new GM was the next best thing.”
Steve, a ‘young’ 42, hopes to build Arley as a brand while maintaining the values of Lord and Lady Ashbrook.
“I believe in not fixing things that aren’t broken and there’s very little broken at Arley Hall, so I will concentrate on enhancing the solid foundations put in place by Garry,” he said.
“I want Arley Hall to become a showcase for local talent, local produce and local pride.”
New Play Area at Arley
7 September 2012
Arley now has a superb play area for children to enjoy while at Arley, located in the picnic area there is a slide, baby swings, and a spider swing as well as a balance beam and a Crocodile tunnel. The equipment has been part funded by the Friends of Arley.
Arley Receives National Gardens Scheme Plaque
30 July 2012
Arley was 1 of 120 gardens who received a special presentation this spring marking 85 years since they first opened to the public in aid of the National Gardens Scheme.
Arley is only 1 of 2 Gardens in Cheshire to have been part of the scheme since it began 85 years ago.
Each one of the original gardens that opened in 1927 and which are opening in 2012 will be presented with a commemorative plaque carrying a representation of a 1927 shilling and a message of thanks, to mark the 85th anniversary. The shilling was the original admisssion charge to get into the first NGS Garden.
“A total of one hundred and twenty of the original 1927 gardens, will be among over 3,800 mainly private gardens to open for us in 2012,” explains George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the charity. “That one-shilling entrance fee remained in place until decimalisation in 1971. Today, the average charge is around £3.50 and since that first year we have donated more than £35 million to nursing, caring and gardening charities.”
Cheshire Show 1st Prize for Arley
27 June 2012
Last week at the Cheshire Show, Arley won the coverted title of Best Trade Stand. Everyone at Arley is thrilled with the award, the stand was put together by Gordon Baillee, Alrey's Head Gardener and visitors were treated to a mini display of the plants in the Arley gardens.
Coronation Street Wedding
24 January 2012
The film crews were at Arley before Christmas to film the wedding between Steve MacDonald and Tracey Barlow and the episode was show on ITV last night.
Its great to see all the on-screen characters at Arley getting ready and working through the script as they prepare for the filming.
Channel 4 drama films Christmas party at Arley
15 November 2011
Christmas came early at a Cheshire stately home as it was turned into a set for Channel Four drama Hollyoaks.
A production team set up at Arley Hall and Gardens last week filming scenes for episodes that will be aired around Christmas.
Arley will be seen in three to four episodes.
The Hall had to be decked out with Christmas decorations for the scenes, which will see the latest crop of Hollyoaks university students head to Arley, which is used as the family home of fresher Barney.
Estate Manager Garry Fortune said: “It was a bit earlier than we would normally put up Christmas decorations but it was very festive!
“They bought in two 20 foot Christmas trees, one was put by the stair case and one in the Gallery, and covered the Hall in Christmas garlands and wreaths. It looked so good I asked if they would leave it all when they left!
“We didn’t see a lot of the filming, but we knew they were having a big Christmas party with dancing on tables.
“The crew were great to work with. Although there were hundreds of people involved, you wouldn’t have known they were here.”
Hall Manager Simon Wilson said: “There were two huge Christmas trees brought in which literally reached the ceiling, it was amazing to see.
“They also brought a stuffed grizzly bear, which they put in the Library. It gave a few staff members a fright when they walked in there.
“It was great to have them filming here and is especially good for Arley to have, yet again, a well known programme associated with the Estate.”
European praise for Arley’s gardens
16 September 2011
Arley Hall and Gardens has won the Special Award of the Foundation Schloss Dyck, in the European Garden Heritage Network awards.
Lord and Lady Ashbrook travelled to Dusseldorf in Germany to pick up the accolade on September 2.
“We were given a wonderful reception at Schloss Dyck, it was very exciting,” said Lord Ashbrook.
“I think what made Arley stand out to the judges was the commitment of the family to the gardens through so many generations and the standard of maintenance.
“To be recognised on an international stage is fantastic. Everybody at Arley should feel very proud.”
An international panel of judges nominates parks, gardens, urban spaces, initiatives, projects and people for the awards.
Arley was chosen above 50 other gardens for the Special Award.
The gardens were commended for their ‘unusual blend of long history and traditional design with inspired modern ideas and additions’.
Praise was given to Arley’s herbaceous borders – thought to be one of the first of its kind planted in England – and the Ilex Avenue of 14 cylindrical evergreen holm oaks.
Judge Roswitha Arnold said: “The result is a garden rich in atmosphere, interest and vitality – a wonderful example of the idea that the best gardens are living, changing works of art.”
The Arley estate has been in Lord Ashbrook’s family for 500 years, and successive generations have each contributed to the development of the gardens over the past 250 years.
Lord Ashbrook added: “It is very much a family, country house garden. There have been no professional garden designers involved – it has all come from the family. My mother, wife and I have made many of our own contributions over the past 40 years.
“We have a wonderful gardening team, but I still enjoy getting hands on with watering, weeding, pruning and finding new plants.
“We are proud that so many people continue to visit us. We would not be happy having a garden like this if we couldn’t share it.”
The EGHN partnership includes about 150 parks and gardens in eight European countries. It works to promote gardens and encourage people to visit them.
Red hot chillies turn up temperature at Arley Hall
24 August 2011
The temperature was turned up at Arley Hall & Gardens for its second annual Chilli Festival this week. Nearly 600 visitors were able to sample the many ways of using the fiery foodstuff on Tuesday, as chilli producers and traders from across the country showcased their spicy offerings at the Arley.
Chilli products included everything from beer, vodka, cakes,sausages and cheese.
Among the challenges to people’s tastebuds was an extra hot variety of spicy Biltong, a cured meat snack, developed specially for chilli connoisseurs at the Arley festival by the Mafeking Biltong Company.
The Cheese Board from Gatley brought along its chilli cheese, Route Ginger from Sale offered chilli jams, chutneys and cakes and Rushey Hey Farm at Astbury brought spicy bangers.
Cumbria-based Starley’s Spice Co from Staveley sold its own unique spice blends at the festival that range from mild to ‘Satan’s Ashes’ – a blend of some of the world’s hottest chillies including the Bhut Jolokia from India, measuring just over 1 million Scoville units. A jalapeno chilli pepper measures between 2,500 and 8,000.
Visitors also enjoyed salsa dancing and a chilli quiz to win a meal at Nandos in Stockton Heath, who sponsored the event.
Arley’s gardeners were on hand selling the 50 different varieties of chilli plants grown at the estate and giving out advice on growing chillies at home.
Make sure you join us same time next year.
Dylan Lewis Sculptures and L S Lowry's The Football Match at Arley
19 May 2011
9 Sculptures will be on display at Arley throughout the gardens until Sunday 5 June. The display of sculptures will then be moved to Christie's South Kensington for auction on 16th June. For further information visit www.dylanlewis.com
There will also be an opportunity on Thursday 19th May not only to see the sculptures but to view the acclaimed L S Lowry painting The Football Match estimated to sell for between £3.5 and £4.5m at Christie's, King Street on 26th May. This and other L S Lowry paintings will be on display.
Additionally, for a charity donation to The Prince's Trust of £1 Christie's specialists will be available to value pictures, jewellery, ceramics, chinese works of art including jade carvings, bronzes, sculptures and furniture. Anyone bringing an item to be valued will have complimentary admission to the Hall & Gardens.
Coronation Street Funeral Filmed at Arley
15 February 2011
The funeral of Joy was filmed at Arley earlier this month and was viewed by thousands last week. It was great to have the Coronation Street crewe here again.
Below is a link to Arley Newsletter, letting you know whats been happening at Arley.
If you have anything to add to our next newsletter click here to email your story.
Lord Ashbrook Lectures in America
- "In March 2012 My wife Zoe and I visited the United States with a view to my giving a lecture on Arley Hall and its gardens. The invitation to do this came from an old friend, P.Allen Smith, of Little Rock, Arkansas. Allen is a distinguished garden designer and host of television programmes in the USA.
I gave the lecture at three different locations – First, at the Winterthur Museum, Delaware, then at the Clinton School of Public administration, part of the Clinton Library, Little Rock – and finally at the Carriage House Restaurant, Natchez, Miississippi."
The video below was made of the lecture given at Little Rock.
Click the link below to watch the lecture.