Palace House Blog – May 2017

Palace House
Posted  04.05.2017
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Things have been hotting up in the Victorian Kitchen!

After months of hard work, the newly restored and expanded Victorian Kitchen is now open to visitors. We still have a few finishing touches (such as display and information boards) to install before the project will be totally complete, but we were delighted to see visitors step through the doors for the first time. We hope you’ll come and visit the restored kitchen in Palace House and let us know what you think.

Lighting the range for the first time

The big day arrived after months of planning and building: it was finally time to light the range! This was to be the first time the kitchen chimney was used in over 50 years. With fingers crossed (and one hand hovering over the phone ready to call out the fire brigade!) the first match was put to the Carronette range, and bread oven beside. Happily it lit perfectly first time and the ovens and the bread oven started to warm!

Lighting the Victorian Kitchen range
The range lit perfectly first time!

The lighting of the kitchen range was normally the responsibility of the Scullery or Kitchen Maid who would be up early to clean out the soot, blacken the range and get the stock pots on to warm, ready for the arrival of the Cook to the kitchen. The fire would be built using paper, kindling and wood. Once the range is lit coal can then be added to gain a higher heat in the ovens. However it has been the Cook herself lighting the range this week trying to get a firm understanding of how it works, and the range of temperatures each oven can produce for cooking.

Lighting the Victorian Kitchen range
The Carronette solid fuel, double oven range, circa 1880

Then it was time for some traditional bread making! It took 45 minutes for the bread oven to warm using a mixture of wood and coal and the bread cooked beautifully. During the Easter holidays you may have seen Cook in the kitchen creating beautiful crystallized primroses, used to decorate the simnel cake which adorned the Montagu’s Easter table.

Bread baked in the range in the newly restored Victorian Kitchen
One of the first batches of bread baked traditionally in the bread oven

Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels for regular updates on the Victorian kitchen project.

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