Thursday, 30 October 2014


The Old Hall 1803
His Lordship and I are always in a tizzy at this time of year.
The ancestors look down on us disapprovingly.

"Bacon is my name and, by God's wounds, I want my bacon!" 
But the kitchen is cold and dark ...

and the fire has gone out.

The carcasses in the game larder are much too whiffy, way beyond even their sell by date - apart from the wild boar who is staring us out,

daring us to make the first move.

The barrels appear to have run dry and worst of all...
Her Majesty has asked us to return the swan! You can imagine how relieved we were today when the butler brought in this beautiful new publication.

All our requirements will be met, I need worry no longer!
Of course, I am day-dreaming of a fantasy life - not the one I lead. I can't help wondering what we did to deserve the finely printed catalogue which dropped through the letterbox of Nilly Towers recently. Its stiff powder blue fabric cover is embossed with delicate snowflake designs in gold and it even has it's own black satin page marker. Could it have been our summer visit to a posh gift fair at a local country house (complimentary tickets, of course!), or my extravagant subscription to the even posher World of Interiors magazine, that prompted this high-end northern supermarket to believe that we reside in a brass castle (that's Yorkshire for nouveau riche)? Ah well, back to reality...
The family portraits, medieval kitchens etc. pictured in this post are at Gainsborough Old Hall, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, which we visited yesterday. 
The hall, built in the late 15th century, tells us a vivid history of domestic life in a large noble household in the late Middle Ages. Sadly, life in the streets of the present-day town is an unsettling reminder of the state of some parts of our nation now.



  1. Really enjoyed your funny post. Christmas will be upon us before we know it.


  2. Excellent, m'Lady! But I am told that pheasant should really be hung till 'tis ripe and whiffy for the fullest flavour. May I be the second (after Morrisons) to wish you a Happy Christmas!

  3. Oops, lost my comment somewhere....sorry if this is another one. Love the post, Nilly and somehow feel you'd be perfectly suited to life in that castle - at least in the kitchen if it wasn't too chilly.
    And Mrs Morrison, the original, used to be my neighbour when I was little and lived in Bradford (well, Thornton, which is a village near Bradford) - she had wrinkly stockings but was very nice. Axxx

    1. I know Thornton - my friend's ancestors come from the village and I think some Brontes once lived there, didn't they? I've encountered Mr Morrison as our store is the closest to his home at Myton-on-Swale and he used arrive unannounced to inspect the staff! Perhaps your Mrs Morrison was his Mum? Sadly, I think we all have wrinkly stockings, my dear, after a certain age.

  4. That is certainly one very posh Christmas brochure - I have never heard of them before, are they the Fortums & Masons of the North?

  5. Aah, we can dream! But the wild boar and Mr Bacon look rather fearsome. (I've just ordered the Booths Christmas catalogue.)

  6. Your posts make me smile! Must get a copy of both those catalogues to perusex