With the prospect of a few days' holiday, mr digandweed and myself decided to visit Audley End House nr Saffron Walden. Audley End is a beautiful Jacobean mansion, built between 1603 and 1614.
Of particular interest to me was the service wing, which accommodates a kitchen, laundry and dairy ...and the lovely gardens.
The service rooms are presented as they might have appeared in about 1881 and give a fascinating glimpse of how life would have been back then.
I was captivated by the cupboards full of kitchen equipment: tiny tartlet tins and jelly moulds, cream horn cases, brushes and rolling pins etc. and by the gleaming copper saucepans.
|lovely preserves in the walk-in pantry|
The dairy was a cool, white room. You can see the rows of wide dishes where the milk was left to settle and the cream was later skimmed off to be churned into butter.
The gardens were equally enchanting. There were many different gardens within the whole and each one had a secluded, intimate feel. I loved this archway leading to the pond garden and a glimpse of the walled kitchen garden beyond.
|I would love to know what this unusual plant is - maybe an annual climber?|
Midday way through the morning, it became apparent that a small film crew were at work in the house and garden. At first, we thought that mr digandweed's fame had spread far and wide and that he was to be the subject of a documentary, then, however, we realised that the crew was for the hairy bikers who were due to arrive shortly to film for a new series. Sadly, although we saw the film crew, we had to leave before the hairy bikers themselves arrived!
We were driving on to nearby Clavering and in particular The Cricketers pub to pay homage to Jamie!
This is the pub where Jamie Oliver grew up and which his parents still run. We enjoyed a delicious meal with some of the friendliest and most enthusiastic service we have encountered. I had wild rabbit and wild mushroom pappardelle and mr digandweed had steak and ale pie, which he declared to be one of the best pies he had ever eaten!
Most of the vegetables served at the restaurant are grown in Jamie's organic vegetable garden nearby and his influence is also evident in the wood fired pizza oven in the pub garden.
All in all a lovely day and both places come highly recommended by mr digandweed and myself.