Anyhow, after our soggy lunch, we made our way to Haddon Hall in Derbyshire. Rosie had tipped us off that they were hosting a Tudor Cookery weekend. Here we are all looking very bedraggled!
Haddon Hall is beautiful. Its a proper little jewel and like its neighbour Chatsworth, it is still lived in by the family - Lord and Lady Manners.
One of its wonderful features is its pretty courtyard.
One of the cottages by the hall has some fabulous topiary.
The Tudor cookery day was fabulous. They had Tudor workers throughout the house and it really brought the house to life - so much better than walking around empty rooms.
The courtyard was full of herbs. These were picked for use in the kitchen.
The actors were very knowledgeable and held Rosie, Rowan and I spellbound with their conversations and explanations of what they were cooking and using for cleaning etc.
Do you recognise one of the staff? (This one's for you Clare!). Ruth Goodman from the Victorian and Edwardian Farm series was acting as the kitchen steward, overseeing the staff and checking that none of the expensive ingredients and spices etc were being stolen. She told us how all the food had to be accounted for - it was checked out of the kitchen, and then checked that it had made it to the dining hall too!
We watched all the food being prepared.
When the food was almost ready, the staff would be fed first. Almost of all the staff would have been men. They seemed to be fed very very well.
And then we watched the servants furnishing the table with the food. As a sign of reverence and respect to the lord and lady, the bowed every time they approached the table - even though the lord and lady were not even in the room!!
And then finally, the lord, lady and their guests were called and seated for their extremely extravagant meal.
I learned so much - it was fantastic and all included in the normal admission fee. It was fabulous to share the day with Rosie, Rowan and Paul - Thank you ladies and Paul, you were all such great company.
I'll show you some more of the hall and gardens later.