Archive for January, 2010

A Cake a day

Margaret has worked in the Coach House restaurant for 20 years, baking cakes and preparing home made meals.  One of her specialties available throughout February is Walnut Cake.

Margaret says the secret to her delicious receipt, is the toffee & coffee butter icing topping.

‘Its so simple to make, quick and easy, whisk all the ingredients together, then pour out into a tin and cook in a medium hot oven, 180 for an hour’

Apart from Walnut Cake, Margaret also makes Fruit Cake, Scones and most recently lots of warming soups.

Our recipe:

  • 175g/6oz Margarine
  • 175g/ 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 225g/ 8oz Plain Flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 75g/ 3 oz Walnuts – chopped
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons milk
  • Four the icing,
  • 40g/ 1 ½ oz butter
  • 1 table spoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon coffee
  • Melt this together bain-marie and add:
  • 225g/ 8oz unrefined icing sugar
  • Extra walnut pieces


Read Full Post »


We have invited Garden Designer and co-owner of the nursery here at the Garden, Paul Hervey-Brookes to write a guest post.

I have chosen to reproduce a blog I made recently about different snowdrop species in the form of a wordle.  This is a new creative tool which turns documents in to pictures aiding the visualisation process.  The blog about snowdrops which this came from can be read here.

Read Full Post »

Snow Report

The snow has been melting fast all day and the snowdrops are beginning to show, but little sign of any in flower yet.

This photo of our snowdrop grove was taken last year at the end of February after the heavy snow we had then. But it does give you an indication of things to come. The main bulk of snowdrops here are just the normal Galanthus Nivalis, but we do have areas around the Garden, particularly above the maze where we have planted some more unusual varieties. The Garden is best known by Snowdrop lovers (or Galanthophiles as they are known) for its association with the noted snowdrop grower James Atkins. During Victorian times he had retired to one of the estate cottages and may well have been active in creating the wonderful display we have now. He has a snowdrop named after him Galanthus Nivalis ‘Atkinsii’ which has been claimed he found in his back garden here. It is a particularly tall variety of which we have many here.

Read Full Post »

Even in the Snow

We opened on Sunday 10th January to a good foot of snow in the garden.  A few hardy souls, tightly wrapped came to the garden and after an hour of so of walking through the garden, in its snowy blanket, came into the Coach House Restaurant and warmed themselves by the woodburner with hot tea and well deserved cakes!

On the subject of cakes, our team in the restaurant have been very busy creating new recipes for the coming year,  The rich fragrance of Spiced Parsnip Soup along with the equally delightful smelling Pumpkin & Sweet Potato are two of the new offering available through the snowdrop period.

Cakes have been the subject of much cooking with Victoria Sandwiches’, Toffee Tiffin’s and a new Stolon Scone all being baked in the ktichen.

The Gardner’s have also been busy preparing for visitor’s, not only digging the drive out but propagating plants for the coming


Read Full Post »