by Kristine Hughes Patrone
Our next stop on the Visit Britain Familiarization Trip was Audley End, where we were able to tour the 1880’s servants wing and the gardens. I was thrilled to be able to see the extensive domestic offices, as Audley End is on the itinerary for Number One London’s 2018 Upstairs/Downstairs Country House Tour.
At Audley End, costumed characters bring the House back to its Victorian heyday and allow visitors to discover what life was like below stairs by meeting the Victorian workers in the stables, service wing, nursery and coal gallery. During our tour, we’ll also come face to face with the cook, Mrs. Crocombe, as she prepares a meal for the family, bump into the stablehands while they’re grooming the horses, and meet Governess Miss Dormer as she organizes the children for the day.
Making our way outside, we headed out for a tour of the Kitchen Garden, which is managed according to organic principles. The Kitchen Garden offers over 120 varieties of apples, 40 types of pears, 60 kinds of tomatoes plus many more fruits and vegetables. It also has an Orchard House where peaches and figs are grown in pots, in the same way that they were in Victorian times. The kitchen garden also has pumpkins and squashes still to be harvested as well as herbs and leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage.
Videos of our tour of the Kitchen Garden coming next time.