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Palace House Blog - July 2017

Months of hard work have come to an end as the restored Victorian Kitchen has been officially opened by Lord and Lady Montagu.


Victorian Kitchen Opened

On Monday 19th June the Victorian Kitchen at Palace House was officially opened by Lord and Lady Montagu. Joined by staff, friends and family the opening was a great success and a chance to thank all of those involved for their hard work and contribution to the project.

Annie Gray and Dena Saunderson prepare food in the Victorian Kitchen Annie Gray and Dena Saunderson in the Victorian Kitchen

Guests were offered a drink of Beaulieu wine, made with grapes grown here in the Beaulieu vineyard, or Beaulieu apple juice, made from apples grown on the estate. Annie Gray (Food Historian) and Dena Saunderson (Lord Montagu’s cook) created a Victorian feast for the eyes as well as the bellies, with canapes such as quails' eggs in aspic and choux buns filled with a light pheasant mousse. Guests could also taste Victorian recipes such as chicken galantine, vegetable terrine and a very macabre looking game pie! The event was a unique opportunity to network with group leaders and local businesses, with lots of ideas being exchanged over the potential use of the new space for groups.

Game pie at the Victorian Kitchen opening A very macabre game pie

There have been many changes to Palace House in the last two years so the evening was also to show areas newly opened to the public, such as the Library and the ArtRusse gallery. The new Kitchen Shop showcased some of their new product lines as well as selling homemade produce from Palace House. The new shop occupies the Scullery area and with its stone sink, working range and high ceilings it still feels very much part of the kitchen.

In the Lower Drawing Room guests were entertained by pianist Cornel, who will be coming back to play the piano for visitors in the summer holidays.

In the portrait gallery, Belinda, Lady Montagu was signing copies of her family recipe book To The Manor Born, which includes recipes for Oyster sausages and Viper broth! Elizabeth Loving (Editor) also signed copies of Pearl’s Diary, which tells the story of Lord Montagu’s grandmother Pearl Pleydell-Bourverie from the diaries she kept from the age of 11 and during her marriage to John, 2nd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu.

If you would like to purchase a copy of To The Manor Born or Pearl’s Diary they are available to purchase via mail order from our gift shop.

A Blessed Catch!

On Friday 23rd June, visitors were invited to experience the tradition of Seine net fishing here on the Beaulieu River.

The weather was on side although there was quite a breeze coming off the river, reminding us we are so close here to the sea! Seventeen visitors in total met at the front of Palace House to join the free tour. Before heading out of the Clock House there was much excitement from the opposite bank where we could see a local resident had caught a huge sea bass on his line!

Hoping this was a sign of fish to come the group headed for the river bank and met local historian and resident Tony Norris who introduced the fishing technique and what species they hoped to catch.

On arriving at the bank the group was informed there would be a delay on the next haul, as some of the Estate workers had to leave to attend a fire call. Many of the Estate employees and residents are retained firemen at Beaulieu fire station, which has been in the village since 1909. Thankfully it was not long before the fire engine returned and the fishing could resume.

Steve shows off a grey mullet from the Beaulieu River Steve shows off his catch

By this time a larger crowed had gathered, including members of the Montagu family and the new Dean of Winchester. The second haul began and we were all amused to see many of the fish jumping up out of the water and clearing the net, escaping back to the river. The grand total at the end of the haul was two grey mullet, which Steve (pictured) kindly showed to the children so they could get a close up look at the species. Then they were placed into a crate and taken to Place House to be prepared and cooked for the Montagu family’s lunch. If you would like to join this free tour the final date for the season is Friday 7th July 2017.

Titchfield History Society Tour

Here at Palace House we were very excited to welcome the Titchfield History society, who were visiting to learn more about the history of Beaulieu Abbey and the family connection through the Earls of Southampton.

During the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the reign of King Henry VIII many abbeys were closed and the stone used to build new houses and defensive castles. At Beaulieu Abbey the stone was taken to build Hurst, Cowes and Calshot castle. The Beaulieu Estate was then sold in 1538 to Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton for the grand sum of £1,340 6s 8d and the same Earl also brought the abbey at Titchfield!

Beaulieu Abbey Cloisters Beaulieu Abbey Cloister

Both estates remained the property of the Southampton family until the line ended with no male heirs in 1667. The estates were then divided between the Southampton daughters, with the youngest Elizabeth inheriting Beaulieu.

It was wonderful to be able to talk to the group and make connections between the buildings and the families who owned them, and we look forward to working with the THS again in the future.


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