Emma Stergoulis Design
The Secret Life of A Royal Cook
My Great Grandma Ada Parsons
With excitement mounting in the UK for the Diamond Jubilee, I thought it time to share a story.
As a child growing up in the UK I knew that my great grandmother was a very special lady, but unfortunately I never got to meet her. That is not to say that I grew up ignorant of her past, to the contrary, I loved the stories as they came out about her life, none more so than those that related to her job as head cook to the Earl of Strathmore, who was the father of the late Queen Mother “Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon”, where she met and married my Great Grandfather, who was the Head Gamekeeper.
The Royal Cook Book Circa 1912
Thankfully for us my eccentric Great Aunt (their eldest Daughter) was what could only be described as a collector of all things (more commonly known as a hoarder) and so we are still in possession of many memento’s such as her cook book, which I have to say is very exotic for the period given we are talking over 100 years ago now.
I also had heard rumours that we still had in our possession a piece of the Queen Mother and Prince Albert’s wedding cake from 26th April 1923 ( so it would have been their 89th wedding anniversary today)….. Having seen this with my own eyes I can confirm it’s existence (see above!). Not too edible now, so one can only imagine how much alcohol was in the mix to preserve it to the current day. My Great Grandparents received an invitation to go to the viewing of the presents at Buckingham Palace together with the cake pictured above. There are also many letters such as the one below requesting a couple of extra rabbits for supper!
I remember a school project where we were asked to interview our grandparents about their childhood. I remember having to give my presentation to the class, recalling a story where my grandmother had played with Princess Elizabeth (the current Queen) as a little girl. They were playing a game which needed some water to float boats that they had made. Some how they built a channel from the farm yard pond to fill their little harbour, but in the excitement of the game forgot to block off the channel and managed to drain the pond. Nanna got in a little bit of trouble for that!!! Needless to say I think a few of my class mates thought I was making it all up!!!
Lady Cavendish Creme Brulee
So now I have had my trip down memory lane, I thought I would have a look at some of the fun items out there to celebrate the day.
Settle down with a cuppa and a slice of cake to watch the celebrations with this handcrafted cushion and wall hanging from a range by British Vogue fashion Director Lucinda Chambers.
Talking Tables have all of those cute little accessories for your street party, I love the street party carriage vases which are made of watertight cardboard and the cupcake thrones!
Well you cannot have a Jubilee without a little bit of bunting to adorn the place Little Bundles is a UK based company which produces bespoke bunting which is on sale from Etsy.
Fit for a Queen
Last but not least I could not go past mentioning my beautiful Uncle and Aunt who have recently published the recipe book together with a historical account of all of the letters and stories of which I have only merely touched upon above. This can be purchased on Amazon.com. or Foyles. Pefect for making authentic royal treats for the celebration day.
However you choose to celebrate… wave a flag for me…..on with the colourful journey…..
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