History of how sweet treats were once made Chatsworth to be revealed at RHS Flower Show

Chocolate; it’s a sweet treat that people have been enjoying since the Victorian times.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 05:00 am
5 June 2018......... Model Amy Carey and celebrity florist Jonathan Moseley at the press day at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Picture Scott Merrylees

As part of a new exhibition, however, it will be revealed that it hasn’t always been produced in dedicated kitchens as it is today.

Former head housekeeper at Chatsworth, Christine Robinson, will share her first-hand experience of what confectionery means on a grand aristocratic estate at this year’s RHS Chatsworth flower show.

She reveals that in Victorian times the Chatsworth confectionery room produced huge quantities of chocolate, ice cream and elaborate desserts but, less appealingly, that the room was also used for the preparation of hair lotion, freckle remover, boot polish and even rat poison!

Happily, food and poison are kept apart at today’s Chatsworth and Christine will be sharing stories of the history of Victorian ice-cream from the confectionery.

That will be just one of many talks and demonstrations from The School of Artisan Food during the show.

David Carter will be demonstrating how to bake artisan bread in flowerpots alongside pesto dough balls, while Chris Moorby and Andrew Sharp will be conjuring a meat feast including sausage making and how to create the perfect hand-raised pork pie.

Alongside them, Simon Reed will be brewing apple cider vinegar and Katy Fenwick will be demonstrating how to make paneer cheese at home; while Ian Waterland will be promoting the many benefits of ‘Mindful Bread Baking’.

Julie Byrne, managing director at The School of Artisan Food, said she hoped the demonstrations would inspire visitors to cook and bake at home.

She said: “We’ve made all our food demonstrations about something that people can do at home with their families. It’s part of our mission to spread the word on good quality artisan food and to show that it doesn’t need to be difficult and it’s something we can all do at home.”

Now in its third year, the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, from June 5 to 9, is set in the grounds of the Chatsworth estate, and brings together gardening ideas, talks and hundreds of trade stands.

There will be further mouth-watering demonstrations, tastings and talks in The Woodland Theatre from 2pm each day.

The School of Artisan Food’s own stand will be serving up wood-fired pizzas and BBQ tasters at lunchtimes, and they will also be mixing honey flavoured ice cream in the Discover and Grow area every day from 3.30pm.

Tickets are available from www.rhschatsworth.seetickets.com/content/ticket-options